The Bats

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Who are The Bats?

The Bats are a volunteer resident acting company at The Flea Theater. These early career actors are given a myriad of opportunities to work on a wide variety of theater – from developing plays with our young Resident Directors to performing in our late night #serials@theflea to acting in a featured production. The Flea gives these early career actors the administrative and producerial support that they would not have in the independent New York theater community. Being a Bat is not for everyone.

Each year over a thousand actors audition for a place in this unique company. The Bats perform in extended runs of challenging classic and new plays. The Bats also work to support all the visiting performing artists at The Flea Theater.

Past Bat productions include: Benten Kozo, an Obie award winning production that played for over 6 months; Ajax (por nobody), a world premiere by Alice Tuan which played for 4 months and toured internationally; Baal by Bertolt Brecht, which also played for 4 months; two runs of Mac Wellman’s Cellophane; the premiere of Len Jenkin’s Like I Say and Margo Veil; the New York premiere of JABU by Elizabeth Swados; the world premiere of Screen Play by A.R. Gurney written expressly for the company; the New York premiere of Yussef El Guindi’s Back of the Throat which ran for over 6 months; The Great Recession by Thomas Bradshaw, Sheila Callaghan, Erin Courtney, Will Eno, Itamar Moses and Adam Rapp; the world premiere of Jonathan Reynolds’ Girls in Trouble; A.R. Gurney’s Office Hours; Steven Banks’ Looking at Christmas; Trista Baldwin’s American Sexy; Laurel Haines’ Future Anxiety; Zack Russell’s Just Cause; and Qui Nguyen’s She Kills Monsters.

Press for The Bats

“The performances by the Bats, the Flea’s young resident company, are all well thought out and fresh. The Bats are most definitely a talented group of young artists.” –

“One of Simpson’s best ideas is to have a resident company of young actors — called The Bats — who are selected each year from over a thousand candidates coming out of acting programs in the region and around the country.

The Bats are used in supporting roles in mainstage productions, but form the ensembles of the more experimental fare that is produced in the small basement space (an unusual oblong playing area that seems to push writers and directors to come up with bold cinematic staging concepts). The players change each season but the work of The Bats has been consistently strong in every Flea production I’ve seen over the past few years.” – Connecticut Post

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