Press Release: Really

December 2017
Explore the complexity of humanity in Theatre Exile’s Philadelphia premiere of Really by Jackie Sibblies Drury
Described by The Boston Globe “as a reminder of the limits to our true knowledge of even the human beings we’re closest to.” 
January 25 – February 18, 2018
PHILADELPHIA – Theatre Exile continues its 2017/2018 season with Really by Jackie Sibblies Drury. In the studio she once shared with her boyfriend Calvin, a photographer poses Calvin’s mother for a portrait. Like many artists, she struggles to capture on film what she envisions in her mind. As the photo shoot progresses, the women grapple with their memories of the man who was once the center of their lives.
In the age of selfies, Really examines the particular and diverse lenses through which we see ourselves, each other, and our place in the world.
Really begins Thursday, January 25, 2018 and opens Wednesday, January 31, 2018.  All performances are being held at the Latvian Society, 531 N. 7th Street.
Critics and members of the press are invited to attend Press Night on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at 8pm.  For ticket arrangements, contact Sara Madden at or 215-218-4022.
“I love the way Really overlaps time, meaning, and personal experiences into a beautiful collage. It is at once a piece about human beings dealing with loss, the distance between the two very different women, and a moving treatise on art and how the canon of white male artists can create a vacuum. Really is not a clear-cut story but one where the inner lives of the characters are slowly revealed. Their pain slowly comes into focus like a photograph developing before your eyes, but so does their love.” describes Really director, Brenna Geffers.  “I think that is Theatre Exile’s secret superpower; the work is driven by an engine of love. Love can be dark and even destructive sometimes, but when I think of pieces like American Buffalo, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Guards at the Taj, and so many of my favorite Exile shows, it is the love between the characters that Exile really focuses on. I hope Really will live up to that legacy.”
Geffers is no stranger to Theatre Exile.  Formerly part of the artistic team and having directed Saturn Returns in 2011 and Knives in Hens in 2012 she is thrilled to be “Back in Exile”. She is especially excited to be collaborating with set designer Thom Weaver as they work together to create a “special place for the audience to experience and then reflect on Really.”
Production History
Really premiered in 2016 at New York City Players, at Abrons Arts Center under Artistic Director Richard Maxwell. Since then it has been produced at Company One Theatre in Boston, MA; Undermain Theatre in Dallas, TX; and Kickshaw Theatre in Ann Arbor, MI.
About the Playwright
Jackie Sibblies Drury is a Brooklyn-based playwright. Her plays include We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as South West Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915, Really, Social Creatures and And now I only dance at weddings. The presenters of her plays include Soho Rep, New York City Players & Abrons Arts Center, Victory Gardens, Trinity Rep, Matrix Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, Undermain Theatre, InterAct Theatre, Actors Theater of Louisville, Available Light, Company One, and The Bush Theatre in London. Drury has developed her work at Sundance, The Bellagio Center, The Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep, A.C.T., The Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, New York Theatre Workshop, PRELUDE.11&14, The Civilians, The Bushwick Starr, The LARK, The Magic Theatre, The Bay Area Playwrights Festival and The MacDowell Colony. She was a dramaturg for Zero Cost House by Pig Iron Theatre Company & Toshiki Okada and The Garden by Nichole Canuso Dance Company. She received the 2012-2014 Jerome Fellowship at The LARK and a 2015 Windham-Campbell Literary Prize in Drama.  She is a 2015 United States Artists Gracie Fellow and a NYTW Usual Suspect.
About the Director
Brenna Geffers is a theater-maker and director based in Philadelphia. She has been nominated for Oustanding Direction, Oustanding Choreography, and Outstanding New Play under the Barrymore Awards and has been named Best Director by the Philadelphia Critics' Choice. She has created many new works for theater, opera, and museums like her immersive choose-your-own-adventure opera, Shadow House. She also creates highly dynamic and stylized versions of classic texts like Machinal and Marat/Sade, as well as contemporary pieces like Knives in Hens and Lulu's Golden Shoes. 
Brenna is a founding member of Die-Cast , a theater group dedicated to creating work for non-traditional spaces. She has been an Artist-In-Residence at the historic Powel House in Philadelphia and a member of the Philadelphia Opera Collective. She has been part of the artistic teams for Theatre Exile, EgoPo Classic Theater, Flashpoint Theatre, Rebel Theater in NYC and more.
Cast and Design Team
The cast features Nancy Boykin making her Theatre Exile debut as Mother, Jessica Johnson (Studio X-hibition reading of the history of walking) as Girlfriend, and Matteo Scamell (Buzzer, Smoke) as Calvin.
The artistic team includes Set Designer Thom Weaver (Buzzer, Tommy & Me, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Whale, Annapurna, Knives in Hens, The Aliens), Costume Designer LeVonne Lindsay, Lighting Designer Amanda Jensen, Sound Designer Chris Sannino, and Props Master Alicia Crosby (Ideation).
Season Sponsors: Bruce and Giuliana Zallie and Zallie ShopRites Supermarkets
Honorary Producers: Linda and David Glickstein
Special Events and Opportunities
Post-Show Discussions
Sunday, February 4 after the 3pm performance
Thursday, February 8 after the 7pm performance
Ticket prices range from $10-$50. Tickets are available through Theatre Exile’s Box Office by calling 215-218-4022; visiting; coming to the Theatre Exile Administrative Office, located at 2329 South 3rd Street on the third floor; or arriving to the Box Office for Really an hour before each performance, located at the Latvian Society, 531 N. 7th Street.
Theatre Exile is a nonprofit theater company dedicated to enhancing the cultural experiences of Philadelphians through the staging of works that engage the imagination. We produce challenging plays that explore the complexities of the human condition and contain a sense of Philadelphia grit and passion. We strive to reach new theater audiences throughout the community by presenting both new works as well as established plays that are often reinterpreted in original ways.
We believe in freedom of expression formulated through innovation, exploration and provocation. At the same time, we provide a safe and creative environment in which local artists can grow, experiment and find their own voice.