Let’s Play Play

On the Internet everyone can hear you scream.

What happens when it’s your job to be friends with someone? When do you compromise artistic integrity for cash? Two Internet personalities skyrocket to stardom with a new “Let’s Play” video game show. But when a female gamer joins them, things get ugly. And then even uglier.

Let’s Play Play is about selling out, and how we use Internet personalities as replacements for real friends. It also embodies the infamously horrifying vitriol of YouTube comments.

Part of the 2015 FRIGID festival.

Praise for Let’s Play Play

Let’s Play Play deals nicely with this IRL/URL tug-of-war, something to think about the next time you try to have an opinion on the internet.” – Liz Richards, Indie Theater Now

FRIGID New York Sell Out Award

Hot Pepper Theater

Production Photos

Photos by Todd Brian Backus
Shown: Emeka Nwafor, Brittany K. Allen, and Zachary Clarence

Let’s Play Play

a new play by Ben Ferber | directed by Todd Brian Backus

 Featuring: Brittany K. Allen (Bayes), Zachary Clarence (Flood), and Emeka Nwafor (Dresher)

Nicholas Orvis (assistant director, stage manager), Shannon Stockwell (dramaturg), Mary Heatwole (lighting design), Emily White (costume design)

Who’s Who

Ben Ferber (playwright) is a writer/director/dramaturg/designer/performer. Hi. His tech thriller For the Lulz, also directed by Todd Brian Backus, headlined Portland Stage Company’s inaugural Studio Rep series. Other writing credits include aliterary reading (The Shed), Shut Down (PowerOut), and, with Donald McEwan, The Dickening (Midtown International Theatre Festival), Everything Seems so Plausible at 1 A.M.! (Common Ground Theatre, others), Well, That Escalated Quickly, and five seasons of Twyzzlers for Everyone Forever presents: Death Spares Not the Tiger, an epic radio drama (WOBC 91.5). Ben is a member of SDC and the Dramatists Guild, and is the year-round Artistic Assistant at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. On the web he co-runs we are the machine lords and Hot Pepper Theater.

Todd Brian Backus (director) is a director/producer/illustrator/photographer and someday he’ll finish adapting a play or two. Directing credits include: The Shadow by Shannon Stockwell, For the Lulz by Ben Ferber, Bystanders by Shannon Stockwell, and three installments of the staged reading series StageWhispers (PowerOut); and Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde by Moises Kaufman (SUNY Oswego).  Todd co-curated and produced two seasons of StageWhispers in Portland and is looking to bring the series to NYC. He has designed for Tandem Theatre Co., The NY NeoFuturists, and Portland Stage Company. Online Todd can be found on his website www.toddbrianbackus.com; at PlayPerDay, where he reads and reviews scripts ; and Hot Pepper Theater, where he eats habaneros and talks about shows.

Brittany K. Allen (Bayes) is a New-York based actor/writer/comedian. Recent city-side credits include Too Many Lenas (Ars Nova, New Ohio), The Three Sisters (HiveMind Theatre), The Donner Party: A Country Musical (The Chain) and assorted devised projects with Rescue Agreement Theatre. Brittany has also performed comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade, BritPack, and the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Her essays and fiction have been previously published in/on BUST Magazine, HelloGiggles, Reductress and Mercer Street. BFA, NYU-Tisch (ETW, Playwrights Horizons). Pertinent portals: brittanykathrynallen.com; @Britt_Kathryn

Zachary Clarence (Flood) is thrilled to collaborate with PowerOut on Let’s Play Play at the Frigid Theatre Festival!  Previous theatre credits include The Perfect Murder at Manhattan Rep, and Burning at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre. Sending love to his family and friends for their support, and a special thank you to RKS Management. BFA Acting Boston University, LAMDA, www.zacharyclarence.com

Emeka Nwafor (Dresher) is an Actor & Filmmaker, he is ecstatic to be part of the PowerOut family and making his debut as Dresher. He has played numerous roles such as three-card monte hustler Lincoln in TopDog/UnderDog and most recently the resilient hero Ben in Night of the Living Dead: Live! He has a great foundation in Theatre but Emeka also loves making short films. Be sure to check out his YouTube & Vimeo pages!

Nicholas Orvis (assistant director, stage manager) is a director, stage manager, dramaturg, and all-around theatrical practitioner based in New York City. Recent production work includes PAing PowerOut’s production of Not Afraid by Nora Sørena Casey. Directing credits include Peach, or Pig Land (Tandem Theatre Collective/PortFringe Festival); The Cardioluthier (Kirkland Art Center); The Tempest (Wesleyan University Theater Dept.); and Under Milk Wood and Twelve Angry Men (Wesleyan University Second Stage). He has also directed readings and scene nights, and worked as assistant director or dramaturg, at Portland Stage Company, the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, and Premiere Stages at Kean University, and is currently working as an administrative intern at New Dramatists. Nick is a co-founder and Artist-at-Large of the Tandem Theatre Collective, a geographically separated but aesthetically linked network of young artists dedicated to innovative methods of creating theatre and devising new works.

Shannon Stockwell is a dramaturg living in San Francisco. She is the publications associate for American Conservatory Theater, where she researches, writes, and edits articles for Words on Plays, the theater’s acclaimed dramaturgical resource guide. Recent dramaturgy credits include The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams (A.C.T. Fellows Project), Imelda, by Philip Estrera (A.C.T. Sky Festival); For the Lulz, by Ben Ferber (PowerOut). While an intern at Portland Stage from 2011-2012, she dramaturged Marie Antoinette: The Color of Flesh, by Joel Gross, and The Snow Queen, by Hans Christian Andersen and adapted by Anita Stewart. Stockwell is also a playwright, and is the author of The Shadow and The Continental Point of Inaccessibility, both of which have had readings directed by Todd Brian Backus. 

Mary Heatwole (lighting design) is a lighting designer, stage manager, and writer. Past design credits include The Tennessee Williams Project (Bedlam Ensemble), Commitment Cure (Strawberry Festival), Young Frankenstein (Weathervane Theater).Other recent credits include Not Afraid (PowerOut), the food was terrible (Bushwick Starr), Alphabetical (Columbia University), At First Sight (Broken Box Mime Theater), PLAY/DATE (Blind Spot Collective), Lake Full of Iron, Sky Full of Hope (Manhattan Repertory), and Volpone (Red Bull Theater). Many thanks to Ben and Todd!

Emily White (costume design) is a freelance costume designer and current MFA candidate at Tisch School of the Arts. Her most recent project was Not Afraid, which was produced by PowerOut and directed by Ben Ferber! San Francisco work includes Communiqué n° 10 at the Cutting Ball Theater, Crumble, or Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake, and ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore for Bigger Than a Breadbox Theater Co as well as Cloud Nine with the American Conservatory Theater’s MFA program. She has worked for The California Shakespeare Theater (Costume Design Assistant), The American Conservatory Theater (Costume Shop Admin Assistant), and The Santa Fe Opera (Costume Apprentice).