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Ancient History 
by David Ives

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From David Ives, the master comic mind behind the hit play All In The Timing, comes this witty, romantic story of a couple looking to take the next step. At least, Ruth is looking. Jack is happy dancing in place. Ruth wants to get married and raise a Jewish family. Jack rejects the concept of marriage and is a devout lapsed-Catholic/atheist. Can they reconcile their differences? Can love mature? And why won’t that phone stop ringing…?

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December 10th and 11th at Oak Hill Clubhouse, 1660 Oakwood Drive, Narberth
December 17th and 18th at Greenhill Condos (East, TV rm), 1001 City Ave, Wynnewood



by David Ives


Directed by Jesse Bernstein


Assistant Director/Stage Manager: Danielle Fredane Quinn

ANCIENT HISTORY is presented by special arrangement with Broadway Licensing, LLC,

servicing the Dramatists Play Service collection. (



Ruth - Chelsea Cylinder

Jack - Carl Smith 

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David Ives (PLAYWRIGHT):  is an American playwright, screenwriter, and novelist. He is perhaps best known for his comic one-act plays; The New York Times in 1997 referred to him as the "maestro of the short form". Ives has also written dramatic plays, narrative stories, and screenplays, has adapted French 17th and 18th-century classical comedies, and adapted 33 musicals for New York City's Encores! series. 

A native of South Chicago, Ives attended Northwestern University, majoring in English. After graduation he wrote plays and worked at a bookstore in Hollywood. He then worked for three years as a junior editor at Foreign Affairs magazine in New York City. He attended the Yale School of Drama in 1981, where he received an MFA in playwriting.

In the mid-1990s, after having been a contributor to Spy Magazine, Ives wrote occasional humor pieces for the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and other publications. In that same period, New York magazine named him one of the "100 Smartest New Yorkers".

Ives' first play in New York was Canvas, staged at the Circle Repertory Company in 1972, followed at the same theatre by Saint Freud in 1975. In 1987 his short play Words, Words, Words was presented at the Manhattan Punch Line Theatre, followed by Sure Thing, Variations on the Death of Trotsky, Philip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread (1990), and The Universal Language. A two-act play, Ancient History was produced Off-Broadway in 1989 by Primary Stages.

Ives' All in the Timing originated as a presentation of six of his one-act plays that premiered at Primary Stages in 1993, moved to the larger John Houseman Theatre, and ran for 606 performances. He won the Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award for Playwriting. A New York Times writer described Ives' work: "In the world of the playwright David Ives, situations float at the far edge of the social map and quickly drift off into uncharted territory." Primary Stages presented a revival of All in the Timing in January 2013 to April 2013, writing "When this evening of six one-act comedies premiered in 1993, Vincent Canby of The New York Times said 'Ives is wizardly...magical and funny...a master of language.' Canby also told audiences 'Drop-everything-and-go!'--and audiences did, for more than 600 performances. This new production, directed by John Rando, includes plays like Sure Thing and The Universal Language which have become contemporary classics.

Jesse Bernstein (DIRECTOR): Jesse Bernstein is a graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Speech and has over 30 years’ experience working in film, TV and theatre. He has performed at the New York Shakespeare Festival (alongside actors such as Mandy Patinkin and Denzel Washington), the Berkshire Theatre Festival, the Arden Theatre Company, Ventura Theatre Company and the Walnut Street Theatre Company. In 1999, he originated the role of Reuven in Aaron Posner and Chaim Potok’s stage adaptation of The Chosen. His TV credits include appearances on Law & Order, Veronica Mars and Days of Our Lives. Directing credits include Shipwrecked!, It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play, Gifts of the Magi, and several children’s musicals for the Walnut Street Theatre; The Complete History of Comedy (Abridged) (Cardinal Stage); Heathers: The Musical (Penn Players), Member of the Wedding (Rutgers-Camden) and more. Writing credits include several outreach plays and the solo shows Ethics of the Fathers (aka The Gangster and Grandpa) and The Scribe. Jesse wrote and directed the short film Allergy (official selection, Audience Awards and LA Comedy Shorts Fest) and wrote, produced, and starred in the short alongside Alison Brie and Liza Weil in the short film Us One Night (official selection: Williamstown Film Festival, NewFilmmakers LA). He has taught for theatres and organizations in Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia as well as at Northwestern University College, the Cherub program, and University of the Arts. Jesse is a member of Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA and serves on the board of the Alliance for Jewish Theatres.

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Danielle Fredane Quinn - (ASSSISTANT DIRECTOR / STAGE MANAGER): Nora Danielle is thrilled to join Theatre Ariel for her first salon! She is the Director of Chuptzpah! Theater Club through Tribe 12, where she recently directed and performed in virtual performances of Murder Mesiba: A Clue Parody (Mrs. Lahvan), Scroogenstein: A Hanukkah Story (Rabbi Future) and Schmaltz Lightning! (Hannah Mizrahi) for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Tribe 12 is a non-profit that connects 20s/30s to Jewish life and community, where she also assists with community events. She holds a BA in Theater Arts & Communications from Hofstra University. 

Chelsea Cylinder (RUTH):  is so excited to be working with Theatre Ariel! Chelsea is a Philadelphia-based actress, singer, teaching artist, and producer. She is a graduate of the University Of Pennsylvania. Chelsea has appeared in shows with 11th Hour Theatre Company, The Broadway Theatre Of Pitman, Ocean City Theatre Company, OperaDelaware, New Light Theatre, Green Light Group Productions, East Broadway Theatre Project, Beacon Theatre Productions, and more. Some favorite acting credits include Chess (Florence), How To Succeed In Business…Trying (Rosemary), Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead (Rosencrantz), Peter Pan (Tinker Bell), Crossover: A New Pop Musical (KC Parker), and The 25th Annual…Spelling Bee (Logainne). She is a Teaching Artist with the Walnut Street Theatre and Theatre Horizon, and was also a producer on nine different shows. Chelsea would like to thank her parents, family, Jesse, and the entire cast/crew. / @cecylinder

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Carl Smith (JACK):  Carl is thrilled to be joining the team at Theatre Ariel. A Texas native, he has been in the Philly area for nearly 15 years working with such companies as the Arden, People's Light, Montgomery, Storybook, Bristol Riverside, Hedgerow, Media, Nightcap Cabaret, and Family Stages. Recent credits include Scarecrow in Wizard Of Oz and Frankie in Plaid Tidings and Forever Plaid.

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