Press Release: Ideation

September 2017
Expect the unexpected in Theatre Exile’s Philadelphia premiere of Ideation by Aaron Loeb
Described by The New York Times as “a psychological game, one that’s both amusing and intriguing to play.”
October 12 – November 5, 2017

PHILADELPHIA – Theatre Exile is thrilled to kick off its 2017/2018 season with Ideation by Aaron Loeb. Ninety minutes from now, a group of stressed-out corporate consultants is slated to present their work on a mysterious project. It's time to brainstorm within the morally ambiguous parameters they've been given so they can make it to their kids' soccer games and continue their ill-advised affairs. But as they work, the question of what they aren't being told looms ever larger, becoming harder to ignore. If something truly monstrous is going on, it wouldn't be happening over Starbucks scones... would it? A ferocious and hilarious thriller.

The rest of the season includes the Philadelphia premiere of Really by Jackie Sibblies Drury, January 25-February 18 and the world premiere of Sing the Body Electric by Michael Hollinger, April 19-May13.

Ideation begins Thursday, October 12, 2017 and opens Wednesday, October 18, 2017. 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, October 18, 2017 at 8pm. For ticket arrangements, contact Sara Madden at or 215-218-4022.

Ideation director Joe Canuso is warning audiences to “expect the unexpected” with this production. “We live in such turbulent times, where nothing is as it seems and all of our assumptions are questioned and turned on their head. This play will do just that for the audience, as it does for the characters in the show.” In light of this ethically ambiguous time, Canuso anticipates audiences digging into ideas of morality and asking “what decisions about the fate of millions of people are being made right now around what conference table?”

Ideation continues Exile’s history of elusive, narrative-driven, ensemble work. Canuso is excited to direct two Theatre Exile veterans, Allen Radway and William Zielinski, while welcoming to the stage three newcomers, D’Arcy Dersham, Alex Hughes, and Harry Watermeier.

Production History
Ideation was originally written in the Just Theater New Play Lab in Oakland, CA; developed in the Bay Area Playwrights Festival; and world premiered at San Francisco Playhouse, San Francisco, CA, under Bill English, Artistic Director in 2013. It won the Will Glickman Award for best new to play to premiere in the Bay Area in 2013. Since then it has been produced across the country in such theaters as Capitol Stage in Sacramento, CA; Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company in Boulder, CO; and Urbanite Theatre in Sarasota, FL.

About the Playwright
Aaron Loeb is a San Francisco Bay Area playwright whose work has been performed around the country. His full-length plays include The Proud, Alcestis (Doesn't Live Here Anymore), Brown, First Person Shooter, Blastosphere (with Geetha Reddy), and Abraham Lincoln's Big, Gay Dance Party, which had its Off-Broadway premiere in 2010. Among the honors Loeb has received are: two Bay Area Theater Critic Circle Awards for Best New Play (First Person Shooter in '07, ALBGDP in '08), Outstanding Play from the New York International Fringe Festival (ALBGDP'09), GLAAD Media Award Nominee (ALBGDP '09), and seven "Emerging Playwright Awards" from PlayGround. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, Inc and a Playwrights Foundation resident playwright.

About the Director
Joe Canuso is the Founding Artistic Director of Theatre Exile and has directed many of their shows including Lost Girls, Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?, Annapurna, A Behanding in Spokane, That Pretty Pretty, Mr. Marmalade, Red Light Winter, The Gin Game, Burkie, and Belmont Avenue Social Club, as well as the world premieres of Rizzo, Last Call, Amputation Nation, Cryptome, Big Blonde, Live at the Apollo Diner, The Frankenharry Plays, and Tommy And Me by Ray Didinger. He was nominated by the Barrymore Awards for Outstanding Direction of a Play three times and was named Best Director in 2009 by The Philadelphia Weekly for Blackbird. He was nominated as Best Director for a Phindie Award for The North Plan in 2013 and won in 2015 for Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? He was part of Exile’s Barrymore Award winning ensemble for Glengarry Glen Ross in 2007. He has performed internationally in London, Prague and throughout Italy.

Cast and Design Team
The cast features D’Arcy Dersham making her Theatre Exile debut as Hannah, Alex Hughes making his Theatre Exile debut as Sandeep, Allen Radway (That Pretty Pretty; or The Rape Play, Hearts & Soles) as Brock, Harry Watermeier making his Theatre Exile debut as Scooter, and William Zielinski (The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Shining City, Bug) as Ted.
The artistic team includes Set Designer Colin McIlvaine (Lost Girls, Guards at the Taj, The Invisible Hand, Smoke, Red Speedo, Cock, The English Bride, The Edge of our Bodies), Costume Designer Katherine Fritz (Tommy & Me, Rizzo, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Annapurna, The North Plan), Lighting Designer Robin Stamey, Sound Designer Liz Atkinson (Lost Girls), Props Master Alicia Crosby, Fight Director Jacqueline Holloway, and Dialect Coach Melanie Julian (The Invisible Hand, Cock, The English Bride, Knives in Hens, The North Plan, Iron).


Season Sponsors: Bruce and Giuliana Zallie and Zallie ShopRite Supermarkets

Honorary Producers: June and Steve Wolfson
Associate Producers: Gayle and David Smith

Special Events and Opportunities

Post-Show Discussions
Sunday, October 22 after the 3pm performance
Thursday, October 26 after the 7pm performance

Ticket prices range from $10-$50. Ticket are available at 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 Ideation 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.