THEATER 2013 Sextortion


GENRE: Theater

DESCRIPTION: 2013 Fresh Fruit Award-winner McCarthy takes us on a wild cyber ride into the world of teen “sexting.”

PERFORMS: Monday, July 8 @ 7pm; Tuesday, July 9 @ 9pm; Sunday, July 14 @ 2pm (The Wild Project, 195 E. 3rd St, NY, NY)



“Eschewing comfortable simplicity for more challenging complexity, ‘sExtOrtiOn’ wrestles with the themes of bullying, pack behavior, sexual identity, and teen sexual experimentation. Its strength, however, is its willingness to tackle the weightier issues of motivation and the hidden violence extant on the underbelly of those themes.” — David Roberts, Theatre Reviews Limited

Can’t Sleep, Inc. presents sExtOrtiOn by Patrick Thomas McCarthy, direction by Christopher Caines, with set, costume, and lighting design by Caines, fight direction by Galway McCullough, and projections design by Katherine Hammond.  Stage managed by Veronica Gheller.  At the ALL OUT ARTS Fresh Fruit Festival, at The Wild Project, 195 E. 3rd St @ Ave. B (near Ave. B and Houston St.; F train to 2nd Ave.) on Monday, July 8 @ 7pm, Tuesday, July 9 @ 9pm, and Sunday, July 14 @ 2pm. Tickets: $18 at starting May 30, 2013.

In sExtOrtiOn, by award-winning playwright Patrick Thomas McCarthy (, one lonely, outcast boy’s desperate desire for “Something warm, something human, something now” drives him to hatch a scheme that draws his entire high school and its surrounding Middle American community into a harrowing vortex. Posing as a girl on a social media site, he first entices his classmates to send him compromising photos and videos, then “sextorts” them into upping the ante of each physical encounter with the threat of exposure. Inspired by a national news making teen “sexting” and extortion scandal, sExtOrtiOn digs deep beneath the superficial and sensationalistic treatments in national media accounts to explore the roots of adolescents’ fluid sexual identity, experimentation, and recklessness, and the consequences of bullying, pack behavior, and hidden violence. sExtOrtiOn takes place over a year during which none of the “sextorted” boys reveals what is happening until the central character inexplicably turns himself in. Over the course of the play’s 90 minutes, the nine characters of sExtOrtiOn struggle to make sense of the story’s myriad unanswered questions. The community ultimately prefers scapegoating to self-examination.

Director/designer Christopher Caines ( and fight director Galway McCullough ( plan a highly physical production stressing the combat readiness many high school students must adopt every time they traverse the menacing territory of a school corridor. Media designer Katherine Hammond (Warehouse of Theatre, Old Dominion University), media designer for McCarthy’s award-winning PRIDE RIVER CROSSING, winner of the 2012 Fresh Fruit Festival prizes for Best Ensemble and Best Play, brings to visual life the “sexting” and instant messaging vital to these teens’ communication. Stage manager Veronica Gheller (SMILE, JOE EGG). Costume coordinator Susan Cook (LUCKY GUY, BRING IT ON, SEMINAR, LEAP of FAITH, COAST of UTOPIA).

sExtOrtiOn’s cast includes: Joshua Warr (PRIDE RIVER CROSSING, JOSHING AROUND, HUNTING SEASON) as Quin Quimby, the only out gay kid at Middle Falls High School; Spencer Scott (sExtOrtiOn development readings, CHRISTMAS CAROL with Austin Pendleton) as Donny Doirko, a troubled loner; Seth Shirley (sExtOrtiOn development readings, Opera Omaha, Omaha Playhouse) as Buck Cummings, a bullying jock with control issues; Justin Garascia (The Flea’s RESTORATION COMEDY; A CHORUS LINE) as Bradley Michael White, the BMW, the golden boy athlete promised to Brenda; Joshua David Bishop (Julie Taymor’s ACROSS the UNIVERSE, INTO the WOODS) as Brent Dodge, marching band geek; Andrew Gelles (THE LAST DAYS of JUDAS ISCARIOT, THE CHANGELING) as Ben Benjamin, Buck’s lieutenant; Julia Hochner (TAPE, PHASES) as Brenda Fenton Flair, the BFF, cheerleader, promised to Brad; Chantal Thomson (PRIDE RIVER CROSSING, CHRISTMAS CAROL with Austin Pendleton, sExtOrtiOn development reading) as Britany Gray, cool girl, school monitor. and Jeff Ronan (The Flea’s THESE SEVEN SICKNESSES, THE MIDDLE) as Mr. Zee, school administrator.

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