The Berserker Residents

About The Berserker Residents

The Berserker Residents are an ensemble dedicated to creating original works of alternative comedy with a focus on parody, absurdism, and subverting theatrical conventions. We are a team of three Philadelphia-based wizards of imagination - Justin Jain, David Johnson, and Bradley K. Wrenn. We aim to plow the depths of the ludicrous and downright silly with one hand, while making a firm connection to our audiences with the other. We have been hailed as “daft, ephemeral and joyous” by The Scotsman and have been praised for our “refusal to relinquish that unrefined creative spirit” by The New York Times. The Berserker Residents buck the traditional “season” theater model for a more flexible structure that keeps us lean and nimble and allows us to adapt to opportunities as they present themselves.

The Berserker Residents’ work has been presented at the Abron’s Art Center, The San Francisco Mime Troupe, The Annenberg Center, Philadelphia FringeArts, Arcadia University, Swarthmore College, University of the Arts, The Community Education Center, and The Assembly in Edinburgh, Scotland. We have been company-in-residence with FringeArts, White Pines Productions, University of the Arts, and Ars Nova NYC.

The Berserker Residents first show, The Jersey Devil, premiered at the 2007 Philadelphia Fringe Festival (Sept ’07). The success of The Jersey Devil led our fledgling ensemble to undertake a trilogy of shows, creating two more pieces for the following two Fringe Festivals (2008 and 2009). Our second show The Giant Squid, a scientific lecture gone awry was called “...innovative, packed with little surprises, fine-tuned, and wonderfully wacky...” by the Philadelphia Inquirer. The following year, we created the “delightfully goofy humanity-in-peril tale” (The New York Times) of The Annihilation Point which later toured to the Abrons Arts Center in NYC (Jan 2011). In 2010-2011 The Berserkers also received two commissions: The Very Merry Xmas Carol Holiday Adventure Show (now published by Playscripts Inc.) from locally- based Theater Horizon and The Lapsburgh Layover at New York’s Ars Nova. In 2012 and 2013 we remounted both The Jersey Devil, for a west coast tour and The Giant Squid, for a Philadelphia college circuit.

Today, the three of us continue to inspire each other and find new ways to entertain our unique audience of young Philadelphians looking for experiences that break the mold of what can be done in a theatrical setting. 

Most recently, The Berserkers performed in the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe with their wildy sucessful production of The Post Show, a fake post-show talkback for a show the audience never saw. In Fall of 2015, The Berserkers premiered their latest project, It's So Learning, a nightmare classroom examining American education and our collective memory of how and why we went to school. 


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Philadelphia, PA 19147

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