by Marina Keegan
directed by Josh Tyson
Dive into the crazy world of a 15-year-old boy from Queens obsessed with saving African children for $5 on the Internet. Bad electronic bands, pancreatic cancer, grand theft art and a remarkably ill-conceived plan soon take his obsession beyond rationality and back again.
Firework Theater ignites new work each year in New York City. We are proud to present this, our first ever reading series, as a platform to showcase the work of four talented emerging playwrights brought to life by the most amazing teams of directors and actors we know of.
Led by co-Artistic Directors Ben Cikanek and Mike Klar, Firework Theater (formerly known as Kids with Guns) presented its first play in the East Village in 2003. Since then, we have collaborated with many talented artists across ten full-length shows. We pride ourselves on our ability to foster a sense of community around our productions; and we thrive on the excitement of presenting passionate new work from an emerging generation of theater artists.
For more information, please visit our full website at fireworktheater.com
John Lenartz – New York: Iphigenia at Aulis, An Enemy of the People, The Lesson, The Trial (Phoenix Theatre Ensemble); Inherit the Wind (National Actors Theatre); The Idiot, Under Milkwood (Jean Cocteau Repertory). Regional: To Kill A Mockingbird (Hangar Theatre); The Grapes of Wrath, Much Ado About Nothing (Arkansas Repertory); L-Play (Berkshire Theater Festival); Eurydice (Madison Repertory); Henry V (Texas Shakespeare Festival). Proprietor of Windsor Wine Merchants, Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn.
Recent theatre credits include — New Jersey Repertory Company: Charlotte (Sunlight, World Premiere); Phoenix Theatre Ensemble: Chorus (Iphigenia at Aulis), Inez, (No Exit), Mrs. Stockmann (An Enemy of the People), The Painter (The Painting), all female roles (The Sneeze); Pearl Theatre Company: Sally Pratt (u/s, I Have Been Here Before); Manhattan Theatre Source/Estrogenius Festival: Mrs. Wholewig (The Enlightenment of Mrs. Cartwell); Alternate Theatre Company: Valerie (The Way to Begin); Texas Shakespeare Festival: Goneril (King Lear), Luciana (Comedy of Errors), Toinette (The Hypochondriac); Hamptons Shakespeare Festival: Perdita (A Winter’s Tale). Laura is a graduate of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), and is a proud member of Actor’s Equity.
Pete McElligott is an actor, writer, and teacher. A Chicago native, he graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Drama. His New York acting credits include: Cornelius in Choose Your Grown Adventure (Theater for the New City), Richmond in Richard III (CSV Flamboyan Theater), and Victor in Monster (Linhart Theater). Regional Credits include: Padraic in The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Alceste in The Misanthrope, and Craig/Peter in Dying City. He thanks you for reading his bio.
Richard is a senior undergraduate at Yale, studying art and film. Favorite past roles: Jojo in Seussical (1st Nat’l tour, dir. Chris Ashley, w/Cathy Rigby); Tinman in The Wiz (dir. Kenny Leon, Atlanta); originating roles in Wise Blood and Glass Act (Yale Undergraduate Theatre), and Joe! the Musical (French Woods). richardmiron.com.
Willa Fitzgerald is a junior at Yale University. She recently performed in Cow Play as Julie in the NYC Fringe and as Susanna in The Private Sector at Theater for the New City. She is thrilled to once again reprise the part of Sadie in Utility Monster.
Marina Keegan is in her final year studying Playwriting at Yale, where she works under Donald Marguiles and Deborah Margolin. Utility Monster had its debut at Yale in February 2011 and went on to win “Best Reading” in The Midtown International Theatre Festival last July. Other work includes Independents, an original folk musical (Music: Stephen Feigenbaum, Lyrics: Mark Sonnenblick) which premiered in Yale’s Off-Broadway Theater and is looking towards a NYC production this summer. Marina is the winner of the Yale J. Edward Meeker English Prize, the ORLO Writing Award, The Wallace Prize for Fiction and David Rakoff’s Gilded Ink Writing Contest – in addition to placing as a National Semi-finalist in the Normal Mailer Writing Competition. Outside of Yale, Marina has written for The New York Times, NPR and online for The New Yorker, where she worked last summer.
Josh Tyson is an actor/director and a founding member of the company. He directed the 2012 reading production of Utility Monster and originated the role of CALEB in the August 2010 production of Wolves. Tyson also originated the role of DANNY in An Octopus Love Story (2007), ROBBIE in Conference Room A (2005), and MARTIN in both of the company’s productions of The Blue Martini (2006, 2003). In 2010, Josh generously shared this Twilight audition footage with his loving fans.
Delaney Britt Brewer is a writer and performer living in New York. She was a 2008-9 Dramatists Guild Fellow, a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre’s playwriting group Youngblood, and currently an affiliated artist of New Georges Theater Co. and the literary manager of Firework Theater. Her work has been produced and workshopped at 59e59, The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, the APAC, PS122, Center Stage, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Theatre at St. Clements (for the New York Musical Theatre Festival), Theatre Row, The Abingdon, Collective Unconscious, The Chernuchin at the American Theatre of Actors, and The Wings Theater. She is a member of the video art ensemble OtherPeople. OtherPeople are recent recipients of a grant from the Experimental TV Center and residencies at both Art Farm and LKV in Norway. A freelance writer, her music reviews and pieces can be found on mulevariations.com. This Spring, her new work The Brink of Us will enjoy a week long workshop directed by Kara-Lynn Vaeni at University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Ben Cikanek is a playwright and a founding member and co-Artistic Director of Firework Theater, a company he formed with creative partner, Mike Klar in 2003 (previously known as Kids with Guns.) Cikanek authored The Night Carter was Bad (59E59 Theaters) and Conference Room A (The Red Room). He is an alumnus of Northern Illinois University and Improv Olympic in Chicago. In his free time, he enjoys listening to jazz, watching Woody Allen movies, and facilitating strategic workshops for big companies. Contact Ben at ben [at] fireworktheater.com or follow him on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
Mike is a director and a founding member and co-Artistic Director of Firework Theater, a company he started with Ben Cikanek in 2003 (previously known as Kids with Guns.) Directing credits include Wolves (59E59 Theaters), The Night Carter was Bad (59E59 Theaters), An Octopus Love Story (Center Stage), and Conference Room A (The Red Room). Mike has a BFA from the University of Delaware in Visual Communications, and when he’s not making theater he helps big companies solve big problems and small companies do big things on the web.
CPR is the singular new development for the performing arts in Brooklyn’s first L.E.E.D. certified green building of its kind. This 4,000 square foot arts facility provides affordable space for rehearsal and performance, innovative arts programming, education and pedagogical engagement with the communities of New York City and abroad. For more information visit their website.
Special thanks to
Firework Theater’s 2012 season is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State’s 62 counties.
*member of Actors Equity Association