September 23 – October 23

PTC presents Theatre Exile’s production of RIZZO
by Bruce Graham
Directed by Joe Canuso
Based on the best-selling book
Rizzo: The Last Big Man in Big City America by Sal Paolantonio
Published by Camino Books, Inc.
was commissioned by Theatre Exile,
Philadelphia, PA, Deborah Block, Producing Artistic Director

Following Frank Rizzo’s trajectory from beat cop to Police Commissioner to Mayor of Philadelphia, this raw and timely drama explores the life of Frank Rizzo as he prepares for the 1991 mayoral election. A big guy who left an indelible impression on Philadelphia history, Rizzo governed with a street-brawler’s bravado that both cooled and fanned the flames of racial unrest. After two terms in office, voters in 1991 were about to cast another ballot for their hero or against the villain they inadvertently helped create.

Pictured: Scott Greer, Amanda Schoonover, Damon Bonetti, Steven Wright, Paul L. Nolan, and Robert DaPonte. Photography by Paola Nogueras.
















For the rest of our production photos, click here. Photography by Paola Nogueras.

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Meet The Panelists

10/4: Special Topics – Politics 2016 Night

Ken Smukler, publisher of Philadelphia’s largest weekly newspaper, The Liberty City Press, has a background in political technology and communications both locally and nationally. Smukler launched his political consulting career in 1987 as the Communications Director for Philadelphia Mayor W. Wilson Goode, followed by his role as statewide field director for Herb Kohl’s first campaign for US Senate (1990) then managed Marjorie Margolies Mezvinsky’s winning campaign for Congress (1992). From 1994 through 2000, Smukler developed technology that would anchor some of the largest statewide campaigns in the country culminating in Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign for US Senate (2000). In the wake of the 2000 presidential election, Smukler founded InfoVoter Technologies to design, build, and maintain the nation’s largest voter hotline to this day. Ken Smukler provides political commentary for The Tom Joyner Morning Show and has been a regular political contributor on MSNBC and FOX News. In addition, he provides political commentary for The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News, and is a regular presenter for The University of Pennsylvania’s Fels’ School of Government.

Ken is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (BA’82) and the Dickinson School of Law (JD’85).

Ken lives in Villanova (PA) with his wife, Shelly Urban, an attorney specializing in commercial litigation, and their three daughters, Lucy (19), Phoebe (17), and Camille (13).

Dick Polman has covered or chronicled every presidential campaign since 1988, and has blogged on politics five days a week since 2006. His Newsworks “National Interest” blog debuted in 2011. A Center City Philadelphia resident, he’s also on the full-time faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, as “writer in residence.” He has been a frequent guest on C-SPAN, CNN, MSNBC, the BBC and various NPR shows — most notably Philadelphia’s “Radio Times” on WHYY-FM.

Larry Ceisler is a national leader in strategic communications, with more than 25 years of experience executing public affairs strategies, grassroots efforts, and issue campaigns. As the principal of Ceisler Media, he closely manages the activities of the firm, serving a variety of clients ranging from Fortune 50 companies to regional businesses and non-profits.

Ceisler began his professional communications career as a television news producer for KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh. During baseball season, he was associate producer of the Pittsburgh Pirates telecasts. In 1982, he was promoted to KYW-TV in Philadelphia. In 1986, he was recruited to join the re-election campaign of Mayor W. Wilson Goode as Deputy Campaign Manager. After the completion of a successful campaign, Ceisler served the Administration as Special Assistant for Governmental Relations and later joined the City Commerce Department as Special Counsel.

Ceisler is a respected analyst of electoral politics and government and is frequently quoted in publications across Pennsylvania and nationally, including: The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and NPR.

He serves as a Board Member for MANNA, a non-profit organization that delivers nutritious, medically appropriate meals and provides nutrition counseling to patients across the Delaware Valley and South Jersey who are battling life-threatening illnesses like cancer and HIV/AIDS. He also serves on the Board of WXPN, a public radio station in Philadelphia that is affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania.

Having lived and worked across Pennsylvania, Ceisler recognizes the importance of a statewide approach and has built one of the few communications firms with a reach across the Commonwealth, with full-service offices in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and Pittsburgh.

Ceisler was raised in Washington, Pennsylvania and is a graduate of The American University and Duquesne University School of Law. He also attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Law.

Ceisler is married to Dr. Lina Hartocollis, who serves as Dean of Students and Director of the Doctorate in Clinical Social Work Program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice, where she also teaches courses and conducts research on social work practices, mental health diagnosis, and psychological trauma. Together, they have five children. They live in Philadelphia.


10/6: Pro Football Talkback Night


A former American football quarterback and currently an NFL analyst on ESPN, Ron Jaworski is also CEO of Ron Jaworski Golf Management, Inc., based out of Blackwood, New Jersey, and manages golf courses in southern New Jersey, northeast Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. He also owns part interest in the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League. Jaworski was nicknamed “Jaws” by Philadelphia 76ers player Doug Collins prior to the 1981 Super Bowl.

After a 17-year distinguished career as an NFL quarterback, Ron Jaworski is coaching football fans on TV with a multi-platform NFL analyst role. His appearances include Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown, NFL Matchup, NFL-branded specials, Mike & Mike in the Morning, Pardon the Interruption, and other platforms and shows throughout the year. ESPN’S Mike Tirico said, “If you made a list of 10 guys on TV in any sport as an analyst who you’d want to have a beverage with and watch a game, he’s [Ron Jaworski] high on that list.”

Before switching to his current multi-platform analyst role with ESPN, Jaworski spent five seasons in the booth with Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden as the color commentator for Monday Night Football.

The Los Angeles Rams drafted Jaworski in the second round of the 1973 NFL Draft. After four years with the Rams, Jaworski joined the Philadelphia Eagles in 1977.

Under head coach Dick Vermeil and behind Jaworski’s ability and held leadership, the Eagles advanced to their first-ever berth in a Super Bowl vs. the Oakland Raiders. Jaworski finished the 1980 season as the No. 1-rated passer in the NFC and was the 1980 NFL MVP.

Along the way, Jaworski became known as “Jaws.” The name was hung on him by his next-door neighbor at the time, Doug Collins, who was a star guard for the Philadelphia 76ers. “He didn’t come up with ‘Jaws’ because of that shark movie, though.” Jaworski says, “Doug said it was because my mouth was always open, talking.”

Today, Jaworski lives in Southern New Jersey and is civically active. Jaworski is committed to the Jaws Youth Playbook, which focuses on a mission to improve the overall health and wellness of at-risk youth, primarily in the Greater Philadelphia region. To date, the Jaworski family is proud to have donated over $4 million to at-risk youth. Jaworski owns an exclusive business development company called Business Clubs America, as well as owning four signature golf courses in South Jersey – River Winds Golf & Tennis Club, Valleybrook Country Club, Running Deer Golf Club, and Blue Heron Pines. Jaworski also serves as the President of the Maxwell Football Club, Co-Majority Owner of the Philadelphia Soul, and sits on the boards of PNC Bank. The South Jersey Chamber of Commerce awarded Jaworski the Pinnacle Award for his outstanding volunteer work and longtime service to South Jersey Chamber & business community. The United Way honored Jaworski with their Volunteer Leadership Award, the highest award given by United Way.

Jaworski is married to his high school sweetheart, Liz; he has three children, Joleen, Jessica, and BJ, and two grandsons, Ryan and Colin.

Ray Didinger is an award-winning American sportswriter, author, film writer, radio host, TV commentator, and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He wrote and co-produced Winning is Living and Losing is Dying: The George Allen Story, which appeared on ESPN. Sports Illustrated chose the work as the best sports documentary of 2001. Didinger also wrote and produced a documentary biography of one of his favorite coaches, Dick Vermeil, entitled Dick Vermeil: A Coach for All Seasons, for which he was awarded the Best Biography of 2000 at the Aurora International Film Festival. He has won four Emmy Awards for his work on NFL Films Presents and the Turner Network’s Football America. Didinger has been named Pennsylvania Sportswriter of the Year five times. He has won six Keystone Press Association Awards for feature writing, three Philadelphia Press Association awards for reporting, and three Associated Press awards for column writing. In 1991, he won the Pro Football Writers of America award for outstanding feature story about dissension amongst the 1990 Philadelphia Eagles, their last year under head coach James “Buddy” Ryan.

Ray Didinger unknowingly encapsulated his career in a single statement. While discussing offensive philosophies in football he asked, “If you can do two things well, isn’t that better than just being able to do one?”

Didinger has reported and analyzed football through every conceivable medium. This achievement has grown throughout a lifetime of passion for sports. Ray Didinger was born to Raymond and Marie Didinger on September 18, 1946, in Philadelphia. He became interested in sports at a young age through the Chip Hilton Series. “I was hooked on sports,” Didinger said of reading the series, “and I’ve stayed that way ever since.” This interest was not simply a hobby to pass time for Didinger, as he received his B.S. in Communications from Temple University in 1968 after graduating from St. James Catholic High School in Chester, Delaware County. From 1968-1969, he covered sports for the Delaware County Daily Times. Two years later at the age of 23, Didinger took over the pro football beat at the Philadelphia Bulletin after reporting on high school sports there. He worked at the Bulletin from 1969-1980 and the Philadelphia Daily News from 1980 until 1996, when he made his transition to TV and film by joining NFL Films in Mt. Laurel, NJ. He is now a Senior Producer there.

During his years at the Bulletin, the Daily News, and NFL Films, Didinger has written and edited several books about football. These books include, among others, Football America: Celebrating Our National Passion, Game Plans for Success: Winning Strategies for Business, Life from Ten Top NFL Head Coaches, and The Eagles Encyclopedia.

In 2005, Philadelphia Magazine named Didinger Best Sports Radio Personality in their “Best of Philly” issue for his Saturday afternoon show with co-host Glen Macnow on WIP 610 AM. Didinger is also a panelist on “Post-Game Live,” a Philadelphia Eagles post-game show that includes former Philadelphia Mayor and current Pennsylvania Governor, Ed Rendell, and former NFL running back, Vaughn Hebron. The show received a 2005 “Best of Philly” award for Best Local TV show.

His most notable recognition is his inclusion in the Professional Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. In 1995, he won the Dick McCann Award for “long and distinguished reporting in the field of pro football,” thus earning his spot on the Writer’s Honor Roll. In 1998, Didinger introduced former Philadelphia Eagle wide receiver Tommy McDonald at his Hall of Fame enshrinement.

During the football season, Didinger writes A View from the Hall, a weekly column for Comcast Sportsnet’s website. Currently he is working on two one-hour shows for the NFL Network’s series entitled America’s Game. The series features shows on each of the 40 Super Bowl winners, Didinger’s being on the 1972-73 Miami Dolphins.

While the opening paragraph of this biography is true, it may be misleading. Ray Didinger does far more than two things right; he devotes his full effort to every task.

Ray Didinger now lives in Philadelphia with his second wife, Maria Gallagher.

Greg Cosell is an NFL analyst and a senior producer at NFL Films. He is the nephew of iconic broadcaster, Howard Cosell. Cosell is widely regarded by NFL insiders as one of the most knowledgeable and trusted football analysts. In 1984, Cosell with NFL Films President Steve Sabol created a show titled Monday Night Matchup (now known as NFL Matchup), which was initially hosted by Chris Berman. The show has grown to one of the most respected sports television programs in the industry and is currently hosted by Sal Paolantonio, Ron Jaworski, and Merril Hoge.

Cosell co-authored the book The Games That Changed the Game: The Evolution of the NFL in Seven Sundays.

Born in Queens, New York, Cosell attended Amherst College where he played basketball. After applying for a job at NFL Films, he was interviewed by founder Ed Sabol at the company’s New Jersey headquarters, and subsequently hired as a producer.


10/14: The Rizzo Legacy – Love Him or Leave Him, moderated by Julia Ericksen

Martin Weinberg is partner and chairman of Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP. He also serves as chairman of the Regulatory, Administrative and Gaming Department and is a member of the firm’s Management Committee. Mr. Weinberg has in-depth experience in administrative and regulatory law, including major utilities, natural gas and electric companies, local townships and school districts. This includes representation of these and similar clients before local, state and federal regulatory agencies.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Drexel University, where he was a recipient of the Sara Von Rensselar Award. He was awarded his Juris Doctor from Temple University School of Law, where he served as Research Editor of the Temple Law Review.

Mr. Weinberg joined Obermayer in 1974. Prior to joining the firm, he was City Solicitor for the City of Philadelphia from 1971-74.

Shelly Yanoff first dove into public works and advocacy in the 1960s, when she protested the proposed cuts to Head Start programs. Later on, her role in leading the recall effort against Mayor Frank Rizzo would cause a firestorm of controversy, spurring personal threats to her and her home. After her schooling, Yanoff worked for the Public Interest Law Center and Americans for Democratic Action for a time. She went on to hold the position of policy officer in Mayor Goode’s administration, and then became an assistant city solicitor.  For twenty-five years, Yanoff was the Executive Director of what was first called Philadelphia Citizens for Children and Youth, now Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY), an advocacy and community education nonprofit which, among many initiatives, has pushed forward education reform and action for public school funding, as well as bringing attention to the issue of homeless children, and instituting a statewide health insurance program for children in need.

Robert J. Reinstein has served Temple Law with his global vision, thoughtful leadership and constant dedication for nearly 20 years, fulfilling administrative, managerial and academic roles as Vice President, Dean, and Professor of Law.

Professor Reinstein earned broad respect as head administrator for the University’s Juris Doctor program (1989-2008), spearheading many academic advancements and improvements to the school’s operations and facilities. Under his supervision, fundraising efforts increased the law school’s endowment from $4 million to over $57 million. During his tenure, the law school received over $100 million in total gifts and grants to date (cash receipts excluding pledges).

In addition, Reinstein increased the law school’s full-time faculty by twenty percent, adding thirteen new faculty chairs and professorships. More than seventy new endowed scholarship funds were established as well as a new public interest fellowship program. Also, in his former role as Vice President of Temple University, Reinstein expanded the University’s international programs, which now educate approximately 3,000 students on its campuses in Rome and Japan. Temple University Japan is the first foreign university to be accredited by the Japanese Ministry of Education and has undergraduate and graduate degree-granting programs in liberal arts, business, education and law. Temple Rome provides semester-abroad and summer programs in art, art history, liberal arts, business and law to about 600 U.S. students each year.

As Dean, Professor Reinstein directed the expansion and modernization of the law school’s facilities by creating a “smart” conference center, additional classrooms and administrative offices, and completing renovations of the law school building, including the Law Library. The law school was computerized through fifteen smart classrooms, an online library and service supports, and computers and Internet access for all faculty, administrators and staff.

During Reinstein’s tenure as Dean, the number and quality of student applications grew, with the incoming class average for LSAT scores rising to the 85th percentile. Temple Law gained nationwide recognition for its practical and academic training, and the school remains home to a trial team that won three national championships and consistently ranks in the top three of U.S. News and World Report. Reinstein’s many academic endeavors included the Integrated Trial Advocacy Program, the Master’s in Trial Advocacy, the Integrated Transactional Representation Program, the law school’s international law study programs in Japan, the Master’s in Transnational Law in Tokyo, Rome, Athens, and Tel Aviv, and the Master’s of Law Program for Chinese students in Beijing, which is China’s first and only foreign law degree-granting program. Dedicated to teaching both legal theory and preparing students for the “real world” practice of law, Temple Law School consistently reports job placement rates in excess of ninety percent.

Prior to his appointment as Vice President and Dean in 1989, Reinstein gained extensive experience in the legal profession. In 1968, he worked as a law clerk in the office of the Honorable Frank A. Kaufman and the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. In 1970, he joined the NAACP, where he served as a consulting attorney and participated in a number of successful class-action civil rights cases for seven years. From 1977 to 1978, he worked with the U.S. Department of Justice as a Senior Attorney in the Appellate Section of the Civil Rights Division and later, from 1979 to 1980, as the Chief of the General Litigation Section.

In addition to his legal practice, Reinstein served as a visiting professor of law from 1973 to 1997 at institutions including Georgetown University Law Center, University of Tel Aviv, and Temple University Japan. He has been a member of the Temple University faculty since 1969. In addition to his professorship, he served as University Counsel for Temple University from 1982 to 1989, advising the President, Board of Trustees, and other University officials on legal matters. He currently serves as Professor of Law.  He has also served pro bono as the Vice President of the Juvenile Law Center.

Reinstein has earned many awards for his work: He received the 2008 Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award from the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. In 2002, he was the recipient of the National Friendship Award, presented by the Prime Minister of China for the establishment of the Masters of Law Program for Chinese students; in addition, an endowed scholarship was created in his name in 1999 to commemorate his first ten years as Dean at Temple Law; and in 1996 he was awarded the National Urban League Whitney Young Award. He also received the American ORT Community Achievement Award in 1994 and an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Elizabethtown College.

Reinstein is the author of numerous articles on constitutional law, and two of his articles were recently cited by the United States Supreme Court.

Reinstein earned his Bachelor of Science degree with distinction from Cornell University (B.S., 1965) and his law degree cum laude from Harvard University School of Law (J.D., 1968). He is a member of the Maryland and Pennsylvania Bar Associations.


Mr. M. Walter D’Alessio, also known as Walt, serves as a Principal and Vice Chairman of NorthMarq Advisors, LLC. Mr. D’Alessio joined NorthMarq Advisors, LLC in 2003. From 1982 to July 2003, he served as the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Legg Mason Real Estate Services Inc. Mr. D’Alessio serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Grosvenor Investment Management US Inc. He has experience in planning, developing, financing, and managing real estate projects in Philadelphia.

Mr. D’Alessio served as Executive Director of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority for 12 years and as Executive Vice President of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation for ten years. He serves as the Chairman of Independence Blue Cross, Inc. and Independence Health Group. Mr. D’Alessio serves as the Chairman of Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. He serves as Vice Chairman of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Investment Arm. Mr. D’Alessio has been Non-Executive Chairman of Brandywine Realty Trust since March 25, 2004 and also has been Trustee since August 22, 1996. He has been a Non-Executive Chairman and Director of Legg Mason Real Estate Services Inc. from July 2003.

Mr. D’Alessio has been a Director of PECO Energy Company since July 23, 2007. He serves as an Independent Trustee of Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust since 2005 and also its Lead Independent Trustee since January 1, 2011. He serves as a Director at Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. Mr. D’Alessio has been a Director of Delaware River Port Authority Pennsylvania & New Jersey since February 28, 2011. He also serves as a Director of Point Five Technologies and as an Independent Director of Exelon Corporation from October 20, 2000 to December 31, 2012 and previously served as its Lead Director. Mr. D’Alessio served as a Director of Federal Housing Finance Board and served on the Board of Motologic, Inc. until 2011. He served as a Director of Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh since January 2008. Mr. D’Alessio served as a Director of Exelon Generation Company, LLC.

He holds a M.S. degree in City Planning from the University of Illinois and a B.S. degree in Landscape Architecture from Penn State.



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