April 28 – May 22
(Opening Night: May 5, 8:00 p.m.)
By Noah Haidle
Directed by Brenna Geffers
Theatre Exile concludes its 2010-2011 season with Saturn Returns (April 28 – May 22), by Noah Haidle. Saturn Returns launches audiences into a bittersweet orbit of memory, longing and love with the same offbeat, savagely funny exploration into loneliness that made Haidle’s Mr. Marmalade an audience favorite. Theatre Exile’s production offers a re-imagining of the play after Haidle re-wrote the piece in London last fall. Exile’s production marks the American Premiere of the re-worked script.
Haidle’s elegantly structured tale, which The Guardian said “exudes a sense of pleasurable melancholy,” focuses on three pivotal days in the life of Gustin Novak, at the ages of 28, 58 and 88. Around him circle the shadows of his wife, his daughter, his caretaker and his former selves. As his past plays out before him again and again, Gustin pits his wicked sense of humor and sharp wit against the pain of endless goodbyes. “Haidle’s most prodigious gift may be his psychological sophistication. Beautifully written…the limpid play is really a haunting, in which Haidle finds a way of dramatizing the presence of absence in all of us.” (The New Yorker)
Theatre Exile’s long-time Associate Artistic Director Brenna Geffers makes her Exile directing debut by assembling a cast of all-star Exile veterans. Harry Philibosian stars as the sharp-tongued 88-year-old Gustin. Joe Canuso takes on the widowed but un-wilting 58-year-old incarnation of Gustin, and David Raphealy plays the newly married 28-year-old Gustin. Amanda Schoonover who starred as Lucy in Mr. Marmalade, again creates the perfect Haidle heroine, playing Gustin’s wife, daughter and caretaker who whirl in and out of his memories.
Amongst them, the cast has performed in over two dozen of Exile’s most memorable shows, from Belmont Avenue Social Club to Killer Joe to Glengarry Glenn Ross to Mr. Marmalade, to Hunter Gatherers.
Saturn Returnsbegins previews on April 28, opens on May 4 (press night, 8:00 p.m.), and closes on May 22, 2011. All performances will be held at Christ Church Neighborhood House (20 N. American Street, Philadelphia). Tickets are $18-$40, with special discounts for students and seniors, and are available online at www.theatreexile.org or by calling the Exile Box Office at (215) 218-4022.
Theatre Exile is a nonprofit theater company dedicated to enhancing the cultural experiences of all Philadelphians through the staging of works that engage the imagination and challenge the expectations of a commercial theater. By producing risky and challenging plays that contain a sense of true Philadelphia grit and passion, Theatre Exile has proven to be a place where local artists can take their biggest risks. Exile matches cutting-edge scripts with Philadelphia’s top talent, continually bringing immediate and dangerous performances to audiences and presenting the voices of today’s most gifted playwrights.