Coming of age in the theater

Stan Heleva has been carving out an independent niche in Philadelphia for over 20 years. In the early ‘90s, his nonprofit company, B. Someday, organized readings for local poets and published chapbooks of their work. In 2007, Heleva and his wife, actress Michelle Pauls, built the Walking Fish Theatre in an old Frankford Avenue storefront. The 50-seat venue is now home to everything from stand-up comedy to burlesque to yoga and acting classes — and, of course, plenty of theater as well.

These days, B. Someday Productions is strictly in the theater trade. This weekend, they debut Heleva’s latest play, “Mistaken Charity,” a 19th-century period farce about aging in a sometimes unsympathetic society.

“I kind of fell in love with Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman. She’s a 19th-century author that wrote about older, poverty-stricken women living alone in New England. I loved it. It was so rare for popular fiction of that time to feature characters like that,” says Heleva. “It captured my imagination, I think, because I sometimes wonder if theater-goers are aging to the point where there won’t be any in the near future.”

‘Mistaken Charity’
Friday through May 21
Walking Fish Theatre
2509 Frankford Ave.
$16-$20, 215-427-WALK

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