Feature photo of Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters and Joseph Ahmed by Paola Nogueras
South Philly’s Theatre Exile wraps up their incredible 25th anniversary season with Today Is My Birthday by award-winning screenwriter and playwright Susan Soon He Stanton. The show- told through phone calls, a radio show, and texts- explores our connections to one another in a time when connection is truly needed.
We are made up of thousands of others. Emily (Stephanie Kyung-Sun Walters) is about to turn 30 and recently returned home to Hawaii after a dream life in NYC falls apart. Back home, she’s struggling to find a job, find a sense of belonging, and stay in touch with the people who have shaped her. They’re all changing too. The rest of the cast is played by Joseph Ahmed, Daniel Kim, Rachel O’Hanlon Rodriguez, and Twoey Truong who each take on multiple roles as the friends and family Emily interacts with on a daily basis.
But how much does Emily actually interact with them? Though characters appear on stage together, their conversations aren’t actually taking place “in real life”, rather through the screens we seem to rely on every day. Today Is My Birthday is funny and heartbreaking as we learn who Emily is and as she learns more about the people she thought she knew. She realizes (as does the audience) how little we actually know about one another and what we can find out if we take the time to really listen.
Today Is My Birthday, directed by Cat Ramirez, plays through May 22nd. Tickets are available here, so pick up your phone, text a friend and invite them out to see a show with you. In person. Add on diner or coffee and be sure to ask how their life is going.
Read our interview with the cast and director here.
Thanks for allowing me to experience this amazing season, Theatre Exile. Can’t wait to catch up with you in the fall.