Theatre Exile will present the first show of their 16th season with the Philadelphia premiere of The Edge of Our Bodies by Adam Rapp. Directed by Exile’s Associate Artistic Director Matt Pfeiffer, of South Philadelphia, and featuring Philadelphia’s rising star and Cheltenham native Nicole Erb, The Edge of Our Bodies will be running in conjunction with the Philadelphia Fringe Festival from September 6th to September 23rd, with the official press opening on September 12th.
The Edge of Our Bodies chronicles a young woman’s intimate journey punctuated by both her need to be heard and an aching desire to disappear. Pulitzer Prize Finalist Adam Rapp whisks audiences on a whirl wind ride of emotions; from an emptied prep school set of The Maids through New England’s landscapes to an unforgiving winter night in New York City. Sixteen year old aspiring writer Bernadette (Erb) recalls her journey to New York City with important news for her boyfriend. Rapp’s achingly articulate writing displays masterful metaphors and similes as the New York Times noted, “striking imagery shimmers through this story of a young women’s sudden journey into adulthood.” Theatre Exile proudly presents this enlightening and literary solo play bursting with poignancy and self-discovery. With its poetic realism and refreshingly unapologetic nature, The Edge of Our Bodies pushes boundaries “beyond The Edge of what we know. Where the skin contains us.”
Director Matt Pfeiffer has called upon an innovative design team to flesh out this unique premiere that relies on the sharp and elegant environmental aspects of Exile’s intimate Studio X. Pfeiffer noted that while the script calls for the play to take place on the set of a prep school’s production of Genet’s The Maids, many additional elements are needed to execute Rapp’s work. Set designer Colin McIlvaine transforms the Studio into a school’s minimalist set in 1930s style with help from Jessica Wallace’s imaginative lighting design, costumes designed by Julia Poiesz and Matthew Given’s sound design.
Theatre Exile continues their legacy of bringing Philadelphia its first taste of the world’s most exciting and adventurous playwrights. They have introduced Philly to Tracy Letts, Noah Haidle, Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, Annie Baker and many other nationally acclaimed playwrights. Now Exile will be the first company in Philadelphia to bring you The Edge of Our Bodies from the mind of Adam Rapp. His provocative style has astonished audiences nationally and internationally for years. His work Red Light Winter was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2006 and received the Joseph Jefferson Award for its production at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Rapp’s other ventures have included directing his first film, Winter Passing with Zooey Deschanel and Will Ferrell in 2005, serving as a creative consultant for the television show The L Word and teaching at The Yale School of Drama.
Theatre Exile is thrilled to work for the first time with one of Philadelphia’s rising stars. Pennsylvania native Nicole Erb is playing the precocious and eloquent Bernadette. Her ability to be both commanding and vulnerable makes her well suited to the eloquent and bold Bernadette. This marks Erb’s first production with Exile and her return to the Philadelphia theatre scene after relocating to Los Angeles. She is thrilled to bring Rapp’s unique work to life and says, “He’s not using an iron fist to get his messages across to the audiences. It makes the play feel very sneaky- it’s quietly surprising. “
Though a newcomer to Exile, she is a seasoned veteran of the Philadelphia theatre community, which she describes as “unbeatable…the greatest community in the world.” She most recently dazzled audiences as Juliet in the Lantern Theatre Company’s Romeo and Juliet and has previously performed in the Fringe Festival in One Flea Spare. Erb earned her BA from Temple University before receiving her MFA from University of California, Irvine. Her other previous Philadelphia credits include: Arabian Nights at The Arden Theatre Company, The Tempest with Act 2 Playhouse and Séance, The Velveteen Rabbit, and The Ugly Duckling with the Mum Puppettheatre. In California, she has worked with the Eclectic Company Theater playing Claire in The Maids, the Summer Repertory Theatre in Barefoot in the Park and Theatre Out. Nicole was nominated for Best Actor/Individual performance by theexaminer.com and broadwayworld.com in Los Angeles and Orange Counties for her work in The Little Dog Laughed at Theatre Out. She made her television debut on the Nickelodeon show Big Time Rush and will appear in the upcoming film, V/H/S being released in early October. She is a student at Upright Citizens Brigade, a member of The Antaeus Company Theater’s Classical Theater Ensemble and a proud Actor’s Equity member.