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South Camden Theatre Company and The Stride Collective present "Stop Kiss"

originally published: 05/12/2023

South Camden Theatre Company and The Stride Collective present "Stop Kiss"

(CAMDEN, NJ) -- South Camden Theatre Company and The Strides Collective are excited to welcome you to their celebration of equality and love for Pride with the production of Diana Son’s poignant and funny play Stop Kiss. This production is being directed by Jonathan Edmondson, the founding artistic director of The Strides Collective. Performances run weekends from June 2-17. In this comic and dark play, two young women, third-grade teacher Sara, and radio traffic reporter Callie become best friends about to discover something new about their relationships.

Callie is sick of her inability to connect with men more than through casual dating or sex, and Callie is beginning to realize she may be a lesbian. It shocks both of them, however, when they find themselves falling in love with each other. When they succumb to their desires and share a first kiss, the act provokes a violent attack from a gay-bashing stranger, changing their lives forever.

The shows cast and tech crew consists of newcomers and names known to audiences at South Camden Theatre Company. The show’s leads are Dana Lee Capanna as Callie and Lisa VillaMil as Sara. They are supported by Daniel Burgess as George, Christopher Cauffman Cooke as Peter, Tim Herman as Detective Cole, and Kathy Harmer as Mrs. Winsley and the Nurse. Jonathan Edmondson, our director has previously acted in and provided scenic design for Stop Kiss and is very excited to be directing this production. He stated, “Diana Son’s playwriting abilities, in particular, Stop Kiss is the reason I wanted to be a playwright.”

Stop Kiss, Ms. Son’s first full-length play, debuted in 1998. It was critically acclaimed. The play was produced Off-Broadway at The Public Theater in New York City. It was extended three times. Stop Kiss was also the winner of the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding New York production. She also was awarded a Berilla Kerr Award for playwriting. The New York Times wrote “…irresistibly exciting…a sweet, sad, and enchantingly sincere play.”

Artistic Director Dawn Varava is excited to bring this show to our audience. “Stop Kiss was added as a fifth show from what is typically a four show season to celebrate love and equality during June which is honored as Gay Pride Month. The show sheds light on issues that are still current today. When Stop Kiss was first produced in 1998, the hate aimed at people who were perceived to be gay was rampant across the United States. Unfortunately, Stop Kiss is still relevant because of the hate speech we hear from many in politics today.”

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Stop Kiss opens it’s run on the Waterfront South Theatre’s stage on June 2 and runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm and on Sundays at 2:00pm through June 17th.

South Camden Theatre Company is excited to be collaborating with The Strides Collective. The Collective was founded by Jonathan Edmondson, Artistic Director, in early 2020. The Strides Collective produces works of theatre by queer artists, about queer stories, and for all audiences with the goal of normalizing the conversation about queer identity, creating a safe haven for emerging artists to tell their stories and giving them the ability to express themselves freely without fear of judgment to foster and produce queer plays by queer artists. The Collective’s  vision honors South Camden’s vision to be an artistic center of excellence in the city of Camden and across the Delaware Valley. They believe in equality, honesty, collaboration, professionalism, and excellence.

If you haven’t visited South Camden Theatre Company, you’ll want to mark your calendar and plan to attend this show when it opens on June 2 at The Waterfront South Theatre. The theatre is one of Camden’s true gems. South Camden Theatre Company is the resident theatre company at The Waterfront South Theatre. It is the first free-standing theatre built in Camden in more than 100 years and is an intimate theatre space with room for 96 guests per performance. The Theatre was built by the Heart of Camden, the Waterfront South neighborhood’s community development organization. It was funded by gifts from Pepe Piperno’s Dominica Foundation and others.

South Camden Theatre and its Waterfront South Theatre is just down Ferry Avenue past the intersection at Broadway on Jasper Street/Michael Doyle Lane.

Tickets are available now. General admission is $20. There is a Camden Resident ticket available for $5 thanks to a grant from Holman Enterprises.

South Camden Theatre Company is proud to call Camden home. When the company was founded in 2005, performances were held in the basement theatre of the Sacred Heart Church. They are now the proud owners of The Waterfront South Theatre, the first, free-standing theatre built for live theatre in Camden in more than 100 years.

The Waterfront South neighborhood is home to a growing arts community. Our arts neighbors now include Camden FireWorks, artist studio spaces, and gallery, The Nick Virgilio Writer’s House, Mighty Writers, Bee Still Studios, The Camden Shipyard & Maritime Museum, Camden Boat Works, and the Center For Environmental Transformation, along with The Heart of Camden, and The Sacred Heart Church.

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