Today is My Birthday
Written by Susan Soon He Stanton
April 28, 2022 — May 22, 2022
Directed by Cat Ramirez
Opening Night: May 4, 2022
Theatre Exile, 1340 S. 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Julia Klein, Philadelphia Inquirer
Jillian Ivey, Broad Street Review
Brenda Hillegas, Ph
Rebecca Rendell, Talkin' Broadway
Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters (Emily, she/her) is a Barrymore nominated actor and national playwright. She’s a proud member of Actor’s Equity, a playwright with American Theatre Group’s PlayLab, and is Lead Artist of the Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists’ Playwrights Project. Stephanie was last seen in Cowboy vs. Samurai at Hedgerow Theatre and Man of God at InterAct Theatre. Her plays, Half of Chopsticks, was part of Boise Contemporary Theatre’s inaugural BIPOC Playwrights Festival and Acetone Wishes and Plexiglass Dreams will be featured at the Great Plains Theatre Conference in June. Her regional acting credits include Orbiter 3 (Peaceable Kingdom, Barrymore Nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Play), InterAct Theatre Company, Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists, Applied Mechanics, Walnut St. Theatre, & Delaware Theatre Company. Stephanie is a proud graduate of Bucknell University and recently received her MFA in Writing for Screen and Stage at Point Park University. Love to Mom, Dad, Mel, & Dave.
Rachel O’Hanlon-Rodriguez (Hailma, DJ Solange, Goddess Sweet Leilani, Generic Female Voice, Hostess, she/they) is thrilled to make their Theater Exile debut. Rachel is a Philly-based actor, poet, organizer, trauma-informed teaching artist, and facilitator. They are the Operations Associate of Spiral Q and serve as a member of the Artistic Squad of Delaware Shakespeare Theater. Rachel has spent the last decade working with theater companies throughout the region such as Power Street Theatre, Die Cast, The Hum’n’Bards, Philadelphia Young Playwrights, Simpatico Theatre Company, The Wilma Theater, the Arden Theatre, EgoPo Classic Theater, and the International Performing Arts for Youth. Rachel received her Master’s in Theater from Villanova University. Follow Rachel’s creative journey on Instagram @the.inter.section or at www.rachelohanlonrodriguez.com.
Joseph Ahmed (Kurt, Sebastian, DJ Loki, Grandpa Z, Dr. Johannes Connection, Amazingpresence83, Harumi, Landon, he/they) is a Philadelphia-based theater artist whose work sloshes over into dance, circus, and interactive performance. They are a co-founder and worker-owner of the interactive performance company Obvious Agency. His solo performance, Half Magic, was developed through Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists’ Mini-Residency program. Most recently, they were seen in Backing Track (Arden Theatre Company) and QvK (Philadelphia Artists’ Collective). As a director, actor, and more, he has worked throughout Philadelphia with companies such as First Person Arts, Almanac Dance Circus Theatre, Tribe of Fools, the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, Asian Arts Initiative, the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, and Team Sunshine Performance Corporation. He holds a BFA in Theater Arts from Boston University. Learn more and connect at www.josephahmed.com.
Daniel Kim (Dad, Bill Tapia, he/him) is an actor and standup comedian who has appeared across the country. While in Los Angeles, he played the villainous Judge Turpin in the award-winning production of Sweeney Todd at East West Players, the nation’s oldest Asian American theater. Dan also played family friend Stan on Margaret Cho’s sitcom All American Girl. In addition, Dan was a member of the Warner Bros. Comedy Writing Workshop. In Philadelphia, Dan most recently played the role of Atung in The Chinese Lady at Interact Theatre. In addition, Dan appeared in Tiger Style, the inaugural production of Philadelphia Asian Performance Artists (PAPA). At the South Camden Theatre (NJ), Dan played the role of Wong in both the premiere and revival of Fortune Cookies. Dan was also a founding member of the performance group Asians Misbehavin’ (NY & Philly Fringe Festivals, WYBE-TV), as well as the Edge of the World ensemble (NAATCO, LaMama). Dan has performed stand-up comedy at clubs in Chicago (Zanies, Comedy Cottage), New York (Improv, Gotham Comedy Club), and Philadelphia (Comedy Cabaret). Love to Doris, Melody, Maple, and Lolly!
Twoey Truong (Mom, Mrs. Kobayashi, Joyce, Mrs. Asuncion, she/they) is a Philadelphia-based theatre artist originally from Salina, Kansas with an MFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi. Recent theatre credits include A Queer Christmas Carol (Hum’n’bards Theatre Troupe), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare at Stoneleigh), Phaedra’s Love (Svaha Theatre Collective), Marie Antoinette (Curio Theatre Company), and Cymbeline (Revolution Shakespeare). Twoey would like to thank Cat Ramirez and Theatre Exile for this opportunity.
Cat Ramirez (Director, they/he/she) is a Philly-based theatre director and performance producer. Recent collaborations include Villanova University, Temple University, Asian Arts Initiative, Simpatico Theatre, Philly Young Playwrights, Phoenix Theatre, Lxs Primxs, InterAct Theatre Company, and Hedgerow Theatre Company. Cat currently serves as the Creative Director for Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists (PAPA) and as the Staff Producer for the Bearded Ladies Cabaret. They usually aim to make the last sentence of her bio sound deep and meaningful, but right now they just really want to cook all of their friends breakfast sandwiches. Much love to Mom, Dad, Matt, T, and Pete for their continued support and inspiration. catramirez.com
You-Shin Chen(Set Designer, she/her) is a USA-based Taiwanese scenic designer for live performance and film. As a theater practitioner and collaborator, she is committed to diversity and humanity. You-Shin centers humans, both the characters and the viewers, and their experiences in her process of creating a three-dimensional space. She is always curious about human behaviors within a given space. She thinks about how both tangible and intangible elements shape space, and how those elements have an effect on the human psyche. Her design for Eclipsed (Lewis Center for the Arts) is featured in the USA exhibition at the 2019 Prague Quadrennial. She is the recipient of the 2019 Daryl Roth Creative Spirit Award at The Lilly Awards, as well as a Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Scenic Design in 2020. Some of her favorite credits include Wolf Play (Soho Rep), Mlima’s Tale (St. Louis Rep), Troy Anthony’s The Revival: It Is Our Duty (The Shed, NYC),Walden (TheaterWorks Hartford), SKiNFoLK (the Bushwick Starr& National Black Theatre), UGLY & The KILL ONE Race & Wednesday (Raja Feather Kelly & thefeath3r theory), and Mrs. Murray’s Menagerie (ArsNova). She is currently teaching at Muhlenberg College. Member of USA829. www.youshinchen.com
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.
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.
Calvin Anderson (Lighting Designer, he/him/they/them) is a lighting and projection designer as well as production manager. They have a strong pull towards the devised, the radical and the risky, while leaning towards projects with heart and trust. Favorite projects range from dance and theater to live music, opera, cabaret and drag. Career highlights include designing The Method Gun (Wesleyan University), Late Night Snacks 2019 (Bearded Ladies Cabaret/ Philadelphia) Oscar at the Crown (The Neon Coven/ NYC), Orchid Receipt Service (Mirror/Fire Productions/ NYC), Old Man and the Sea (Pittsburgh Playhouse, PA) and Flipzoids (Generator Theater/ Alaska). Calvin was the Lighting Director for Ailey II, and Production Manager for Do You Want a Cookie? (Bearded Ladies Cabaret/ Philadelphia). He is the resident lighting & projection designer and production manager for FJK Dance in New York and has had the privilege to tour the world over with various projects. Calvin is Production Manager for The Bearded Ladies Cabaret. They are also an educator, mentor, and proud member of Wingspace Theatrical Design and United Scenic Artists Local 829. #blacklivesmatter.
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
Anthony Martinez Briggs (Sound Designer, they/he) has a crush on fashionable sneakers, well-cultivated herbs, low lactose cheese, and science fiction novels written by black femme authors. They are a Wilma HotHouse company member, Bearded Ladies Associate Artist, curator, teaching artist, performer, writer, and sound designer. They have been acknowledged by a few accolades and nominations here and there. They are also known as “Us”: emcee and original member of the band ILL DOOTS, seen on theater stages throughout the Philly area as well as music venues across the country. Their recent double album “The Mess/age” is available everywhere; follow @ILLDOOTS because there is more to come!
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! www.avistacustom.com
Julia Franco (Master Electrician) is a Delaware County based electrician. Recent credits: Life is a Dream (Master Electrician: EgoPo Classic Theatre at Theatre Exile), Other World (Show Carpenter: Delaware Theatre Company.) Creator of Live from the Funny Farm Comedy Cellar (Instagram Series.)
Tyler Elliot (Dialect Coach, he/him) Theatre credits include, recently: The Weir, Cowboy v. Samurai (Hedgerow), Romeo and Juliet (Lantern Theater Compan) Twelfth Night (Powell House) Diary of Anne Frank, Dot (People’s Light), and Candles (PYP, World Premiere). He would like to thank his family for their love and support and Theatre Exile for their kindness, care, and commitment to storytelling and authenticity. Naʻu me ka haʻahaʻa and mahalo.
Max Segarnick (Assistant Director) is a student of the Brind School of Theater Arts at UArts. This is his Exile debut! Recent endeavors: Crimson Lit (Polyphone), I and You (Resilience Theatre Group), Pippin (UArts). Thanks to Cat & Deb for the opportunity!
Lian Brody (Assistant Stage Manager, CSO, they/them) is excited to work on their fourth 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, and Kimba for their endless love and support!
Nat Merrill (Sound Engineer) 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.
Susan Soon He Stanton is a playwright, television writer, and screenwriter living between New York and London, originally from ‘Aiea, Hawai’i. Awards and honors include Leah Ryan FEWW, Kilroys’ List 2015-2017. She is an inaugural recipient of the Venturous Playwrights Fellowship with the Lark, and an inaugural recipient of the Lark’s Van Lier Fellowship. She is a two-time Sundance Institute’s Theater Lab Resident Playwright. Writing groups and residencies past and present include New Dramatists, Playwrights Center Core Writer Fellowship, the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages, Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group, SoHo Rep Writer-Director Lab, The Women’s Project Lab, P73’s Interstate 73, Berkeley Rep Ground Floor, MaYi Playwrights Lab, The Civilians R&D Group, Hedgebrook, One Coast Collaboration, and more.
Susan is a producer/writer HBO’s Succession, for which she has won a WGA and Peabody Award. Upcoming television work includes HBO/Sister Picture’s THE BABY, Amazon’s Modern Love, Amazon/Annapurna’s Dead Ringers, Hulu/Element Pictures/BBC’s Conversation with Friends adapted from the novel by Sally Rooney, as well as several projects in development.
Susan holds a BFA from NYU Tisch’s Dramatic Writing program and an MFA from Yale School of Drama, where she received the Audrey Woods Fellowship and the Eugene O’Neill Memorial Scholarship.