Season

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One. All it takes is one voice… to change the world.

Plays & Players, a Philadelphia institution for over 100 years, offers you theater that reflects our city. This season, we take a look at what a single voice can… and can’t… do. Those who speak up, those who speak out, and those who remain silent. Five one person shows. A chorus of voices. Join us in these amazing stories told with passion, humor, and uniquely personal aplomb.

The Disappearing Quarterback
September 20-27, 2014

Written and Performed by Mike Boryla
Directed by Daniel Student

“[A] highly enjoyable, attention-commanding world premiere at Plays and Players… a compelling, deeply human story that blends a dash of Spalding Gray, the existential quest of Beckett’s hobos, and the beauty of a tightly thrown spiral.”

-Jim Rutter, Philadelphia Inquirer.

Mike Boryla was the starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles from 1974-1976. He had everything he wanted. But he didn’t want what he had. Two years later, he quit professional football and… disappeared. In a World Premiere encore performance of his hit one-man show that debuted in January at Plays & Players, he returns to Philadelphia for the first time in over 35 years to tell the story of walking away from the sport and the teammates, he loved. With the average life expectancy of a professional football player reported at 55, the effects of concussions becoming ever more clear, and even our president speaking out against its future, should “America’s Game”… disappear? A play for football fanatics and amateurs alike, The Disappearing Quarterback puts you inside the helmet of a unique athlete, a self-described “long-haired hippie,” with a passionate purpose and a story to share as he comes home to the city that made him famous.

Mike BorylaPhoto credit: Trevor Reynolds

Click the above to read the full Philadelphia Inquirer review!

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P.L.A.Y. (Philadelphia Local Artists for Youth)
November 6-23, 2014

A world premiere commission written by Jeremy Gable
Performed by Jennifer MacMillan

A “one person show to be named later” is the second installment of a new yearly series, P.L.A.Y. (Philadelphia Local Artists for Youth), that entertains and inspires theater goers of all ages!  Written by a local playwright with a focus on original and local stories, this imaginative new program offers a theatrically immersive, interactive experience for young audiences, engaging their creativity to help build and spark each performance, sharing living stories that capture the magic all around us.

Jennifer MacMillan

Click the above to learn more about Jennifer MacMillan!

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Voices of a People’s History of the United States
January 29-31, 2015

Based on the book edited by Howard Zinn
Directed by John Doyle
Performed by Bob Weick as Howard Zinn and a cast of other Philadelphia favorites

Voices brings to life speeches, letters, poems, and songs from the extraordinary history of ordinary people who built the movements that made the United States what it is today: ending slavery and Jim Crow, protesting war and genocide, advancing gay and women’s rights, and struggling to right wrongs of the day.

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Hold These Truths
February 12-March 1, 2015

Directed by Daniel Student
Written by Jeanne Sakata
Performed by Makoto Hirano

“The powerful and moving story of one man, who, in his own words, ‘could not give up on the Constitution.’” – StageScene LA

Hold These Truths tells a story, buried by history, of one American’s attempt to reconcile his love for a country that labeled him a second class citizen. Gordon Hirabayashi’s real life 50-year journey brings us the astonishing facts of Japanese Internment, the US government’s orders to forcibly remove and mass incarcerate all people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast, through the eyes of a Quaker college student who was simply looking for love and the American Dream. When confronted with the ultimate challenge to his freedom, Gordon embarks on a truly profound and brave defense of our constitution, taking him on a wild adventure of discovering his Quaker faith, hitchhiking to prison, and ultimately, challenging the law in the highest court in the land… twice.  Join Philadelphia actor Makoto Hirano as he gives voice to over thirty characters in this one-man tour-de-force regional premiere, and celebrate the triumph of the power one person has to change a nation.

MakotoHiranoHeadshot

Click the above to learn more about Makoto Hirano

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Homebody/My Name is Rachel Corrie
May 21-June 7, 2015

Homebody – Written by Tony Kushner
Performed by Corinna Burns
My Name is Rachel Corrie – taken from the writings of Rachel Corrie, edited by Alan Rickman and Katharine Viner
Performed by Isa St. Clair

“[My Name is Rachel Corrie’s] inevitable sentimental power is in its presentation of a blazing young life that you realize is on the verge of being snuffed out.”

-Ben Brantley, New York Times

“Our minds rush to keep up with the Homebody, and our hearts race with more emotions than we can sort through, as she alternately reads from the book and tells her own story.”

-Nancy Franklin, The New Yorker

Plays & Players pairs two contemporary one-woman shows about the complex relationship between the Middle East and the Western world. Homebody, straight from the brilliant mind of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner, hilariously tackles the topic through the eyes of a British housewife sitting in her kitchen, contemplating the Western interpretation of Kabul, Afghanistan, her dysfunctional family and hats. In a world of global isolation, she struggles with questions that thousands of years of civilization have failed to answer. My Name is Rachel Corrie is based on the diaries and emails of the titular American college student who met her death on the Gaza Strip in 2003, revealing the voice of a joyful and brilliant woman who celebrated life to its fullest and was lost to the world too soon. Corrie’s journey from the whimsical poetry of childhood to the essays of idealistic youth inspires us to see the best in others while giving us an unflinching look at the bleak socio-political situation that is Israel. Together, these beautifully contrasting and complementary shows take us past the images we see on television, straight into the hearts of our so-called “enemies,” and show us both the limits and vastness of our ability to understand each other.

Isa St. Clair

Corinna Burns

Click the above photos to learn more about Isa St. Clair and Corinna Burns

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