Erica Gould will direct the 80-minute piece — starting at 9:30 PM each evening — which features short works from a slew of playwrights. Music by Stefania De Kenessey and Nick Hallett.
Penned by founding members Rob Ackerman, Suzanne Bradbeer, Anton Dudley, Brian Keith Jackson, Rajiv Joseph, Laurence Klavan, Carson Kreitzer, Neil LaBute, Edwin Sanchez, Theresa Rebeck, and Sheri Wilner, SpeakEasy is a theatrical event that is environmentally-staged.
"In a New York City something like our own," reads a description, "a performance space awakens and sees itself. Strongmen, snake charmers, showgirls and musicians turn neo-vaudeville on its head and surround the audience with things strange, unexpected and full of odd delight. But other forces are at work tonight?"
Joining Chalfant (Wit, Angels In America), Garafalo ("Reality Bites," "Now and Then") and Cooper (Caroline, or Change, The Life) in the cast are Amelia Campbell (Tryst, Waiting In The Wings), Jeremy Schwartz (The Last Carburetor, Karla), Judith Hawking (Voices In The Dark, Ivanov), Jessica Blank (The Exonerated, "Rescue Me") and Antoinette LaVecchia (String of Pearls, "The Sopranos"). More casting will be announced shortly.
Tickets to SpeakEasy can be purchased at The Public Theater Box Office or through (212) 239-6200. For more information on The Fire Dept, visit them on the web at thefiredept.org. *
Initially inspired by The Exonerated and Brave New World: American Theatre Responds to 9/11, the new group "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," according to an announcement.
Jessica Blank (The Exonerated), Erica Gould (Brave New World) and Audrey Rosenberg (Elle) serve as artistic directors for the troupe.
The Artistic Advisory Board for The Fire Dept includes Peter Askin, Jill Clayburgh, Emily Mann, Lynn Redgrave, Marian Seldes, Sam Waterston. Founding members of the group — which is "dedicated to the development of new plays as well as vital re interpretations of existing works... [to] ignite questions, spark controversy, and respond to the urgency of our times — includes Kathleen Chalfant, Constance Congdon, Chuck Cooper, Peter Gallagher, Janeane Garafalo, Jeff Goldblum, Judith Hawking, Erik Jensen, Toby Jones, Harry Lennix, Matthew Modine, Dael Orlandersmith, Jose Rivera, Jake Robards and Rebecca Wisocky.