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Extreme Home Makeover

Written by Makasha Copeland
Directed by Deborah Block
October 28, 2021 — November 21, 2021

Opening Night: November 3, 2021

Theatre Exile, 1340 S. 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147

90 Minutes

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World Premiere!
Directed by Deborah Block
Featuring Yajaira Paredes, Jessy Gruver, Krystal Rosa, and Angel Sigala

Watch 6abc Loves the Arts Feature Extreme Home Makeover!

Extreme Home Makeover by Makasha Copeland paints a human portrait of a contemporary Tejano family willing to go to the extreme for a spot on the popular, rags-to-riches TV show of the same name. Following the Vega family who must fight to make their video application stand out, this earnest satire explores family dynamics in the face of financial hardship. Extreme Home Makeover is a beautifully complex, bold, funny, and hopeful story about a family striving for the American dream and begs the question – in a world where so many receive so little, how much do miracles cost?

All staff and patrons must be masked and vaccinated. Please be ready to present proof of vaccination when entering Theatre Exile.

For our 2021/22 Season FAQs, please click here! 


Show Dates & Times


THU, OCT 28, 7PM – $10
FRI, OCT 29, 8PM – $20
SAT, OCT 30, 8PM – $20
SUN, OCT 31, 3PM – $20
TUE, NOV 2, 7PM – $20
WED, NOV 3, 8PM – $30
THU, NOV 4, 7PM – $30
FRI, NOV 5, 8PM – $35
SAT, NOV 6, 8PM – $35
SUN, NOV 7, 3PM * – $35
WED, NOV 10, 7PM – $30
THU, NOV 11, 7PM * – $30
FRI, NOV 12, 8PM – $35
SAT, NOV 13, 8PM – $35
SUN, NOV 14, 3PM – $35
MON, NOV 15, 7PM – $20
WED, NOV 17, 7PM – $30
THU, NOV 18, NOON – $20
THU, NOV 18, 7PM – $30

FRI, NOV 19, 8PM – $35
SAT, NOV 20, 8PM – $35
SUN, NOV 21, 3PM – $35


“A rich portrait of a clan at a crossroads”

“Makasha Copeland’s [Extreme Home Makeover] balances charm, edge, and pathos tempered with a healthy dose of grit.”

“Deborah Block’s production fires on all cylinders.”

Cameron Kelsall, Broad Street Review

“[Extreme Home Makeover] is a hopeful story about the reality for many Tejano families living in Southern Texas. It also is funny at times and shows the true love of a tight-knit family.”


Brenda Hillegas, Philadelphia RowHome Magazine

“A strong cast that captures both the play’s intermittent humor and its pathos.”

Julia Klein, Philadelphia Inquirer


Read the latest buzz around Extreme Home Makeover by Makasha Copeland

Jessy Gruver (Valentina) is thrilled to be making her Theatre Exile debut! Jessy is a Philly-based actor and singer last seen in Oedipus el Rey with Teatro del Sol, and Daphne’s Dive with South Camden Theater Company. She has performed with the Walnut Street Theatre South Pacific, Arden Theatre Candide, Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre Hunchback of Notre Dame and Seussical, PIFA/Kimmel Center Crystal Palace, Bristol Riverside Theatre Pride and Prejudice, Pirates of Penzance and various Musicales, and the Venetian Macao Resort, among others. Jessy is also a Burlesque artist and producer. Thanks and love to P and E. As always, for J. www.JessicaGruver.com


Yajaira Paredes (Guadalupe) is a Venezuelan actress with an experienced acting career (1980–1995). Yajaira worked in TV as a soap opera co-star, also in theater, and films. In Philadelphia, she took part in a voice-over series for pharmaceutical companies, such as “Pfizer”, “Johnson & Johnson”, and “Astra Zeneca”. She returned to the stage as an actress in NYC (2012) and as an actress/producer in Philadelphia (2013), with “Mujeres de Par en Par,” by Indira Paez, followed with “Passport” by Gustavo Ott, (2014, Fringe Festival in Philadelphia), and “Bodas de Sangre” de Lorca (2016). Presently, she is one of the creators of Teatro del Sol, the first bilingual theater company in Philadelphia.  Most recently, she played the role of Rosellie in “The Sea Voyage” directed by Dan Hodge, PAC, “Good Cuban Girls” by Iraisa Ann Reilly at The Arden Theatre, and “Secret Things” by Elaine Romero with Ariel Theatre (zoom). She currently is starring in “A Thousand Fibers” by Alec M. Hersh, Beacon Theatre, at Taller Puertorriqueno. You can follow her on Instagram: @yajairaparedes.

Angel Sigala (Marco) is an artist born and raised in Mexico City, but delighted to call Philadelphia ‘home’. Proud graduate of Temple University’s School for Theatre, Film, and Media Arts (BA 2018). Select regional credits: Clyde in Bonnie & Clyde (11th Hour Theatre Company), Miguel in How To Use A Knife (InterAct Theatre Company), Bellhop in Lend Me a Tenor (Resident Theatre Company), Al DeLuca, Paul San Marco in A Chorus Line (Bucks County CPA, Ocean City Theatre Company), Doctor in Matilda (The Media Theatre). A big thank you to Makasha Copeland for writing such a beautiful character, and to Deborah Block for allowing me the opportunity to play and explore. Dedicando este momento a mis abuelitas, Lupe y Severina. Las amo con todo mi corazón.

Krystal Rosa (Lupe) is very excited to work with Theatre Exile this season! Moving to Philadelphia from the Poconos has been the best career decision as this is her first professional production. After graduating Temple University she became a member of Power Street Theatre Company where she worked on productions as either an actor, ASM, marketing manager and/or director. PST is her theatre home. Currently, Krystal is a member of Creative Reaction Dance Company where she trains in different hip hop styles. To follow her journey, follow her on Instagram @sometimesimkool. 

Deborah Block (Director, Theatre Exile Producing Artistic Director)

has been a consistent figure in the Philadelphian arts community for over 30 years as a director, dramaturg, producer, curator, choreographer, and educator. Deborah has been with Theatre Exile since 2006 and assumed the position of Producing Artistic Director in 2013. Prior to that, she was one of the founding organizers of Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe (now FringeArts) and was program director for ten years. She received her MFA at Temple University where she taught for nine years. Prior to that, she taught at Rowan University, University of the Arts, and was a teaching artist in many K-12 programs. She has received much recognition for her professional and educational work including receiving the Independence Fellowship in the Arts and the Albert Benzwie Award for playwriting. She is currently on the board of Theatre Philadelphia and has sat on many local and national panels. A sampling of her previous affiliations includes Brat Productions, Theatre Ariel, Philadelphia Young Playwrights Festival, The Wilma Theatre, and the CEC. She has worked on over 50 professional productions. For Theatre Exile, she has directed Babel, Among the Dead, Sing the Body Electric, Guards at the Taj, Smoke, Red Speedo, Cock, The English Bride, Gruesome Playground Injuries, Iron, Hunter Gatherers, dark play or stories for boys, Roosters and collaborated on Heart & Soles

Nic Labadie-Bartz (Stage Manager, they/them) is a freelance stage manager based in Philadelphia. In addition to their work with Theatre Exile, they are an associated artist with Applied Mechanics, and work regularly with them, The Bearded Ladies, and Nichole Canuso Dance Company.  They have also worked with Pig Iron Theatre Company, Headlong, Ninth Planet, New Paradise Laboratories, Orbiter 3, Cursed Church Theatre, Stephanie Blythe, MJ Kaufman, Mary Tuomanen, Annie Wilson, Michael Kiley, Suli Holum, and Martha Stuckey, among others. 

Molly Norris (Stage Manager) Theatre Exile debut. Other: In 8 seasons with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Production Stage Manager, Bring Down the House, Part I, How to Catch Creation. Assistant Stage Manager, Bring Down the House, Part II, Othello; Manahatta; Julius Caesar; Hannah and the Dread Gazebo; The Yeomen of the Guard; The Wiz, and many more. Production Stage Manager, Othello (American Repertory Theater). Stage Manager, Men On Boats (Tantrum Theatre). Stage Manager: A Little Bit of Death (Long Wharf Theatre). Stage Manager, Ashland New Plays Festival. Proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Lian Brody (Assistant Stage Manager / COVID Safety Manager, They/he) is excited to work on their second production with Theatre Exile! They have stage-managed for Philadelphia Young Playwrights, Temple University Theaters, and Philadelphia Theatre Company’s now-disbanded ActOut Summer Camp program where they got their start in theatre working on devised projects with Philadelphia teens in 2013. Lian is interested in new plays, devised work, queer theatre, and drag artistry. When not working as a stage manager, they can be found drawing up tattoo designs and attending or performing in local drag shows. Thanks to Addy, Ollie, Jamie, Justine, and Kimba for their love and support!

Michael Hamlet (Master Electrician) DeSales University, class of 2011, Villanova Theatre ME since 2013, Wilma Theatre ME since 2017, Electrician since 2012. Love to Lauren, my parents, the Group Stass, and the Committee: Ali, D-rak, Erick, George, Jacks, John, Nicole, Steph, and Sydney. Thanks to Jerry, Maria, and Drew.

Nat Merrill (Production Manager) is a sound and technology designer and engineer excited to be working on their second show with Theatre Exile! Based in Philadelphia, they have been sound designer for productions at Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Swarthmore, including Fucking A, Riot Antigone and Cabaret. Professionally, they have worked with New Century Theatre Company in Seattle and the Williamstown Theatre Festival. A recent graduate of Haverford College with a major in physics, they researched and wrote a thesis on acoustics in performance halls with RWTH Aachen University in Aachen, Germany. They are also a singer and composer.

Colin McIlvaine (Scenic Design) Colin is a Philadelphia-based, Barrymore nominated scenic designer named as one of American Theatre Magazine’s 20 People to Watch. Recent credits include: St. Joan (Delaware Theatre Company), Salt Pepper Ketchup (Interact  Theatre), Among the Dead (Theatre Exile). Colin’s recent associate design credits include: A Christmas Carol (Guthrie Theater), Le Roi Arthus (Bard SummerScape), Pipeline (Lincoln  Center). In addition to his freelance career, Colin is adjunct faculty for Villanova University and The University of the Arts. B.A. University of Maryland; MFA Scenic Design Temple  University. www.colinmcilvaine.com

Drew Billiau (Lighting Design) is a freelance lighting designer based in the Philadelphia area. Recent designs include Cycle of My Being and The Drama of Tosca for Opera Philadelphia, The Electric Philadelphia mural in Old City, Sunset 0639 Hours for BalletX and the gallery lighting for Blood Moon at The Fabric and Textile Workshop. Drew has designed numerous shows for such companies as Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Jacobs’ Pillow, New York Theater Workshop, The Joyce, Vail International Dance Festival, Opera Philadelphia, Vancouver Opera, BalletX, Pennsylvania Ballet, Wilma Theater, Portland Ballet, Lucidity Suitcase, New Paradise Laboratories, Theater Exile and The Lantern Theater. Art installation designs include – The Electric Street, Electric Toronto, Electric Alley, Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens and the Los Angeles Ice Cream Museum. Drew is currently the Director of Design & Technology at Opera Philadelphia and an Associate Designer with the corporate/industrial lighting firm Fine Design Associates, inc.

Ariel (Liudi) Wang (Costume Designer) is a freelance Costume Designer and Makeup Designer. She came to the US from Beijing, China for graduate school and achieved her MS in Communication Management and MFA in Costume Design at Temple University. Her recent credits include Costume Designs for Babel, Among the Dead, and virtual production of D-Pad at Theatre Exile, The Chinese Lady at InterAct Theatre Company, Sunset Baby, Ready Steady Yeti Go at Azuka Theatre, Natural Shocks, Cry It Out at Simpatico Theatre, The Weir, Medea at Hedgerow Theatre, A Hundred Words for Snow at Inis Nua Theatre Company, Original devised play In America: That is to Say Nowhere, at Rowan University, and Our Town, The Odyssey at Temple University. See more of her design works at www.arielwangld.com

Mark Valenzuela (Sound Design) has been working as a Sound Designer and engineer for live performance since 2005, and last designed for Theatre Exile back in 2015 on Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Other credits include 11th Hour Theatre Co, Pig Iron, Lantern Theatre Co, Theatre Horizon, 1812 Productions, DTC, InterAct Theatre Co, Act II Playhouse, Milwaukee Rep (Milwaukee WI), Vail Dance Festival (Vail, CO), UArts, and Villanova, Temple, Drexel and Arcadia Universities. In 2019 he traveled to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as Sound Designer and engineer with the #213 Collective.

Avista Custom Theatrical Services, LLC (Prop Designer) owned by Jennifer Burkhart and Amanda Hatch, was founded in 2007. Avista specializes in prop construction, upholstery, drapery, and other soft goods construction, and maintains a 10,000 square foot rental warehouse in Norristown. Avista’s prop master and design work has been seen locally at Opera Philadelphia, Azuka Theatre, Drexel University, Temple University, Maukingbird Theatre, EgoPo Classic Theater, Theatre Exile, Iris Nua Theater, and Kimmel Center Education Department. Avista is especially grateful to be back in the theater scene this year after 18 months of sewing face masks and dog accessories! Welcome back, Philly Theatre! www.avistacustom.com

Noelani Montas (Assistant Scenic Designer) is in her final semester as a Theater Design and Technology major at University of the Arts, and is focusing in set and lighting design. Recent UArts credits include: Pippin (Co-Set Design), Elliot: A Soldier’s Fugue (Production Design), Pop! The Musical Exhibition (Production Design), and Momentos (Ensemble). She is a recipient of the 2021 Pat Mackay Diversity in Design Award, and is also a lighting design mentee in the 2021-2022 Wingspace Mentorship Program. E holomua.

Flannel and Hammer (Scene Shop) is a Philadelphia-based business. The company was founded by Lauren Tracy (Flannel) and Joe Daniels (Hammer). With over 10 years’ experience and 100 productions under their (tool) belts they have the knowledge and skills to bring any scenic construction to life. Their work can be seen onstage here and at Inis Nua, Shakespeare in Clark Park, Azuka Theatre and EgoPo Classic Theater. Beyond the stage they also create custom furniture pieces for your home. See more of our work here at www.flannelhammer.com.Flannel and Hammer (Scene Shop) is a Philadelphia-based business. The company was founded

MK Headshot 1
MK Headshot 1

Makasha Copeland (They/Them) (Playwright) is a playwright, actor, and comedian. Their plays include Extreme Home Makeover (2019 Agnes Nixon Award, San Diego REP, Teatro Espejo, FAU Theatre Lab, Capital Rep), Fabuloso! (Vertigo Productions, Sideshow Theatre), and Pitbull’s B-Day (The Tank). Most recently, they co-created, co-wrote, and performed in sketch-improv-play fusion Madre Mía/Minha Mãe through Ars Nova’s 2020 Camp residency. Currently, they are working on their splits for their next project, STDYCD: So The Dance, a dance-first, comedy-second spectacle at Ars Nova. Makasha is a member of sketch and improv teams Resting Witch Face (iO, Second City) and Social Studies (Brooklyn Comedy Collective). They graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Theatre and Latine Studies, where they performed, wrote, and improvised with The Titanic Players, Griffin’s Tale, Mee-Ow, and Out Da Box.