America's Oldest · Founded 1808

Walnut's Independence Studio on 3 Opens with SHIPWRECKED! AN ENTERTAINMENT - The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (as Told by Himself). Now - Nov. 1

September 12, 2015

PHILADELPHIA, PA: Walnut Street Theatre’s 2015-2016 Independence Studio on 3 season opens with Pulitzer Prize-winner Donald Margulies’ SHIPWRECKED! An Entertainment - The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (as Told by Himself). This unbelievable journey, directed by Jesse Bernstein, begins previews on October 6th, opens October 8th and continues through November 1st in the Walnut’s Independence Studio on 3.

An old man hobbles onstage and declares, "I'm about to tell you a story. A fantastic and amazing story! A story all the more remarkable because every word of it is true." So says Louis de Rougemont. His brave and amazing adventures left nineteenth-century England spellbound. Audiences who dare will be whisked away by this heroic tale of the high seas, filled with exotic islanders, flying wombats, giant sea turtles and a monstrous man-eating octopus. Inspired by a true story, Shipwrecked! examines how far we're willing to blur the line between fact and fiction in order to leave our mark on the world.

Award-winning playwright Donald Margulies’ works include The Country House, Time Stands Still, Brooklyn Boy, Dinner with Friends, Collected Stories, Sight Unseen, The Loman Family Picnic, God Of Vengeance, The Model Apartment, What's Wrong with this Picture? and Found a Peanut. His numerous awards include a Pulitzer Prize, a Lucille Lortel Award, an American Theatre Critics Award, Los Angeles Drama Critics Awards, OBIE Awards and Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Awards. His work has been seen on stages across the country, on Broadway and Off-Broadway, and internationally. Margulies is an alumnus of New Dramatists and serves on the council of The Dramatists Guild of America and an adjunct professor of English and Theatre Studies at Yale University.

Margulies’ play Shipwrecked! began as a piece commissioned by South Coast Repertory for their Theatre for Young Audiences series. With Louis de Rougemont’s tales of incredible life journeys as an inspiration, the power of storytelling became the center point of the piece. Margulies noted, “I wanted to write a play that would invite people who had never seen one into the theater and to give them a sense of the excitement I had when I was a kid at my first Broadway shows.” Since its world premiere in 2007, Shipwrecked! has whisked away audiences, both young and old, to the inventive world of Rougemont’s grand adventure, where the truth is in the telling.

At the helm of the production is director Jesse Bernstein. Bernstein has been seen on the Walnut’s Mainstage in the Neil Simon “Eugene Trilogy” (Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues and Broadway Bound), as well as An Infinite Ache in the Independence Studio on 3. His directing credits include Blue Window, Peter Pan (Northwestern/WAVE Productions); Young Voices (Philly Young Playwrights), Achilles in Sparta, Mary’s Wedding and Secret in the Wings.

Master storyteller Greg Wood takes the stage as Louis de Rougemont. He’ll lead audiences through the journey of Rougemont’s life from a young boy in Paris to an ancient man recounting his worldly travels. Most recently, Wood has been seen at the Walnut as Sir Lawrence Wargrave in Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, with additional credits including Noël Coward’s Private Lives, Other Desert Cities and God of Carnage. Joining Wood are two Philadelphia actors both making their Walnut debut, David Bradley Johnson and Bi Jean Ngo. Together, they’ll play over 30 characters during the course of the play, assisting with the theatrical magic that helps move the tale from stormy waters, to deserted shores to the crowded streets of London. Regionally, Johnson has performed with Lantern Theater, Theatre Horizon and Theatre Exile. Ngo’s credits include InterAct Theatre Company, Shakespeare at Clark Park and The Arden Theatre.

Setting the stage is Set Designer Glen Sears (Bad Jews; I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change; The Mousetrap). Costume Designer Amanda Wolff returns having most recently designed for the world premiere of Mickle Street, along with Lighting Designer Shon Causer (Driving Miss Daisy, Arsenic and Old Lace) and Sound Designer Zachary Beattie-Brown (Mickle Street, Ethel!).

Season sponsor for the 2015-2016 Independence Studio on 3 Season is The Independence Foundation. Media season sponsors are Philly Weekly and WRTI Radio. Tickets are $30-$35 and are now available at 215-574-3550 or 215-336-1234. Tickets are also available at or