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(From left to right) Scott Greer, Amanda Schoonover, J Hernandez, and Zach Valdez in 'The Motherf**ker With the Hat'. Photo: Paola Nogueras / Theatre Exile
(From left to right) Scott Greer, Amanda Schoonover, J Hernandez, and Zach Valdez in 'The Motherf**ker With the Hat'. Photo: Paola Nogueras / Theatre Exile

Theatre Exile’s ‘The Motherf**ker With the Hat’ kicks off February premiere

The production 'The Motherf**ker With the Hat' from Stephen Adly Guirgis is part of Theatre Exile’s 25th season.

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The South Philly-based Theatre Exile kicked off its 25th season last year with Makasha Copeland’s Extreme Home Makeover.

Following last Fall’s premier, Theatre Exile’s 25th season is now continuing with a production of Pulitzer Prize-winner Stephen Adly Guirgis’ The Motherf**ker With the Hat.

The play tells the tale of Jackie, recently-released from prison and living with his highschool sweetheart. Jackie is trying to stay clean off drugs, but things go awry when he believes he has found another man’s hat in their apartment.

The play will be running between Feb. 3 - 27, with the official opening night of Wednesday, Feb. 9. The Motherf**ker With the Hat is directed by West Philly native Ozzie Jones.

“I’m a big believer in how theater should address the reality of what’s happening in the world,” said Jones. “The concept for the show that we’ve envisioned was inspired by a common experience among addicts who often relive their past traumas. Our set will use a diorama of photographs depicting the hardships in Kensington to represent the internal struggle that Jackie faces on a daily basis.”

This is a fast-paced and foul-mouthed play from Guirgi, dealing with modern love, friendships, addiction, and adulthood. 

The Motherf**ker With the Hat had its Broadway debut in 2011. The play features frequent profanity, drug use, and violence. The content is intended for mature audiences. 

The Motherf**ker With the Hat is presented by Theatre Exile in partnership with The Brothers' Network, a Black-led, black-run “social enterprise non-profit arts organization addressing racial inequity through the lens of the Arts, culture, literature, history, and heritage.”

The play features actors J Hernandez, Amanda Schoonover, Scott Greer, Daniela Malavé, and Zach Valdez in its cast.

“We’re thrilled to produce The Motherf**ker with the Hat, a landmark play that aligns with Exile’s mission of producing timely shows filled with deep pathos, raw humor and Philly-style grit,” said Deborah Block, Theatre Exile’s Producing Artistic Director. 

“Ozzie's directorial vision pushes against society's ideas of who is at the center of the drug epidemic. And what makes the show so compelling is that at its heart, it's not about using drugs, it's about living – specifically trying to get your life on track and the many human obstacles that often get in the way,” continued Block.

This time around, Theatre Exile’s capacity will be lowered from 125 seats to 60 for safety concerns. Audience and staff are required to wear a mask, show ID and proof of vaccination.

Theatre Exile is located at 1340 S. 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147. Tickets for The Motherf**ker with the Hat can be purchased here.

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