Theatre Exile takes hit ABC show 'Extreme Home Makeover' from the screen to the stage

ByBethany Owings WPVI logo
Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Theatre Exile puts 'Extreme Home Makeover' from screen to stage
South Philadelphia's Theatre Exile is opening its 25th anniversary season with a world premiere of the hit ABC show.

SOUTH PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Remember the hit ABC show Extreme Home Make Over, where one lucky family won the makeover of their dreams? Well, a local theater company is taking it from the screen to the stage. Karen Rogers has the story in this week's 6abc Loves the Arts.

South Philadelphia's Theatre Exile is opening its 25th anniversary season with a world premiere.

A play about the Vega family from Tejano, Texas, and their desperate attempt to win a spot on the TV show, "Extreme Home Makeover".

"The entire play is a video application to Extreme Home Makeover," says Deborah Block, Producing Artistic Director.

Jessy Gruver plays Valentina, a woman grieving the loss of her husband.

"And is trying to put all of her energy into this video," says Gruver, "As sort of a way to not have to deal with her husband's death."

Yajaira Paredes, a former Venezuelan soap opera star, plays the grandmother, Guadalupe.

"Guadalupe is not in favor of this plan," says Gruver.

Block discovered the play at a Latin X Film Festival.

"My father is Cuban. I was so thrilled to find a play that was in the LatinX voice," says Block.

The playwright, Makasha Copeland, is from Tejano, Texas, and took part in the rehearsal process.

"I read this play and was immediately gripped by it, like I have to do this play," says Gruver.

Theatre Exile is known for its edgy, contemporary plays, and this is the company's first live indoor show since March 2020.

"In a new space that we opened right before the pandemic," says Block.

And she says the play, though started a few years ago, seems made for right now.

"It's about learning how to cope and coming out of isolation," Block says.

And thinking about what it means to chase the American dream.

"We still keep the pride for what we are and where we come from," says Paredes.

Theatre Exile's Extreme Home Makeover runs through November 21st.


Theatre Exile: Extreme Home Makeover | Instagram | Facebook

1340 South 13th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19147

Through November 21, 2021