Interact Theatre Company Presents THE CLIMB A World Premiere Production

Performances run May 31 - June 23 at The Proscenium Theatre at The Drake.

By: Apr. 29, 2024
Interact Theatre Company Presents THE CLIMB A World Premiere Production
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To kick off summer, InterAct Theatre Company will present THE CLIMB by By C.A. Johnson.

Marge (Sam Rosentrater) is a celebrated professor of photography whose only subject for the past seven years has been her wife (and former student), Tiffany (Ciera Gardner). When Tiffany embarks on a month-long hiking trip to get away from it all, both artist and muse try to fill the void left by the other, while reckoning with the impact of relentless objectification and the white gaze that have defined their relationship. Join us in the first full production of THE CLIMB, where the team brings the forest to life on stage. 

“I was selected by the playwright, CA Johnson, to direct the World Premiere of her play at InterAct. I love this play and we have found the perfect cast! With any play my interest begins with the questions, and I am excited about those posed by The Climb,”  says director Catharine Slusar. “Are photographs the truth? How do we consider the frame, and what is left outside the frame?  How does the eye of the photographer direct our attention, and cause us to see what she wants us to see, directing our gaze? What is it to “capture” an image? Photography tells a story about its subject, and defines it for us. What happens when the subject wants to tell her own story, and no longer wishes to be defined?”

Performances run May 31 - June 23 at The Proscenium Theatre at The Drake. Preview nights even feature free ice cream from Scoop DeVille with a signature flavor created just for the show (May 31, June 1, 2, and 5). June 1, 2024 at 2pm and June 14, 2024 at 7pm will be COVID safety performances. Press opening is Thursday, June 6. For tickets and showtimes, visit

As a company dedicated to civic discourse, InterAct hosts discussions for audience members almost every day of the week after non-preview performances. Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays are facilitated by Artistic Director Seth Rozin. Saturdays  are artist talkbacks with literary manager, Chaz T. Martin, and special guests (to be announced soon!). To hear about our Friday Young Friends Talkback with Liana Irvine, please email the box office to get added to the Young Friends Newsletter. 

The talented production team includes: Hunter Smith (Stage Manager), Ant Ma (Scenic Designer), Natalia De La Torre (Costume Designer), Maria Shaplin (Lighting Design), Shannon Zura (Sound Designer), Michael Long (Projection Designer), Jo Vito Ramirez (Props and Set Dressing Coordinator), Valden Kamph (Production Manager).


C.A. Johnson (Playwright) is a Brooklyn-based playwright originally from Metairie, Louisiana. Her plays include ALL THE NATALIE PORTMANS (MCC Theater), THIRST (2017 Kilroys List, CATF), THE CLIMB (Cherry Lane Mentor Project), AN AMERICAN FEAST (NYU Playwrights Horizons Theater School), I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW, and SOMEBODY'S BODY. Most recently she was the Tow Playwright in Residence at MCC Theater. She was previously the 2018 P73 Playwriting Fellow, The Lark's 2016-17 Van Lier Fellow, a Dramatists Guild Fellow, a member of The Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm, A Core Writer at The Playwrights Center, a member of The Civilians R&D Group, a Sundance/Ucross Fellow and a 2018 Sundance Theatre Lab Fellow. C.A. also has an active career in film and television, with several projects in development, including at ABC Signature, Netflix and New Line. She has written for a number of television series, including projects helmed by Drew Goddard, Marielle Heller, and more.

Catharine K. Slusar (Director) is a director, actor, and associate professor of theater. As a director, she has worked at Bryn Mawr College (The Wolves, Mr Burns: A Post Electric Play, Romeo and Juliet: Revisted, among others). She is a member of Actor's Equity Association and has been performing in Philadelphia since arriving in 1995. A native of Connecticut, she studied theater at Yale and has an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from Goddard.  In Philadelphia, InterAct has been a home and she has performed in Eureka Day!,  Black Pearl Sings!, Going to St Ives, Frozen, Missing Link, Drink Me, Bee-Luther Hatchee, Lebensraum, (Barrymore Best Ensemble, and Best Production, Nominee Best Supporting Actress)  Black Russian,  and others. At Theater Exile: Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, (Barrymore Best Actress) Emma in Annapurna, (Barrymore Nominee), Faye in Iron (Barrymore Nominee), Risa in Any Given Monday, and, Linda in Lost Girls; The Arden: all roles in The Syringa Tree, (Barrymore Nominee), Gi in Northeast Local, Hook in Peter Pan, among others.  She's also performed at Delaware Theater Company, Fringe Arts, The Lantern, People's Light, Act 2, Shakespeare in Clark Park, and Bristol Riverside.  Outside of Philadelphia, Catharine has acted in NYC, Minneapolis, CT, MI, Russia, and Norway. Catharine is the recipient of The F. Otto Haas Award for Emerging Artists, a Barrymore Award for Best Actress, multiple Barrymore nominations, and an Independence Fellowship. Best of all, she is the mom of remarkable twins Jane and Emory, and wife to Whit MacLaughlin.

Sam Rosentrater (MARGE, she/her) is a queer artist and has proudly worked as an actor and teaching artist for the last fifteen years. In Philadelphia, she has performed with the Arden Theatre Co (CHARLOTTE'S WEB) and Theatre Horizon, where she was Barrymore nominated for her work in GRAND CONCOURSE. Sam spent over a decade in NYC, developing new work, and has worked across the regions, where some favorite roles include; Della in THE CAKE (Portland Stage Co), Susan B Anthony in THE AGITATORS (Playhouse on Park) and Devon in ELEMENO PEA (Shadowland Stages). On tv, Sam has guest starred on FBI Most Wanted, and can be seen in The Other Two, Harlem, Almost Family, and more. Her most recent film, Breaking Fast with A Coca Cola, premiered at 2023's South by Southwest. MFA; Wayne State University. Member Actor's Equity and SAG/AFTRA. IG: samrosentrater

Ciera Gardner (TIFFANY, they/them) is a local actor, mover, and collaborator in Philadelphia and surrounding areas. They graduated from the University of the Arts ‘16 while also attending the Headlong Performance Institute ‘15. Credits include: Fun Home (New Light Theatre), Peer Gynt (Enchantment Theatre), Barrymore nominated for Outstanding Lead Performance in Wine in the Wilderness (Philadelphia Artist Collective) Richard III (Theatre in the X), Peter and the Starcatcher (Theatre Horizon), The Gap (Azuka Theatre), Coriolanus (Shakespeare in Clark Park).

Trevor William Fayle (IKE, he/him) is so grateful to be back at InterAct for THE CLIMB! He has appeared on stage in The Cherry Orchard (The Wilma Theater); Lifespan of a Fact, Othello, Hapgood, Photograph 51, Arcadia, and Emma (Lantern Theater Company); The Whale, Sing the Body Electric, Lost Girls (Theatre Exile); How to Use a Knife (InterAct Theatre Company). The Complete Works of Jane Austen, Abridged! (Tiny Dynamite); He also is GM for the D&D actual play podcast CriticalFayleDM & the Goons: The Strahdcast! Stick to the trail! 

Claris Park (BELLA, they/them) is a Barrymore-nominated actor and theater maker based in Philadelphia. They are thrilled to be joining InterAct on stage again! Select credits include Man of God (InterAct Theatre Company), The Wolves (Boise Contemporary Theater), The Merry Wives of Windsor (Delaware Shakespeare), Among the Dead (Theatre Exile), and The Monster in the Hall (Inis Nua Theatre). She has also developed 100YearsForWhat and The DJZ, which were both produced by the Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists (PAPA) collective. They are a current member of the PAPA Playwrights Project and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown Law.


InterAct is a theatre for today's world, dedicated to commissioning, developing, and producing new and contemporary plays that explore the social, political, and cultural issues of our time, and to improving the regional climate for new plays. InterAct utilizes theatre as a tool to promote civic discourse and stimulate dialogue around the most pressing and complex issues we face in contemporary society. 

InterAct values ARTISTIC RISK, which we express by maintaining a robust commitment to producing new plays.  Through its world premiere productions, active involvement in play development, commissions and development programs, Core Playwrights program, and leadership role with the National New Play Network, InterAct has established itself as the region's leading proponent of new plays. 

InterAct values CIVIC ENGAGEMENT, which we express by tackling plays of societal relevance, and fostering positive social discourse around the important, complex, sometimes controversial stories, issues and ideas contained in those plays. Through our post-performance talk backs, our free public convenings and symposia, and our partnerships with community and academic organizations, InterAct consistently offers its constituents opportunities to deepen their engagement with the thematic content in its plays.

InterAct values DIVERSITY, which we express by being extremely mindful in our play selection, our artistic and administrative hiring practices, our venue design and long-term efforts to develop non-traditional theatergoing audiences. 


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