Daphne’s Dive was our return to live and in-person theatre. Unfortunately, we were forced to close this production early due to an unfortunate set of circumstances.


“…a fierce compassion for its characters and an ardent love for Philadelphia’s diversity…there’s an unassailable heart to Hudes’ work…

In a tucked away corner of North Philly, six regulars gather at a neighborhood watering hole. Over twenty years, they turn their collective memories into a vivacious mythology. The tales they’d rather forget, however, keep sneaking up and tapping them on the shoulder. At Daphne’s Dive, an aloe plant, a girl’s sneaker, a stiff drink, and mounds of trash become talismanic treasures to a group of outsiders trying to be “in” together.”

This regional premiere drama from Quiara Alegría Hudes tracks the patrons of a Philadelphia watering hole, her hometown and the setting for her Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Water by the Spoonful” which was produced by SCTC in 2016, through a period of nearly 20 years.

“…a slow-burning, vibrantly sketched portrait of a scruffy North Philly booze joint…as much a portrait of a gentrifying community as a splintering group of friends.” — Time Out (New York) 


Jessy Gruver as Daphne

Jessica is a Philly-based actor and singer last seen in Oedipus el Rey with Teatro del Sol. She has performed with the Walnut Street Theatre South Pacific, Arden Theatre Candide, Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre Hunchback of Notre Dame and Seussical, PIFA/Kimmel Center Crystal Palace, Bristol Riverside Theatre Pride and Prejudice, Pirates of Penzance and various Musicales, and the Venetian Macao Resort, among others. Thanks and love to P and E. As always, for J. www.JessicaGruver.com

Shawneka Ponder as Ruby

Shawneka was born and raised in the Washington metropolitan area and is a professional actor, singer, dancer, and martial artist. She has appeared in all media, including the iconic plays, The Wiz, Vagina Monologues, and Pipeline, and films including Social Radical (on Amazon), Invade, and The Rise of a Dragon. She studied musical theatre at the Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory, acting at Aikan Acts, The Actors District, The Teaching Artist, and Communications and Theatre at Bowie State University. She is proud to be a part of the Daphne’s Dive cast. 

Daniela Malavé as Inez

There is no doubt that things may not have always been easy for Daniela. Many times when she could’ve laid down and just given up, her warrior spirit would never allow for such a thing.  Being a product of a single mother, Daniela understands the meaning of working hard to achieve what you want out of life.  As a returning adult at Siena College finishing up her Psychology degree, Daniela was cast in Ken Davenport’s, The Awesome 80′s Prom. Following  her heart’s true desire to be an actor while promisisng herself to get the education she’s always wanted, Daniela began her acting career right after graduating and never looked back. But God Almighty does she have school loans to prove it! In just four short years, Daniela has fearlessly delved into the various mediums that entertainment has to offer.  From dancing, film, tv, industrials, Off-Broadway, voice over and producing, Daniela is just getting warmed up. There are no expectations of handouts and Daniela only takes what’s rightfully hers through her tenatious presence and commitment.

Joel Guerrero as Acosta

View Joel’s bio below under Director.

Amy Boehly as Jenn

Amy is an actor, teaching artist, and theatremaker from Philadelphia. After receiving a B.A. in Acting, she began working with various theatre companies in Philly such as theatre exile, InterAct Theatre Company, Power Street Theatre, and Philly Young Playwrights. Amy is a proud member of the Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists and is in her second year of their playwrighting program. For more updates, head to www.amy-boehly.com 

Christopher David Roché as Rey

Christopher is a Philadelphia-based, actor, singer, producer, director, stage manager, and teaching artist. Training: Albright College, B.A. Theatre (Acting/Directing), B.A. History, Minor in Voice; Simpatico Theatre acting apprentice; Shawnee Playhouse acting apprentice; Walnut Street Theatre Masterclasses; EgoPo Classic Theatre Masterclass; 2004 Grammy Nominee, Jeffrey Lentz’s, voice studio. Select credits: This Is Reading w/Lynn Nottage; Ballad of Trayvon Martin as George Zimmerman, Othello: the Panther, Camelot, Peter Rabbit; Wizard of Oz, A Christmas Carol, Anything Goes (various); Die Fledermaus (Berks Opera); Life on the Mississippi, No Easy Road to Freedom, Amelia Earhart (Gretna Theatre); 74 Seconds to Judgement (Arden Theatre Company); Sense and Sensibility (People’s Light & Theatre Company); Young Frankenstein (Walnut Street Theatre). Visit his website for more info on upcoming projects: www.ChristopherDavidRoche.com

Anthony Diaz as Pablo

Anthony is a Philadelphia-based actor and graduate of Rutgers University where he earned his BA in both English and Theater. In his Philly debut with the Latin X theater company, Teatro Del Sol, he played Creon in their production of Oedipus El Rey. He has also worked with Delaware Shakespeare Company and performed in a number of Rutgers’ Productions. Always happy to be working locally, Anthony is humbled and thrilled to be a part of Daphne’s Dive.

Please take the time to download and read the program PDF for Daphne’s Dive. You’ll learn more about the cast, the crew, the playwright, and the theatre company. You’ll also see a complete list of donors and advertisers who support the arts in Camden. 


Joel is originally from San Angelo, Texas where he grew up and studied theatre at Angelo State University. There he was an active actor and director with his local theatre troupe and a teacher and director of youth productions. In December 2012 Joel moved to the greater Philadelphia area to join Hedgerow Theatre as a member of their professional fellowship program. There he lead many comedic production and served as the resident youth director. Joel is now a freelance actor/director with many theaters in the greater Philadelphia area. He is ecstatic to work with a cast of this caliber and truly hopes you enjoy this amazing story! After Daphne’s Dive, He will be directing Matilda the Musical at The Broadway Theatre of Pitman



Quiara Alegría Hudes is the Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist of Water By the Spoonful (Produced by SCTC in 2016); author of a memoir, My Broken Language; and screenwriter of In the Heights and Vivo. Previously, she co-wrote the Tony Award-winning stage musical In the Heights with Lin-Manuel Miranda and Miss You Like Hell at the Public Theater with Erin McKeown. Hudes’ notable essays include High Tide of Heartbreak in American Theater Magazine, #OurMothersToo in The Atlantic, and Corey Couldn’t Take It Anymore in The Cut. In opposition of the carceral state, Hudes and her cousin founded Emancipated Stories, a platform where people behind bars can share one page of their life story with the world. A passionate wife and mom, Hudes is a native of West Philly, and now lives with her family in Washington Heights, NY.

Quiara Alegría Hudes’ ‘Daphne’s Dive’ to premiere at the South Camden Theatre Company in September

The world-renowned playwright’s production centers on a dive bar located in North Philadelphia.












Funding has been made possible in part by the Camden County Cultural & Heritage Commission at Camden County College, through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.