North of the Boulevard – Press Release

Media Contact: Max Vasapoli • (215) 218-4022 • max@theatreexile.org

Red, White and Blue Collar
Theatre Exile Presents
North of the Boulevard
By Bruce Graham
Directed by Matt Pfeiffer
Studio X, 13th & Reed Sts.

For Immediate Release:
Philadelphia, PA – Theatre Exile will present the final production of their 16th season with the World Premiere of North of the Boulevard by Bruce Graham. Exile’s Associate Artistic Director Matt Pfeiffer, of South Philadelphia, will direct veteran Philadelphia actors Scott Greer, Brian McCann, Bill Rahill and Lindsay Smiling. North of The Boulevard will run from April 18 to May 19, with the official press opening on April 24, 2013 at 8pm.

From the razor-sharp wit and distinct dialogue of Bruce Graham comes a blue collar comedy about a decaying garage in a declining neighborhood. North of the Boulevard introduces audiences to four lifelong friends from the wrong side of the tracks. Now grown men, Trip (Greer), Bear (Smiling), Zee (Rahill) and Larry (McCann) meet daily in a run-down auto body shop as their neighborhood crumbles into political corruption and criminal activity.

These childhood friends and a cantankerous old man struggle to make sense of their dead-end lives. They picture peeling matching McDonalds Monopoly game pieces as a means to collect a 401K. Living on pipe dreams, they seek the limitless opportunities lying dormant just over the boulevard. But when a chance event gives the friends the opportunity to get out of their crumbling neighborhood, morality may have to take a backseat to prosperity.

Using unabashed humor and fearless honesty, North of the Boulevard paints a vividly candid picture of class politics, gentrification and survival in the modern urban city. With an all star cast, smart direction and a finely built script, this production is sure to be an absorbing window into the lives of the other 99%.

Theatre Exile is pleased to present Graham’s latest work after its well received reading during their Studio X-hibition New Play Development Series last season. Philadelphia playwright Bruce Graham is one of Theatre Exile’s favorite collaborators. North of the Boulevard is the 6th Graham play produced by Exile and the 4th world premiere. Exile previously produced Graham’s The Philly Fan, which continues to play all over Philadelphia and surrounding areas. Theatre Exile also produced the world premiere of the Barrymore award winning Any Given Monday (2011), which received an Off-Broadway run in October 2011.

Director Matt Pfeiffer has called upon an innovative design team to flesh out this unique premiere that relies on the sharp and engrossing environmental aspects of Exile’s intimate Studio X (13th and Reed Streets). Barrymore Award Winning Set Designer Matt Saunders (Hearts & Soles, Glengarry Glen Ross, Mr. Marmalade, Roosters, Bug- Barrymore Award, Blackbird, American Buffalo) converts the performance space into a garage with drill bits, tires and a car to outfit the Lighting Design by Thom Weaver (A Behanding in Spokane, Knives in Hens – Barrymore Award, The Aliens, Lieutenant of Inishmore, Shining City, American Buffalo) the Costume Design of Alison Roberts (Hunter Gatherers, Any Given Monday, Iron, Bug, American Buffalo, Lieutenant of Inishmore, Gruesome Playground Injuries, The English Bride) and the Sound Design of Zachary Brown, new to the Exile stage.


Bruce Graham (Playwright), dubbed the “the unofficial dean of Philadelphia playwrights by Philadelphia Weekly,” is the recipient of two Drama Desk Awards and The Rosenthal Prize for Coyote on a Fence. Something Intangible and Any Given Monday won consecutive Barrymore Awards in 2009 and 2010 for Best New Play. He spent eight years as Playwright-in-Residence at the Philadelphia Festival Theater for New Plays and has seen his work produced locally at the Philadelphia Theatre Company (The Outing Tide), People’s Light & Theatre (Mr. Hart & Mr. Brown), and Arden Theatre and regionally at George Street Playhouse, Urban Stages, the Hudson Guild, Capital Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse, and Long Wharf. His film credits include Dunston Checks In, Anastasia, Steal This Movie and Ring of Endless Light which was the Humanitas Award Winner for Best Children’s Screenplay. Graham has received grants from the Pew Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Princess Grace Foundation (Statuette Award Winner) and the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative. He is a two-time winner of an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award. Along with Michele Volansky, he is the author of the book The Collaborative Playwright. Graham is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and teaches film and theatre courses at Drexel University.

Cast and Crew
Director Matt Pfeiffer is a Philly born actor and director who serves as the Associate Artistic Director of Theatre Exile. For Exile he has directed such productions as Bug, Glengarry Glen Ross, American Buffalo, Shining City, The Lieutenant of Inishmore and The Edge of Our Bodies. Other directing credits include: Arden Theatre, Walnut Street Theatre, 1812 Productions, Delaware Theatre Company, Two River Theatre, Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, Brat Productions, Lantern Theatre and 15 seasons with the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. Matt is a five time Barrymore nominee and recipient of the F. Otto Haas Award.

Scott Greer (Tripp) last appeared with Exile in Shining City. Scott is a 20 year veteran of Philadelphia theatre and has worked for the Arden, Walnut St., 1812 Productions, Wilma, Peoples Light and many more. Regionally, he has worked for Actors Theatre of Louisville, Round House, and the Pearl Theatre in New York. He has won four Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre including the prestigious F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Theatre Artist.

Brian McCann (Larry) has been seen on the Exile stage in Glengarry Glen Ross, The Lieutenant of Inishmore and Rhinoceros. This season he has performed in A Slow Air (Inis Nua), Pookie Goes Grenading (Azuka Theater), To Fool the Eye (1812) and King Lear (Germantown Academy). Other recent credits include: A Very Merry XMas Carol Holiday Adventure Show (Berserker Residents), Run, Mourner, Run (Flashpoint Theatre Company) and The Duchess of Malfi (Philadelphia Artist Collective). Brian is a 14 year member of Comedy Sportz.

Bill Rahill (Zee) is thrilled to be working with Theatre Exile again. Past Exile credits include Burkie, Belmont Avenue Social Club, Big Blonde, Glengarry Glen Ross and The Edge of Our Bodies. Bill is a member of the Iron Age Theatre Company located in Norristown.

 

Lindsay Smiling (Bear) is thrilled to make his Theater Exile debut. Recent credits include Othello, Measure for Measure, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Beautiful Boy, Superior Donuts, Blue Door, and Treasure Island. Mr. Smiling has performed with Wilma Theater, Walnut Street Theater, People’s Light and Theatre Co., Pittsburgh Public, Two River Theatre, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, and Bristol Riverside Theatre. He received his B.S from I.S.U. and a M.F.A from Temple University.