Hi! My name is Ale. I study Entertainment & Arts Management at Drexel University and I am going to help you navigate the world of Philadelphia theater.
When I first arrived in Philadelphia, I didn’t know anything about the city’s theater scene—I didn’t even know that Drexel, my own university where I study theater management, had a theater company. Once I finally figured out that there was more to this city’s theater scene than Broadway tours and Walnut Street Theater, I realized how much I had already missed out on. I now realize how few resources there are for students interested in taking advantage of all that Philly has to offer. Trust me, this city is full of vibrant and diverse productions and I am determined to help you see them all. Yes—even on a college student’s budget and schedule.
How I fell in love…
I grew up 5,000 miles away from Philadelphia and the bright lights of Broadway. While the tropical weather and beautiful beaches make Hawaii seem like the perfect place to live, it didn’t always feel that way to me. To use a line from the first show I ever saw on Broadway—I wanted to be where the theater was.
That’s not to say that Hawaii doesn’t have theater, it’s quite the opposite. I fell in love with theater when I was 9 playing a fox in The Jungle Book during a summer program at Paliku Theatre that my dad forced me into. That love only continued to blossom after I decided that performing just wasn’t for me and, instead of acting in shows, saw every production from a high school, college, or community theater that I could—even when I had to lie about my age to get into Manoa Valley Theatre’s Spring Awakening.
So I embraced Hawaii theater, but I wanted more. I wanted the professionalism and quality that I only got in Broadway clips on YouTube or during the annual Tony Awards.
It turns out, as I learned during my first few months here, you don’t need to go to New York City for that. Philadelphia’s regional theaters, as well as its independent and fringe groups are professional, quality, and much cheaper than Broadway and a trip up to New York (though there are ways to do that on a budget). I love Philadelphia, I love Philadelphia theater, and I hope that through this blog, you will too.
Don’t think theater is for you? Not so fast…
But I’m not a “theater person”, you say, I don’t love theater. I should just close this page right now-
I’m a math and science person. I can’t sing, I can’t dance, I can’t act. I raced kayaks and played basketball in high school instead of doing tech in shows. I don’t know anything about Showboat or The Music Man or Jesus Christ Superstar or a million other shows. What I have done, however, is found shows that I connect with and understand—shows that speak to me, and you can too!
I believe that live performance and storytelling have the power to touch anyone. There’s something for everyone and I don’t think you need to be a “theater person” to enjoy a good show—if it’s the right one for you. Through this blog, I’ll make sure that you find that one.