Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Fire Dept. May Rage



A New Theater Company

JUNE 25, 2007

THE FIRE DEPT Artistic Directors Jessica Blank, Erica Gould and Audrey Rosenberg announced today the launch of THE SALON SERIES, staged readings of new plays that address compelling contemporary issues, followed by food, drink and intimate discussion among the artists, audience and noteworthy guest speakers. The inaugural event in the series, At War: American Playwrights Respond to Iraq, will take place on Monday, June 25th at 6:30 PM at the National Arts Club (15 Gramercy Park South). At War will comprise original theatrical material written by noted American playwrights including Jose Rivera and The Exonerated's Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, woven together to present a kaleidoscope of views on the war in Iraq.

The presentation will feature a cast of marquis performers and established NY actors, including Michael Cerveris (Sweeney Todd, Love Musik), Julianna Margulies (ER, The Sopranos), and David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck, Passion Fish) with others to be announced soon. At War will be directed by Erica Gould (Neil LaBute's autobahn, Jose Rivera's Brainpeople). The theatrical presentation will be followed by food, drink, and a discussion with the artists and the evening's guest speakers: Iraq war veteran, writer, and activist Paul Rieckhoff (Executive Director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) and author of the book Chasing Ghosts) and Mark Crispin Miller (Professor of Media Studies, NYU, and author of Mad Scientists (a study of war propaganda), and Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 Elections). They will be joined by a representative from Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (, which provides humanitarian aid to civilian victims in Iraq.

Tickets for At War: American Playwrights Respond to Iraq are $35 and are available through Theatermania at 212-352-3101 or 1-866-811-4111 and

For casting updates and more detailed information about THE FIRE DEPT and THE SALON SERIES, please go to

THE FIRE DEPT was founded in the spring of 2006 by Jessica Blank, Erica Gould, and Audrey Rosenberg. The company is made up of established and emerging writers, directors, actors and designers who have come together to create and produce work that cannot be replicated inside a television box or on a movie screen. THE FIRE DEPT is dedicated to producing invigorating, visceral theatre that not only entertains, but also wrestles with questions of importance to our society and our world. The work of THE FIRE DEPT combines the rigor and structure of great narrative storytelling with the vitality of formal experimentation to immerse audiences in a total experience that leaves them awake, alive and transformed. THE FIRE DEPT is dedicated to the development of new plays as well as vital re-interpretations of existing works. Using traditional as well as alternative theatre spaces, the plays produced by THE FIRE DEPT will ignite questions, spark controversy, and respond to the urgency of our times.

The founding members of THE FIRE DEPT are: Rob Ackerman, Suzanne Bradbeer, Dave Calvitto, Amelia Campbell, Kathleen Chalfant, Constance Congdon, Chuck Cooper, Stefania de Kenessey, Jessica Dickey, Anton Dudley, Peter Gallagher, Janeane Garofalo, Jeff Goldblum, Nick Hallett, Judith Hawking, Sarah Hayon, Brian Keith Jackson, Erik Jensen, Toby Jones, Rajiv Joseph, Laurence Klavan, Carson Kreitzer, Neil LaBute, Harry Lennix, Josh Lucas, Matthew Modine, Lynn Nottage, Denis O'Hare, Dael Orlandersmith, Aidan Quinn, Steven Rattazzi, Theresa Rebeck, Gloria Reuben, Jose Rivera, Jake Robards, Edwin Sanchez, Jeremy Schwartz, Sona Tatoyan, Myra Lucretia Taylor, April Yvette Thompson, Sheri Wilner, Rebecca WisockyArtist Advisory Board: Peter Askin, Jill Clayburgh, Emily Mann, Lynn Redgrave, Marian Seldes, Sam Waterston.

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