Pamela Riley is a retired theater director and professor of literature and drama. Most recently she taught at Colorado College and the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Old City, Philadelphia.
By this Author
Theatre Exile's 'The North Plan'
When paranoids are realists
Who are our “enemies”? Who gets to decide? You could listen to diatribes on MSNBC or Fox News about these issues, or you could see this seriously funny, serious show.
"Saturn Returns' by Theatre Exile (1st review)
Oh, grow up!
Noah Haidle's play portrays a selfish man at three stages of his life. Alas, he fails to grow or mellow with age. That's bad news for him, for his women, and ultimately for the audience.
McDonagh's "The Lieutenant of Inishmore' (1st review)
When things get out of hand
Martin McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inishmore concerns what happens when a disagreement mushrooms into mindless violence beyond anyone's control. And it asks the audience an uncomfortable question: Why are we laughing?
"That Pretty Pretty: Or, the Rape Play,' by Theatre Exile
Less than meets the eye
That Pretty Pretty isn't a play; it's a play about writing a play. Playwright Sheila Callaghan introduced numerous big post-modernist ideas but fails to develop any of them into a coherent narrative. That Pretty Pretty: Or, the Rape Play. By Sheila Callaghan; Joe Canuso directed. Theatre Exile production through December 5, 2010 at Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 N. American St. (between Second and Third Sts. and Market and Arch). (215) 218-4022 or www.theatreexile.org.
Theatre Exile's "Iron' at the Fringe (2nd review)
Like watching real people
Rona Munro's drama about a series of visits between an imprisoned mother and her grown daughter is deeply nuanced, gradually revealing more about each woman while the audience sits in judgment, like a jury.
McPherson's "Shining City' by Theatre Exile (1st review)
That couldn't be me, could it?
Conor McPherson's haunting Shining City is a small, intensely involving, disquieting and thought provoking story about two lonely men trying to pull themselves together. Shining City. By Conor McPherson; directed by Matt Pfeiffer. Theatre Exile production through April 25, 2010 at Plays and Players Theatre, 1724 Delancey Pl. (215) 218-4022 or www.theatreexile.org.
Beckett's "Happy Days' by the Lantern (3rd review)
Humanity's last gasp
A play should offer us more than what we see. The longer the two of us have spent talking about Happy Days— arguing about it, thinking about it— the richer it has become. That's what distinguishes Beckett's work from Lorenzo Pisoni's Humor Abuse.
"American Buffalo's "short-con' (3rd review)
American Buffalo's short-con (and the reviewers who fell for it)
Like innocent tourists at a sidewalk shell game, several critics have missed the “pea” in Theatre Exile's production of David Mamet's American Buffalo. If you look and listen closely, that “pea” is friendship and community. American Buffalo. By David Mamet; directed by Matt Pfeiffer. Theater Exile production through May 3, 2009 at Plays & Players, 1714 Delancey St. (215) 218-4022 or www.theatreexile.org.