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The Light

Written by Loy A. Webb
Directed by J. Paul Nicholas
February 2, 2023 — February 26, 2023

Opening Night: February 8, 2023

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

70 minutes, no intermission

“Explosive and Exquisite” – Stage Left

Not every marriage proposal goes as planned. What started as the happiest day of a loving couple’s lives quickly unravels when ground-shifting accusations from the past surface. What The New York Times calls “compelling” and “visceral”, The Light by Loy A. Webb is a real-time rollercoaster ride of laughter, romance, and despair that uncovers how the power of love can be a healing beacon of light.

View our photo gallery here


THU, FEB 2, 7PM- $10 – Sold Out
FRI, FEB 3, 8PM- $20
SAT, FEB 4, 8PM- $20 
SUN, FEB 5, 3PM- $20 
TUE, FEB 7, 7PM- $20
WED, FEB 8, 7PM- Sold Out 
THU, FEB 9, 7PM- $30
FRI, FEB 10, 8PM- $35
SAT, FEB 11, 8PM- $40
SUN, FEB 12, 3PM* – $40
WED, FEB 15, 7PM- $30
THU, FEB 16, 7PM*– $30 
FRI, FEB 17, 8PM- $35
SAT, FEB 18, 8PM- $40
SUN, FEB 19, 3PM- $40
MON, FEB 20, 7PM- $35
WED, FEB 22, 7PM- $30
THU, FEB 23, 7PM- $30

FRI, FEB 24, 8PM- $35
SAT, FEB 25, 8PM- $40
SUN, FEB 26, 3PM- $40


*The Light by Loy A. Webb contains explicit language and discussion of sexual assault*



Ang(ela) Bey (Genesis) is a multidisciplinary artist from Southwest Philadelphia. They are thrilled to return to Exile where they performed in D-Pad, directed abSolution (Studio Xhibition), and assistant-directed The Ever Present and Wolf Play. Ang is founder of Upstream Performance Collaborative and the Co-Artistic Director of Shoe Box Theatre Collective. They are a cohort member of the Echoes Writers Group (Primary Stages) and Rising Writers (Azuka Theatre). Selected credits[design] costumes for A Hit Dog Will Holler (Azuka; Barrymore-recommended), costumes and scenic for First Quarter Moon (Gumbo Lab), costumes for The Medusa Play (Shoe Box Theatre Collective, Barrymore-recommended), and costumes for COMET (Upstream Performance Collaborative) [acting] Fabulation (Lantern Theater), Young Money (Azuka; BroadwayWorld “Best Actor” and “Best Play” nominations), and COMET; [playwriting] The Medusa Play, MASC. (Rising Writers), COMET, Every Everyman (Shakespeare in Clark Park), A Soft Landing (Elevate Theatre Company), The 24 Hour Plays: Philadelphia, and two commissions from Christ Church Neighborhood House and the Museum of the American Revolution; [directing] The Medusa Play, and The Taming! (Shakespeare in Clark Park), and Water By the Spoonful (Eagle Theatre). Learn more at angbey.com. Angela dedicates their performance to survivors everywhere. You are believed, loved, and not alone. The 24-hour Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-866-723-3014 for crisis intervention, safety planning, resources and referrals. All calls are free, confidential and anonymous.

Abdul Sesay (Rashad) is a graduate from Temple University. While pursuing a degree in Media studies and Production he often found himself hanging around Tomlinson Theater or Annenburg Hall on campus. There he would take acting classes; watch, audition and perform in plays and get to know theater students. He also got involved in the film department and developed an affinity for live and digital sketch comedy. Since graduating, he has had the opportunity to work with EgoPo Classic Theatre, Delaware Shakespeare, Theatre Ariel and Philadelphia Artist Collective and Theater in the X. He is honored and overjoyed to play Rashad in Theatre Exile’s production of The Light.

Paul Nicholas (Director) is excited to be back home at Theatre Exile, where he has previously worked as an actor and a fight choreographer, and won a Barrymore Award for his performance in Exile’s The Invisible Hand. He was most recently an Associate Artist with Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota FL. His most prominent directing credits include off-off-Broadway productions of The Merry Wives of Windsor and The Water Children, and Wittenberg and Yellowman, both at Henley Street Theatre in Richmond VA. As an actor, Paul has worked at theaters all over the country, and appeared in 8 network TV series, including Mare of Easttown opposite Kate Winslet. He is currently playing NYPD Detective Mike Adams on FBI. Paul has an MFA from The Academy for Classical Acting at GWU, and is also a proud member of the Lincoln Center Theater’s Directors Lab. Please visit www.jpaulnicholas.com

Natali Merrill (Sound Designer) is a sound and technology designer and engineer excited to return to Theatre Exile! Based in Philadelphia, she has been the sound designer for productions including Spring Awakening (Bryn Mawr College), High Noon (Ninth Planet), Shakespeare’s R&J (New Light Theatre Company), Fucking A (Swarthmore College), Riot Antigone and Cabaret (Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges). She has worked with Theatre Exile, 11th Hour Theatre Company, the Bearded Ladies Cabaret, New Century Theatre Company in Seattle, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival. A graduate of Haverford College with a major in physics, she researched and wrote a thesis on acoustics in performance halls with RWTH Aachen University in Aachen, Germany. She is also a singer and composer. www.nmerrill.com

Nick Embree (Scenic Designer) is very pleased to join Exile’s team for his first show here! He has designed sets for 150+ productions in Philadelphia and the region – most recently Travesties for Lantern Theater Company. Nick is an Associate Professor in the University of the Arts’ Theater Design and Technology program, which he initiated in 2004. He also serves as co-head of UARTS’ Film Design Program. Nick is a member of USA 829.

Avista Custom Theatrical Services, LLC (Properties), 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 and Temple Universities, Maukingbird Theatre, EgoPo Classic Theater, Theatre Exile, Inis 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 theater! www.avistacustom.com

Drew Billiau (Lighting Designer) is a freelance lighting designer based in the Philadelphia area. Recent designs include the Samsung booth for the Consumer Electronics Show, Travesties for Lantern Theater, Rigoletto for Opera Philadelphia, Death of A Driver for Interact Theater 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, 1812 Productions and The Lantern Theater. Art installation designs include – The Electric Street, Electric Toronto, Electric Philadelphia, 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.

Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon (Dramaturg) PhD (Cultural Anthropology), M.A. (Anthropology), MFA (Theater), Graduate Certificate) Women’s Studies, B.A. (Journalism); is an Associate Professor of Urban Theater and Community Engagement and President of the Faculty Senate at Temple University. Author of Through Smiles and Tears: The History of African American Theater (From Kemet to the Americas) (Lambert Academic Publishing, 2011); The Secret Messages in African American Theater: Hidden Meaning Embedded in Public Discourse” (Edwin Mellen Publishing, 2006), she has had over 34 productions of her plays, her stage credits include over 20 productions, 8 one-woman shows and she has performed poetry in over 120 national and international venues. A contributing poet to 44 anthologies, 11 books of poetry, 9 book chapters, 10 journal articles and 2 books on African American Theater.

Melody Wong (Stage Manager) is thrilled to be working with Theater Exile. Recent credits include Dreamgirls with Theater in the X, Di Hati Ku with Fleisher Art Memorial and Modero & Co, In Search of the Kitchen Gods with 1812, Group!, Janet Wide Awake and Ok Trenton with Passage Theatre. The Ongoing Plight of the Ferryman at Plays and Players. Additional credits: SM for; TURN! Polly Mope, Lashed but not Leashed, Black Light, The Outer Space, The Kinetic Tree, PIFA 2016 at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Minorityland with PowerStreet Theater, The Wiz with Theater in the X, Tiger Style with Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists, Master Harold and the Boys, with EgoPo Classic Theater, Barrymore Awards 2018/2019, ASM Whitman! Contradict this! with Bearded Ladies Cabaret, Assistant to the Director for the live capture of La Triviata, Turandot, The Marriage of Figaro with Opera Philadelphia. ”

Miranda Watkins (Assistant Stage manager & COVID Compliance Officer) is thrilled to be working with Theatre Exile for the first time! Their recent stage managing and assistant stage managing credits include Dance Nation with Temple University, Dreamgirls with Theatre in the X, and Reverie with Azuka Theatre. Miranda is currently pursing their BFA in Technical Production and Management at Temple University.

Nick Schwasman (Technical Director) is theater artist and technician based in Philadelphia, PA. He has a BFA in Musical Theater from The University of the Arts, and a graduate certificate in devised performance from UArts / Pig Iron School. He was a co-founder/co-director of Drip Symphony, a local experimental performance company from 2017-2020. He has worked with Pig Iron Theater Company, Lighting Rod Special, Brian Sanders JUNK, David Gordon, The Renegade Company / Mike Durkin, Arden Theater Company, Lantern Theater Company, Plays & Players, and Philadelphia Scenic Works.

Janet Embree (Production Manager) is thrilled to be joining the team at Theatre Exile. She has managed productions at Lantern Theater Company, Opera Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Ballet and Philadelphia Artist’s Collective, among others. She spent several years at the University of the Arts where she taught and managed productions in theater, dance and music. She also does professional upholstery for the stage and screen; one of her favorite projects can be seen in the 2018 Grammy Awards.