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Exploring love in the face of adversity: Theatre Exile debuts Samuel D. Hunter’s acclaimed ‘A Case for the Existence of God’ in Philadelphia

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Theatre Exile
Theatre Exile Courtesy of Theatre Exile

For its 27th season, South Philadelphia-based theater company, Theatre Exile — located at 1340 South 13th St Philadelphia, PA 19147 — selected compelling stories about characters choosing to embrace love, even as harsh realities and impossible odds confront them. 

This January, Theatre Exile presents its second show of the season, the Philadelphia debut of A Case for the Existence of God by MacArthur Fellow and Obie award-winning playwright and screenwriter, Samuel D. Hunter. Matt Pfeiffer will direct the production. 

Courtesy of Theatre Exile

The play won the 2022 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play, and The Wall Street Journal wrote, “Mr. Hunter, one of the finest playwrights at work today, is anything but an ideologue. His subject is the complexities of specific human beings — appealingly unexceptional ones — and the trials, large and small, that life throws their way.”

The 2022 drama takes place in an office cubicle in Twin Falls, Idaho, where Keith, a mortgage broker, is trying to help Ryan put together a loan to buy property lost a generation ago by an irresponsible ancestor. As they struggle with balancing the loan, the two men open up to each other about the chokehold of financial insecurity while bonding over their experiences as fathers. The New York Times called Hunter’s 2022 work “a must-see, heartbreaker of a play” that “argues for hope even in the face of extreme disappointment.” The 90-minute play takes audiences on a journey to understand the sadness that these two characters share.

Courtesy of Theatre Exile

“Each year, we seek scripts that spark timely discussions and dig into the true nature of the human journey while offering hope to those of us who are struggling to find the light in our dark times,” said Deborah Block, Theatre Exile’s Producing Artistic Director. “This year, Theatre Exile chose to explore the people searching for different types of love and their struggle to get rid of the obstacles in their way.” Samuel D. Hunter’s A Case for the Existence of God perfectly fits into Theatre Exile’s vision. The show teaches us that even when we can’t see it ourselves, the love that we put out into the world is what survives after all of the dust has settled.”

Theatre Exile fans may remember that in 2015, Pfeiffer directed the world premiere of The Whale, also written by Hunter, which garnered high praise and stellar reviews. The production won multiple Barrymore Awards, including Best Actor, Outstanding Direction of a Play, and Clear Sound Award for Outstanding Sound Design/Outstanding Overall Production of a Play.

A Case for the Existence of God stars Isaiah Caleb Stanley (Keith) and Keith Conallen (Ryan). Previews begin on January 4, the show opens on January 11, and the production runs through January 21. Tickets start at just $10 and may be purchased HERE.