Little Brother Director’s Note

Little Brother Director’s Note

Here’s the unedited version of the Little Brother director’s note that will appear in the program.  Great thoughts from Josh about the novel and it’s eerie parallel with current events.

I first read Cory Doctorow’s novel Little Brother in 2009. I loved it, and it wasn’t long before I started thinking about turning it into a play. It’s got all kinds of things I like to put on stage: young people fighting back against a corrupt system, a pinch of science fiction, a sweet yet strikingly honest teenage romance. There aren’t many stories that hit so many of my buttons all at once. I emailed Cory Doctorow that June, and he replied twelve minutes later, cc’ing his agent and saying he was open to the idea.

I spent the next several months banging out a first draft, then got the chance to hear it aloud at a couple of staged readings with SF Playhouse. That led to more rewrites, and eventually I brought the script to Brian Katz and he agreed to produce it with Custom Made.

In the year since then, I’ve continued working on the script even as events in the real world caught up with and threatened to move past what happens in the story. Neither the Arab Spring nor Occupy Wall Street are predicted in Little Brother, but it is impossible to look at Little Brother now without thinking about both of them. It has been said that Cory Doctorow predicts the present. When people use technology to come together in solidarity against vastly more powerful forces, and when our president signs a bill legalizing the indefinite detention without trial of American citizens, the kind of present that Cory Doctorow predicts in Little Brother looks more and more like right now.

I don’t know how many Cory Doctorow fans are also small theatre enthusiasts — that Venn Diagram might just be me — but I hope this production will resonate with both the fans and the folks who have never heard of Cory Doctorow. I hope the fans will forgive me for the changes I’ve made to the story. I made some pretty big changes, not because I think I know better than Cory — I’m at least as big a fan as you are — but because a play and a novel are different beasts. Cory clearly believes in remixing and retelling, and that’s exactly what this is.

I love this story. I love that it’s both epic and detailed, both serious and funny, both earnest and subversive. Working with a talented group of people to bring Little Brother to life has been tremendously fulfilling. I can’t think of any story I’d rather tell. Enjoy.

Director Josh Costello


Designer Run / Funder Rehearsal

Designer Run / Funder Rehearsal

Last night we did something new at Custom Made: one of the perks of giving to our recent Indiegogo campaign was to be invited to the designer run.

For those not in the industry, or obsessed with obscure theatrical terminology, the designer run is one of the last chances for the design staff to see the play in action before the technical elements are brought in.  The “audience” is filled with tired, but excited, staff and enough computers, fabrics, gels, pipe, as well as various snack products and coffees to keep an #Occupy camp going for a night.

It was a treat having six of our donors there for this unique experience, and also gave the actors their first opportunity to play in front of a fresh audience.  The result was fantastic!  The play seemed to land very well, laughs happened where they should, and despite this being a play with a massive multi-media component that had has not been loaded in yet (let alone most costumes, props, or a finished set) the audience was engaged, entertained, and said it left them with a lot to think about.

All in all, a remarkable evening, and one I am very proud we were able to acheive.

Here’s two photos from my cell phone.  Sorry for the poor quality:

Daniel Petzold, Cory Censoprano

Daniel Petzold, Marissa Keltie, Cory Censoprano

Meet the Little Brother Cast and Crew

Meet the Little Brother Cast and Crew

Little Brother PostcardAdapted and Directed by Josh Costello

Cory Censoprano, Marissa Keltie, Daniel Petzold

Stage Manager – Maxx Kurzunski
Set Design – Sarah Phykitt
Costume Design – Miyuki Bierlein
Light Design – Krista Smith
Sound Design / Composition- Chris Houston
Videography – Pauline Luppert
More Videography – Darl Andrew Packard
Properties – Sarah Spero
Choreography – Daunielle Rasmussen
Asst. Director – Sarah Nagelvoort