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Stephanie Kyung-Sun Walters in 'Today is My Birthday'. Photo: Robert Hakalski.
Stephanie Kyung-Sun Walters in 'Today is My Birthday'. Photo: Robert Hakalski.

Theatre Exile to close out 25th season with Susan Soon He Stanton’s ‘Today is My Birthday’ from director Cat Ramirez

The South Philly theater is closing out its three-production 25th season with a Cat Ramirez-directed ‘Today is My Birthday.’

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From playwright and screenwriter Susan Soon He Stanton, and with direction from Cat Ramirez, Theatre Exile will be closing out its 25th season with Today is My Birthday.

In addition to playwriting, Soon He Stanton’s work in screenwriting includes recent titles such as HBO series Succession and The Baby.

Philly-based theater director Ramirez is also a performance arts producer. They have recently worked with Temple University, the Asian Arts Initiative, Simpatico Theatre, and the Philly Young Playwrights among others.

Theatre Exile’s three-production 25th season was introduced by the premier of Makasha Copeland’s Extreme Home Makeover and was followed by Stephen Adly Guirgis’ The Motherfu**er with the Hat from West Philly director Ozzie Jones.

Today is My Birthday is a production penned by Soon He Stanton. The play originally premiered off-Broadway in November 2017.

Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters stars as main character Emily in Today is My Birthday. Sun Walters is also the Lead Artist for the Philadelphia Asian Performance Artists’ Playwrights Project.

Today is My Birthday is a comedy focusing on Sun Walters’s Emily — an unemployed journalist — amid chaos and uncertainty as she moves back to Hawaii from New York City following personal unfulfillment. 

“Susan Soon He Stanton has created a wonderful artistic playground, never having any of the characters in the same space as Emily. To tell Emily’s story, we will use the element of surprise and lean into what it means to talk to someone who can’t see you; sometimes that experience can be liberating, but sometimes it can feel deeply lonely,” said Ramirez in a statement.

The play sees Emily navigate isolation, her parent’s separation, a strained relationship with a best friend, and the creation of a radio dating show.

The narrative is presented through a combination of live radio broadcasts, voicemails, and phone calls.

Other cast members include Joseph Ahmed, Daniel Kim, Rachel O’Hanlon Rodriguez, and Twoey Truong. 

Tickets for Today is My Birthday are available now. The show will premiere on April 28 and will continue through to May 22 with 20 available showtimes.

Audience members at Theatre Exile are required to wear masks indoors and present proof of vaccination.

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