SCTC Welcomes Theatre-Goers Back To In-Person Theatre With The Regional Premiere of Quiara Alegrîa Hudes’ “Daphne’s Dive”

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CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY, August 3, 2021 – South Camden Theatre Company and the Waterfront South Theatre in Camden, NJ, are proud to announce that we are once again reopening to live audiences. Our production, the regional premiere of Quiara Alegrîa Hudes’ “Daphne’s Dive” will open to live, in-person audiences on September 10, 2021. We’ve been very thoughtful regarding our cast and creatives and how we will welcome guests back to our theatre. To learn more about this, please read more online:

The company is also excited to announce that we have chosen an Interim Artistic Director to replace Raymond Croce, Sr., our retiring Artistic Director. The Interim Artistic Director position will be filled by actor, director, musician, and teacher Dawn Varava. Dawn is a graduate of the Hartt School of Music and Rowan University for Theatre. She is currently an Equity actor and has performed on our stage in several past productions, including “The Savannah Sipping Society” and “Gemini”. Dawn’s guidance will be key as we embark on our first post-Covid live productions. She told us, “I’m very excited to be taking over the reigns of South Camden Theatre Company. I’ve always held a very special place in my heart for the Company, its mission in Camden, and for the professional work they put on their stage.” Outgoing Artistic Director, Ray Croce was excited to nominate her at the August board meeting and immediately following the vote and meeting took Dawn to our second-floor offices to show her her desk with its extensive collection of plays. 

“Daphne’s Dive” by Quiara Alegrîa Hudes is being directed by Joel Guerrero and is our third production of our 2021 season of American stories. This show takes place in a tucked-away corner bar in North Philly where Daphne and her vibrant, eclectic regulars drink to art, politics, and life. This is the second show the company has produced by Hudes. The first, “Water by the Spoonful,”was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and was produced on our stage in January 2017. Joel tells us, “The opportunity to help tell one of Hudes stories has always been a personal desire of mine. She has proven through all of her work that she is an ultimate storyteller. It’s also my first chance to tell a story of Latin Americans in Philadelphia! As a Latin American who lives in Philly, I have always been drawn to telling our stories and experiences. My goal is to stay true to the story while representing the vast spectrum of our Latin culture. Many people think Latin equals brown, while in actuality the Latin community spans from the indigenous Latin Americans of Mexico and Puerto Rico to the Afro-Latino populations of the Dominican Republic and South America. I hope the audience will embrace the show and its many faces of Latin culture.”

Joel continued to express his passion for the play and when asked if the play hit any specific emotions he shared, “Daphne’s Dive” has changed how I see one’s own nuclear family and one’s chosen family. In today’s society, family is a word that means many things and this show truly embraces that idea. Not only will this show speak to the residents in Camden and Philadelphia, but it will also speak to the human experience.”

He also mentioned the play’s leading character Daphne and how strong she stays throughout the show. He knew he had to cast a woman with the same strengths in their own character. The selection of Jessy Gruver for the lead female role was motivated by an experience he had sharing the stage with her. She has the acting chops, but most importantly she’s a mother and can grasp the matriarchal aspects of this story’s lead character. 

See “Daphne’s Dive” live, on-stage from September 10-September 26. Our shows run Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 PM, and on Sundays at 2:00 PM. 

This season of American stories was created to tug at your heart, make you laugh, and bring you entertainment that you simply can’t see anywhere else. Each ticket you purchase supports our actors, directors, stage managers, artists, and our beautiful home, The Waterfront South Theatre, Camden’s first theatre built in more than 100 years. 

Learn more about the theatre company here:

Read more about “Daphne’s Dive” here: 


About The Theatre Company

South Camden Theatre Company is proud to call Camden home. When the company was founded in 2005, performances were held in the basement theatre of the Sacred Heart Church. We’re now the proud owners of The Waterfront South Theatre, the first, free-standing theatre built in Camden in more than 100 years.

Along with the theatre company, the Waterfront South neighborhood is also a growing arts community. Our arts neighbors now include Camden FireWorks, artist studio spaces, and gallery, The Nick Virgilio Writer’s House, Bee Still Studios, The Camden Shipyard & Maritime Museum, Camden Boat Works, and the Center For Environmental Transformation, along with The Heart of Camden, The Camden Sophisticated Sisters, and The Sacred Heart Church.

Visit: to learn more about this growing arts community. 


About our sponsors

South Camden Theatre Company was selected by PNC Bank to participate in PNC Arts Alive again for our next two seasons. This is a very prestigious grant award. Just over 40 organizations in the Philadelphia and Southern, New Jersey region, were selected for bold thinking around increasing arts access and engagement.

“We’ve long recognized just how vital the arts and cultural sector is to our community. The PNC team is once again excited to support the arts and cultural organizations visual and performing arts in the Delaware Valley,” said Joe Meterchick, PNC regional president for Philadelphia, Delaware and Southern New Jersey. “Arts and culture strengthen the local economy and have the power to bring people together. As we look forward to resuming everyday activities, we invite our neighbors to join us and be a part of art.” Read more here:

Our shows are also sponsored in part by Holman Enterprise GroupCamden City Cooper Foundation, and Camden County Cultural & Heritage Commission with additional Covid-19 financial support from NJEDA, and the SVOG.


Contact: Office: (856) 409-0365  Robert Bingaman, Communications: (609) 471-4168

Photos: Left to Right – Quiara Alegrîa Hudes, Joel Guerrero, Jessy Gruver,
Daphne’s Dive show logo, Camden’s Waterfront South Theatre (the first theatre built in Camden in more than 100 years.)

hudes_playwright 2Joel_director copy 2 Jessica_Gruver copy 3
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