Founded last year during, and because of, the COVID-19 shutdown of live in-person performances, the online theater company New Normal Rep (NNR) – with a mission of producing new and lesser-known plays with divergent perspectives that are reflective of today’s world – will conclude its inaugural 2020-21 season with the world premiere of F.I.R.E. by emerging playwright Julia Blauvelt, streaming on demand September 30-October 20.
According to NNR Artistic Director Jack Canfora, “Julia Blauvelt’s play F.I.R.E. is the kind of play I love. It has the most warm, rich characters; a multi-layered plot with a rich psychology; deadly serious stakes; and laughs throughout that make you hurt.” He added, “I first read some of Julia’s work when she was a talented actress just dipping her toes into playwriting. Her voice is unmistakable and frankly, as a playwright, enviable.”
The two-hour production weaves a story of the all-too-avoidable truths that conveniently slip into the shadows of corporate comfort, when an emergency audit of an average Fifth Avenue hedge-fund comes crashing down on the team moments before the start of their scheduled Summer Drinks Night. On what is the most important event of the year for the generally isolated back-office accountants, networking, fun, and free snacks are suddenly replaced with panic, chaos, and the need to confront some serious issues if the gang is to get through the night unscathed.
Heather Arnson directs a cast featuring Broadway’s Jeffrey Bean (Amadeus; Bells Are Ringing), along with Kierra Bunch, Nathaniel P. Claridad, Ella Dershowitz, Aaron Matteson, Nygel D. Robinson, and Carol Todd (who, like Bean, also serves on the NNR Board of Directors), with costumes by David Woolard, scenic and projections design by Edward T Morris, original music and sound by Lindsay Jones, virtual technical direction by Adriana Gaviria, and editing by Hiatt Woods.
F.I.R.E. plays Thursday, September 30-Wednesday, October 20, 2021, at New Normal Rep. For tickets (priced at $25 for general admission, $10 for students, educators, and theater professionals), go online. All NNR productions are streamed on demand and can be accessed via the website.