Theatre Exile Will Open Season With THE NORTH PLAN, 2/13-3/3

Theatre Exile Will Open Season With THE NORTH PLAN, 2/13-3/3

Theatre Exile will present the third show of their 16th season with the Philadelphia premiere of The North Plan by Jason Wells. Directed by Exile's own Joe Canuso, of South Philadelphia, and featuring veteran Philadelphia actors Madi Distefano, Dan Hodge, Robert Daponte, Aimé Donna Kelly, Carl Granieri and Mark Cairns. The North Plan will run from February 13 to March 3, with the official press opening on February 16 at 8pm.

The revolution starts now. As martial law is declared by the government, federal bureaucrat Carlton Berg scrambles to protect the highly classified list of those American citizens to be detained - branded as "national security threats." His great escape lands in the podunk town of Lodus, MI in the heart of the Ozarks where the nation's last hope lies in the unlikeliest of line ups: an unsympathetic police chief, an ambivalent administrative assistant and a foul mouthed redneck who's turned herself in for drunk driving and thinks Skynyrd should be on the new money.

Wells' sharp and dynamic script balances the subsequent suspense and hilarity as martial law is declared and military commanders take charge of state and local governments. Berg (Hodge) flees with the new regime's top secret enemies list hunted by two DHS agents (DaPonte and Granieri) and lands himself in a police station in the Ozarks town of Lodus where the local police chief (Cairns), administrative officer (Kelly) and a fellow prisoner (Distefano) thwart his efforts to prevent the impending doom.

Director Joe Canuso assembled a strong design and production team to bring the small-town prison to life at the The Latvian Society of Philadelphia at 7th and Spring Garden. Set Designer Meghan Jones (A Behanding In Spokane, Hunter Gatherers) converts the performance space into two rooms of the jail with both acts of the production played against different sets trimmed by Lighting Design by Maria Shaplin, the Sound Design of Michael Kiley (A Behanding In Spokane, The Aliens, Glengarry Glen Ross, That Pretty Pretty, Killer Joe, Red Light Winter), the Costume Design of Katherine Fritz and Fight Choreographer Michael Cosenza (A Behanding In Spokane).

Cast and Crew
Theatre Exile continues their legacy of bringing Philadelphia its first taste of the world's most exciting and adventurous playwrights. They have introduced Philly to Tracy Letts, Rajiv Joseph, Noah Haidle, Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, Annie Baker and many other nationally acclaimed playwrights. Now, Exile will be the first company in Philadelphia to bring you The North Plan from the mind of Jason Wells, an actor and playwright making a name for himself after several successful productions. Wells' first play, Men of Tortuga, debuted at Steppenwolf Theatre's First Look Repertory of New Work and went on to acclaimed productions at the Asolo Repertory Theatre, Profiles Theatre, Apollinaire Theatre Company, Furious Theatre Company, Purple HeArt Theatre and Street Corner Arts. His second play, Perfect Mendacity, was a finalist for the American Theatre Critics Association's Steinberg/New Play Award. The North Plan debuted at Steppenwolf's First Look Repertory of New Works, premiered at Portland Center Stage and was subsequently produced at Theater Wit.

Madi Distefano is the Founding Artistic Director of Brat Productions where her original one-woman show, Popsicle's Departure, 1989, won Best Solo Show at the Edinburgh Festival and a Fringe First for new writing. Madi holds an M.F.A. in Directing from Temple University, where she is an adjunct professor.

Dan Hodge is the Co-Founding Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Artists Collective where he most recently starred as Adolf in Creditors during the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Previously with Theatre Exile, he received a Barrymore Award for Best Ensemble in a Play for Glengarry Glen Ross. Dan holds an MFA in Acting from the Old Globe Theatre and his BFA in Acting from the University of Evansville.

Robert Daponte will make his fifth appearance with Theatre Exile, having previously performed in Mr. Marmalade (Barrymore Nomination for Best Ensemble), dark play or stories for boys, American Buffalo, and The Lieutenant of Inishmore. Robert has also performed with the Wilma Theater, Flashpoint, EgoPo Classic Theater, Philadelphia Young Playwrights and multiple productions in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Robert studied acting at Bradford College and The National Theater Institute at The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center.

Aimé Donna Kelly is a graduate of The University of the Arts where she obtained her BFA in Acting. Recent credits include: 1812's This Is the Week That Is, Macbeth with Epic Theatre Ensemble, Dividing the Estate at Peoples Light &Theater, Run Mourner Run at Flashpoint Theater Company and Othello with Epic Theatre Ensemble. Aimé is a senior Teaching Artist with Philadelphia Young Playwrights and will premiere her play Planta me en la Tierra with Flashpoint Theater Company this June.

Carl Granieri is an actor, dramaturg and educator who has taught acting, theatre history and rhetoric/discourse at Temple University. His work on Beautiful Confusion Productions' Necropolis was named among the 10 best of the international Prague Fringe festival. He recently appeared in the inaugural season of the professional Temple Repertory company and worked as the dramaturg for Sam Shepard's Buried Child.

Mark Cairns recently appeared in EgoPo's Diary of Anne Frank, Luna's How to Disappear and in The Lantern's A Midsummer Night's Dream. He has also appeared in the Wilma Theater's Macbeth where he also performed in Leaving (Albin), and Rock'N'Roll (Milan). Other credits include Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival's Romeo and Juliet and Pericles, Plays & Players' Oleanna and Flashpoint's Faculty Room.

Director Joe Canuso is the Founder and Producing Artistic Director of Theatre Exile. Canuso has directed numerous Theatre Exile productions including That Pretty Pretty, or The Rape Play, Mr. Marmalade, Red Light Winter, Full Figured/Loves to Dance, The Philly Fan, Last Call, The Gin Game, Cryptome, Burkie, Amputation Nation, Big Blonde, Live at the Apollo Diner, The Frankenharry Plays, Belmont Avenue Social Club and most recently A Behanding in Spokane. He was nominated for the Barrymore Award for Outstanding Direction of a Play for Killer Joe and was part of the Barrymore Award-winning ensemble of Glengarry Glen Ross. In 2009, he was named Best Director by Philadelphia Weekly for Exile's Blackbird. Mr. Canuso has performed in several Theatre Exile productions including the dreamer examines his pillow, Parking, Rocketman, Princess Ivona, Bug, American Buffalo, the world premiere of Any Given Monday by Bruce Graham and most recently in the Philadelphia premiere of Saturn Returns by Noah Haidle.

Single ticket prices are $10-$37, with discounts available for seniors, students, neighbors and industry professionals. Groups of 10+ enjoy significant discounts; please call to inquire about group rates. Call the Theatre Exile Box Office at 215.218.4022, order online at, or visit the box office at 1340 South 13th Street in South Philadelphia (13th & Reed).

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