Pamela Riley


BSR Contributor Since April 18, 2009

Pamela Riley is a retired theater director and professor of literature and drama who lives in Old City.

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

8 results
Page 1
DiStefano: Force of nature.

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.

Pamela Riley

Articles 4 minute read
Canuso, Schoonover: Sympathy for the devil?

"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.

Pamela Riley

Articles 4 minute read
DaPonte (left) and Bunting: Preparing for a bloodbath. (Photo: Brian Sidney Bembridge.)

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?

Pamela Riley

Articles 3 minute read
Smith, Parker, Ford: Someone should have listened to Seneca. (Photo: Paola Nogueras.)

"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

Pamela Riley

Articles 2 minute read
Munro: Questions without answers.

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.

Pamela Riley

Articles 3 minute read
Greer, Zielinski: A lesson for Mamet. (Photo: Jorge Cousineau.)

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

Pamela Riley

Articles 3 minute read
Little things (like filing nails) loom large. (Photo: Jeffrey Stockbridge.)

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.

Pamela Riley

Articles 6 minute read
Pryor, DaPonte, Canuso: Little things mean a lot. (Photo: Cory Frisco.)

"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

Pamela Riley

Articles 6 minute read