At The Flea Theater’s core is our resident volunteer acting company: The Bats. A pre-professional resident company, The Bats are unique to Manhattan’s Off-Off Broadway theater scene. They volunteer in all aspects of the theater, most particularly acting. As members of a thriving theatrical community, they have opportunities to practice and hone their craft with the full producorial support from The Flea’s entire administrative team.
As a not-for-profit, The Flea serves The Bats. The Flea gives these actors the support they would not otherwise have in the independent New York theater community. They benefit from a company of passionate peers, a theatrical home to present the new performances they create and stage, and the opportunity to act in productions helmed by master artists. As total theater artists who devote themselves to The Flea both on and off the stage, they develop the commitment and skills needed to deepen their craft and sustain a life-long engagement in the arts.
The Bats have performed in numerous world premieres including: Smoke by Kim Davies (NY Times Critics Pick), The Mysteries by 48 American playwrights (NY Times Critics Pick, two Drama Desk nominations), My Daughter Keeps Our Hammer by Brian Watkins (NY Times Critics Pick), Job by Thomas Bradshaw (NY Times Critics Pick) as well as shows by A.R. Gurney, Will Eno, Adam Rapp, Beau Willimon, Mac Wellman, Elizabeth Swados, Itamar Moses, Sheila Callaghan, Julian Sheppard, Ken Urban, Tommy Smith, Jonathan Reynolds, Trista Baldwin, Laurel Haines, Qui Nguyen, Sean Graney, and Amy Freed.
Quotes from The Bats
“The experiences I had while a Bat (from administrative activity during Bat hours to having the ultimate experience as an understudy) have been invaluable and have certainly given me a lot of ‘smarts’ and ‘guts’ that will continue to support me throughout my career as an artist. I hope you know that I will forever be an advocate and a supporter of The Flea and will always be proud to have been a part of something so profound.” – Andrew Fortman
“This company has given so much to me: my first show in New York, a place to belong, friends that feel like family, etc. etc. And I can’t thank you enough for each and every opportunity. This company has without hesitation changed my life for the better and I know that I wouldn’t be nearly as close to where I am now if it weren’t for the Flea.” – Miles Jacoby