New Stage Comedy "Muddled" by Josh Piven Makes World Premiere in Philadelphia

New York Times best-selling humorist Josh Piven brings his unique brand of comedy to Philadelphia with the world premiere of Muddled, A Stage Comedy, from June 16 through June 26 at Drexel URBN Annex (3401 Filbert St). Penned by the author of The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook and directed by William Steinberger, Muddled gives theater audiences a best-case scenario for what happens when a group of hot-headed headbangers meet the home-grown hipsters of Brooklyn. In this craft brewed comedy, Piven trades navigating alligator pits for navigating mosh pits, and surviving frostbite for surviving the frosty bite of a quick-witted hipster. Muddled is Piven’s second play, following 2013’s hit No Reservations.

Previews begin on Thursday, June 16 and Friday, June 17, and opening night is Saturday, June 18 at 8:00pm. The show runs through Sunday, June 26. Tickets are available now for $30 at

After being fired from Facebook for some drunken twerking at Mark Zuckerberg's wedding, Andy decides he's done with social media, for good. He throws his savings into Library, a 1920s-style cocktail lounge in Brooklyn, with a no cell phone policy.   Late one night, Tricky Nicky Slick Andy's long-lost father and former drummer for the 80s hair-band Black Widow  appears, claiming he wants to make amends with Andy and Tina, Andy's mother, who waitresses at the bar. Nicky embarks on a business plan to turn the wainscoted, bookcase-lined supper club into an 80s-style Miami Vice-inspired nightmare...but something else is afoot.

Muddled is a broad comedic take on the journey from the iconic 80s to modern times. This world premiere production explores the good, bad, ugly and the funny occurrences that happen when we can’t let go of the past, but rely on the past to build the future. The show also touches on themes of our over dependence on social media, and the popular growing trend of exclusive social media-free zones.  Are headbangers and hipsters really that different? Can a bar be successful if you can’t Tweet, Facebook or yelp about it? What happens when phones are away and people are forced to talk to each other? You be the judge!

“In this hyper-sharing culture, privacy is a quaint notion, or something that belongs to the realm of the Edward Snowdens of the world”, says playwright Josh Piven, "The play in some ways compares two cultures that are both me-centric (hipsters on the one hand and the me-decade on the other) but also looks, in a humorous way, about what life was like before…you know, before it became like it is. When private stuff was PRIVATE.”

The world premiere of Muddled is directed by William Steinberger and features an ensemble cast of Philadelphia favorites. Director William Steinberger is co-founder/Artistic Director of InVersion Theatre. His directing credits include David Auburn’s Proof at Neumann University, the world premiere of Sarah Pappalardo’s Cold at Quince Productions, the world premiere of Hannah Van Sciver’s Marbles at FringeArts and work at InterAct Theatre Company/One-Minute Play Festival, Uglyrhino, MidCity Productions, Friends Select School and Allens Lane Art Center. He has directed play readings at Berkshire Theatre Festival, The Wilma Theater, Passage Theatre, New City Stage Company, The Painted Bride, Rider University and the University of Pennsylvania. His original work has been developed with the Drama League in New York and Directors Gathering in Philadelphia.

The ensemble cast includes a mix of emerging as well as well-known talent from around the region. Trevor Fayle (Inis Nua Theatre Company, The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning; Theatre Exile, The Whale) plays young barkeep Andy. Amanda Schoonover (Luna Theater, Brainpeople; Theater Exile, Hunter Gatherers) is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, two-time Barrymore Award recipient and  F. Otto Haas Emerging Artist Finalist. Schoonover plays Andy’s mom Tina.  Hannah Gold (Wilma Theatre, The Real Thing; Shakespeare in Clark Park, The Tempest) plays Andy’s girlfriend Chrissy. Bob Heath (HBO, Veep USA Network, Political Animals) plays Nicky, the former rock legend from 80s band Black Widow. Carlo Campbell ((Simpatico, The Brothers Size; Plays and Players, Death of a Salesman) plays bodyguard Rick. Dave Fiebert (Hedgerow Theatre, MacBeth; Iron Age Theatre, Waiting for Godot) plays headbanger Pete. Eric Cover is a Gladwyne native and makes his Philadelphia debut back in the area by playing headbanger Paul. Richard Chan (The Renegade Company, Damned Dirty Apes!; Philadelphia Shakespeare Theater, Henry V) plays the Hipster.

The production team includes:

  • Andrew Cowles (Lighting Designer)
  • Joe Daniels (Technical Director)
  • Jamie Grace-Duff (Costume Designer)
  • Marc LeMay (Sound Designer)
  • Sara Outing (Scenic Designer)
  • Stephanie Sintef (Stage Manager)
  • Lauren Tracy (Production Manager)
  • Erin Washburn (Dramaturg)


Tickets are on sale for $30 by visiting To join the conversation, please like Muddled on Facebook and follow @muddledcomedy on Twitter.


  • Written by Josh Piven,
  • Directed by Will Steinberger
  • Thursday, June 16 through Sunday, June 26, 2016
  • Opening Night June 18
  • Drexel URBN Annex, 3401 Filbert St
  • Tickets on sale now, $30 each