ignition arts is a non-profit arts organization that has served communities in Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, Guatemala, and Oklahoma City. Founded at Emerson College in 2001, this is the company's 20th year. We INCUBATE new works in the form of plays and musicals, we INVESTIGATE the world through podcasting and we IGNITE personal and ensemble growth through our methodology Brennan Check-In. We actively engage with our communities, cultivate necessary new work and foster collaboration across all genres of art and change-making. Whether it’s a play-reading, a podcast or personal transformation, Ignition Arts is the place to stART something. Ignition Arts has generated 50 productions across five cities. Our podcasts include Thank You 10, The Brennan Book Blog, Fair Play and The Spin. From Tony Kushner's gay fantasia Angels in America to Jeff Goode's sardonically irreverent The Eight: Reindeer Monologues or our original docudrama on the military Silhouettes of Service to the development of a new YA Infinity Trilogy, we pilot relevant work that promotes conversation, community and change. Ignition Arts is helmed by Artistic Director Kate Brennan and Executive Director Gregory DeCandia.
To entertain, educate, and enlighten audiences with exciting world premieres and innovative explorations of classic works.
Kate Brennan(Artistic Director) is a Designated Linklater Teacher, Certified Yoga Instructor, Certified Thai Bodyworker and Melt Hand & Foot Instructor. Her methodology, Brennan Check-In, has been developed with HBMG’s National Winter Playwrights Retreat, The 4 Seasons Residency, Oklahoma City University, McCarter Theatre Center, Statera Arts and Ignition Arts. She has been on faculty with OCU, McCarter Theatre Center, Walnut Street Theatre, St. Joseph’s U., Rosemont College, and Temple U., among others.
Gregory DeCandia(Founder/Executive Director) is a multimedia artist, director, and educator who has worked professionally in the arts and culture sector for 20 years. While attending Emerson College (BFA), DeCandia founded Ignition Arts in 2001 and served as its Producing Artistic Director until his 2012 transition to Executive Director. Gregory has been involved in over 100 new works and is a proud member of AEA and the National Alliance of Acting Teachers. He also hold and MFA from UNC Chapel Hill.
Kristen Cerelli(Artistic Associate) is an actor, singer-songwriter, director and coach, and currently
serves as Asst. Prof.of Acting in the College of Fine Arts at UK. Ms. Cerelli has acted on tour (Peter Pan), in regional theatre (Hazard County, Big Love), off-Broadway (Spring Storm, A World with Snow), on tv and in independent film (The Sopranos, She’s Wild Again Tonight). She is a member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA, and The Actors Studio in NYC & LA. She holds a BA from Binghamton U. & MFA from The New School
David Lee White(Artistic Associate) is a NJ based playwright, performer and educator. His work runs the gamut from crowd-pleasing comedy, political satire, verbatim theatre, educational theatre and mental health advocacy. David created three musicals with Kate Brennan – AliEN8, Clean Slate and Illuminate. He is a 2020 MAP Fund recipient. David was commissioned by the NJPAC to create the play Fixed, which premiered at Passage Theatre (2017.) Learn more @ https://davidleewhite.net/
DeMond B Nason(Artistic Affiliate) is a graduate of the Boston Conservatory & proud AEA member. Off-Bway:Click Clack Moo (Duck), Walmarutopia (Darin,Alan,etc.), Cabin in the Sky. Tour: Cinderella (Lionel), Junie B Jones (Sheldon Pots). Regional: JCS (Judas), The Wiz ( Lion), Titanic (Fredrick Fleet), Fame (Mable). Flim: Julie Taymor's Across the Universe.
Corinne Prudente(Artistic Affiliate) is a recent graduate of Oklahoma City University. Recent performances have been with OCU Theatre, OCU Film, and Ignition Arts. She has worked on several art projects with Ignition Arts, done freelance art and design, and run several fandom art events and accounts.
Sage Tokach(Artistic Fellow) is a graduate candidate in the M.F.A. Theatre for Young Audiences program at the University of Central Florida. She’s from Abilene, Kansas and got her B.F.A. from Oklahoma City University before touring the country with Missoula Children’s Theatre. Outside of her work with Ignition Arts, Sage works as a teaching artist at the Orlando Repertory Theatre and conductor of Playback UCF.
Josh Goldhaber(Administrative Fellow) [they/them] is an undergraduate student in Drexel University’s custom-design major studying Music Composition for Theatre, examining the interplay between artforms as methods of creative expression, communication, and storytelling. Originally from Guilderland, New York, they’re a performer, composer/songwriter, and classically trained concert pianist. They’ve music directed, provided accompaniment, and performed on-stage in various productions at Drexel & beyond
INTERNS PAST & PRESENT
Mandell Professionals in Residence Project (MPiRP) is an Westphal College Department of Performing Art’s collaborative program bringing theatre and dance professionals on to the Drexel campus for performances, production and instruction. Drexel students are given opportunities to work hands on with professional artists to produce high quality productions. Members of the Drexel University community are enriched by the high quality of dance and theatrical productions being offered through MPiRP in the Mandell Theater. Philadelphia is fast becoming one of the most important places in the country for innovative and exciting theater and dance, and MPiRP provides valuable space for some of these up and coming performing arts organizations and artists.
MPiRP’s was founded in 2005 with Pig Iron Theatre Company in residence celebrating their 10th Anniversary season and has since host New Paradise Laboratories, EgoPo Productions, Azuka Theatre, Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company; 11thHour Theatre Company; 1812 Productions, Philadelphia Artists Collective (PAC), Simpatico Theatre Project; Swim Pony Performing Arts; Orchestra 2001; and Pasion y Arte.
ignition arts has had the privilege to obtain residencies with arts organizations across the continent to foster meaningful collaborations on stage and in the community.
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
New Work Initiative was developed by Artistic Director Michael Baron to allow the theatre to commit to producing world premieres. The New Works Initiative supports the future of theatre by making Oklahoma a home for new work development. Since its inception Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma produced the world premieres of Triangle, Bernice Bobs Her Hair, Mann..and Wife, Disney's When You Wish, When Were Gone, and the regional premiere of Girlfriend. Lyric granted Ignition Arts a six-month residency as part of this Initiative to present six new gender parity plays and the workshop of the new Brennan & White musical Clean Slate.
Oklahoma Contemporary encourages artistic expression in all its forms through education, exhibitions, and performance. Formed in 1989 as City Arts Center by Christian Keesee and Kirkpatrick Foundation Director Marilyn Myers, is a nonprofit organization committed to providing the community with quality, accessible and affordable arts programming and education. Oklahoma Contemporary strives to demonstrate leadership by modeling excellence and best practices for inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility. During the 2018-19 we proudly Silhouettes of Service and the workshop of the new Brennan & White musical ALiEN8 as part of Ignition Arts season long Performance Residency.
Society Hill Playhouse's Red Room Resident Company was BCKSEET Productions (now Ignition Arts) from January 2006 until May of 2010. World Premieres: Hung on a Blonde Ponytail: An Act of Rock, Some Assembly Required: A Meta Musical. After more than fifty years of theatre SHP had its final curtain in 2016.
Instituto Guatemalteco Americano has been providing individuals of all ages, from all corners of the globe, with the largest array of educational development programs in Guatemala since 1945. After the acclaimed bi-lingual production of William Shakespeare's Othello, BCKSEET Productions was offered a season long residency in IGA's Teatró Dick Smith to remount Othello and reimagine Little Shop of Horrors into a bi-lingual production utilizing professional and student actors.
Seacoast Repertory Theatre's founding artistic director, Roy M. Rogosin, welcomed BCKSEET Productions (now Ignition Arts) back to the US by offering a summer residency at the Rep. Company members Gregory DeCandia, Oscar Clavería, Christopher Butterfield, and Braden LuBell spent the summer devising a five year plan for the next destination for the company Philadelphia in addition to staging David Mamet's Sexual Perversity in Chicago.