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Off By One
June 12 July 7
Off By One
June 12 July 7
June 12-July 7, 2024
By Joseph Dougherty Directed by Abigail Adams Steinbright Stage
David Strathairn stars in this profoundly human world premiere by Emmy Award winner Joseph Dougherty

A wrong-number text brings strangers together in a web of curiosity and memory, with magnetic poet Douglas Roote (multi-award winner David Strathairn, The Cherry Orchard) at the center. As two women bond over the late writer's work, this gentle narrative explores questions of fate, coincidence, and the profound impact of a seemingly small life. In this poignant world premiere written by Emmy Award winner Joseph Dougherty, directed by Abigail Adams (Lettie, The Vinegar Tree) and featuring Company Artists Claire Inie-Richards (The Vinegar Tree), Aubie Merrylees (The Vinegar Tree), and Mary Elizabeth Scallen (Alice in Wonderland: A Musical Panto), Off By One grapples with the deeply human impulse to seek meaning and connection in the accidental and unknown.

Individual Sponsors:  Katie & Bill McNabb
With additional generous support from: Kumi and Bill Martin Foundation, Charlotte Cushman Foundation

Cast and Creative Team
Claire Inie-Richards
Aubie Merrylees
Mary Elizabeth Scallen
David Strathairn
Joseph Dougherty
Abigail Adams
Daniel Zimmerman
Scenic Designer
Marla J. Jurglanis
Costume Designer
Dennis Parichy
Lighting Designer
Carsen Joenk
Sound Designer
Len Berkman
Audrey M. Brown
Stage Manager
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Off By One program
Read the Program
Poetry Happy Hour
Join us in the Steinbright for poetry and drinks!
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Enhance Your Experience
Scoop: Tales with Tom

Join local legend and longtime People’s Light company artist Tom Teti for a Scoop like no other. With his trademark wit and searing insight, Tom performs pieces focused on death, memory, and growing old. Following the performance, share a drink or snack with Tom and discuss your thoughts and questions about the piece, theater, and Tom’s life. Afterwards, join us at 2pm for Off By One.

Tales with Tom is free with reservation, tickets to the Off By One matinee sold separately.



Sunday, June 23 at 1pm, before the 2pm Off By One matinee


Our post-show talkback series is back! Join us after every Thursday 7pm performance* for a post-show discussion, or folk-talk, where audience members will have a chance to discuss the piece and ask questions. Each AfterWORDS is moderated by a People’s Light staff member, who may be joined by a member of the cast or creative team.

*Since there is no performance on July 4th, AfterWORDS will be held on Wednesday 7/3 that week.

Off By One AfterWORDS dates: 6/13, 6/20, 6/27, 7/3

Relaxed Performance & Post-Show Panel

Relaxed Performances offer a judgment-free environment that invites individuals with autism, ADHD, dementia, and other sensory sensitivities to enjoy theatre in a relaxed, “shush-free” zone—a great option for parents with young children, too. For each Relaxed Performance, we offer a pre-show Sensory Tour, during which patrons are able to enter the theatre space, view the set and props, and ask questions.

After the show, stay for our next Intersecting Realities panel, featuring certified grief and empowerment coach and Choosing Serenity Owner and President Regena Grizzle, as well as Off By One actors and company artists Claire Inie-Richards and Aubie Merrylees.

Audio description and ASL interpretation is available for the entirety of the performance and panel.

Sunday, June 30 at 2pm

Audio Description

Headsets provide commentary on the visual aspects of a performance. This supplemental narration interweaves with the real-time, spoken dialogue.

Sunday, June 30 at 2pm

American Sign Language Interpretation

This performance features American Sign Language interpretation provided by Hands UP Productions. This is also a Relaxed Performance.

Sunday, June 30 at 2pm

Poetry Happy Hour

Join us on the Steinbright Stage for poetry, drinks, and lively conversation. The poems and discussions will focus on remembrance through others, art living on through future generations, and legacy, all intersecting with the themes of this production. Hosted and facilitated by Philadelphia-based artist and cultural worker Anjoli Santiago, with readings by local poets. Your ticket includes one free drink of your choice from concessions!


Monday, June 24 at 5:30pm (performance starts at 6pm)

Open Captioning

During every performance this week, dialogue appears on an LED screen placed near the stage to benefit patrons with hearing impairments, as well as English language learners.

July 2-July 7

Smart Caption Glasses

Our Smart Caption Glasses offer immersive, real-time captioning for live theatre. These revolutionary glasses display a synchronized transcript of the play directly on the lenses, and are customizable for your comfort.

Smart Caption Glasses are available at performances of this play in the date range below. To reserve your pair of glasses, simply add tickets to your cart, then follow the link that appears at the top of the page to add a glasses reservation to your cart for free! For assistance, please contact the Box Office at

June 25-July 7

Access Nights

To expand access to our work, we offer 50%-off Access Nights throughout the season. The discount is automatic for these performances, no promo code required.

Friday, June 14 at 7pm
Tuesday, July 2 at 7pm