The Fierce Urgency of Now
by Doug DeVita
This fast-moving comedy follows art director Kyle as he tries to discover his real self amid the power struggles and skewed priorities of a high-powered New York ad agency. After an office restructuring puts him in a new creative group run by the megalomaniac homophobe Kate, he finds an unlikely ally in copywriter Dodo, a living-legend from the era of “Mad Men” who not-so-gently prods Kyle to the uncomfortable but inevitable realization that “It’s time to take off. And soar.”
- Cast Size: 3M 4W
- Running Time: 90+ minutes
- Royalty Rate: $75 per performance
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About the Playwright
A member of the Dramatists Guild, Doug is a two-time O’Neill Semi-Finalist (Fable and Just A Rumor), Semi-Finalist for Barrington Stage Company’s Burman New Play Award, Normal Avenue’s New American Play Series, and Campfire Theatre Festival (Phillie’s Trilogy), Semi-Finalist for B Street Theatre’s New Comedy Festival (Goddess Of The Hunt), Semi-Finalist for Middlebury Acting Company’s American Dreaming Festival (All The King’s Horses), and Semi-Finalist for We Screenplay’s Diverse Voices Competition (The Fierce Urgency Of Now).
In addition, he has won Fresh Fruit Awards of Distinction for Outstanding Play (The Fierce Urgency Of Now) and Outstanding Production (Fierce… and Phillie’s Trilogy) as well as the Inaugural (and so far only) Scrap Mettle Arts Emerging Playwrights Competition (Phillie’s Trilogy.)
Doug is currently an advisory board member for All Out Arts, and formerly an Artistic Director for Westside Repertory Theater. His work has been seen in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Jersey, Connecticut, and London, and has been developed at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC (Mark Bly, Gary Garrison, Jacqueline Goldfinger, and Caleen Jennings), at Davenport Theatrical’s Writers Workshop with Eric Webb, and ESPA/Primary Stages in New York (Melisa Annis, Robert Askins, Rogelio Martinez, Winter Miller, and Michael Walkup). He has also studied with Karen Hartman, and Jeffrey Sweet.
ALSO BY DOUG DeVITA
Fresh, relevant, and full of heart. This play and it’s characters are an outstanding reflection of what real and meaningful friendship can look like. The stakes are high and the competition FIERCE! The setting of the ad agency is great fun and captures workplace politics brilliantly. You’ll be laughing a mile a minute and wiping your tears the next. “Fierce” is an absolute roller coaster you’ll want to ride again and again.
I had the distinct pleasure of playing Dodo in the New York production–a dream role for an actress. She’s wise and witty and beneath her “crusty” exterior beats a heart of gold. When Dodo and Kyle take off and fly in the final moments of the play, I could feel the audience flying with us and cheering us on. It was thrilling!
Don’t be fooled. Doug DeVita’s razor-sharp wit, his multidimensional characters, and energetic pacing will have you thinking “The Fierce Urgency of Now” is just some madcap Madison Avenue romp in the vicious world of advertising. But that’s just a cover for a deeply moving play about love, commitment, friendship, and the growth of character, and you will find yourself gasping back sobs as you laugh and truly feel these people. Even if I knew nothing about the world he shares with us, I would still know exactly what happens here and love seeing how it soars.
I had the opportunity to direct this play twice and it was a blast both times! Doug’s writing provides so much opportunity for a director to play. There was never a dull moment in rehearsing The Fierce Urgency of Now. Your artists and audiences will love it.
The Fierce Urgency of Now is a wholly delectable radio play. Immediately engaging and relentlessly entertaining throughout, with characters that are by turns vile and endearing. So many laugh out loud moments peppered with some well-placed pathos. The Fresh Fruit Festival cast is stellar. Production values are impeccable. DeVita tackles multiple hot topics with acrobatic finesse and with great humor. Highly recommend.
The Fierce Urgency of Now is a wholly delectable play. Immediately engaging and relentlessly entertaining throughout, with characters that are by turns vile and endearing. So many laugh out loud moments peppered with some well-placed pathos. DeVita tackles multiple hot topics with acrobatic finesse and with great humor. Highly recommend.
This is a fast-paced script that takes protagonist Kyle on a journey from passive to active participant in his own life. Because his job consumes him 24/7, all of Kyle’s relationships, sexual and social, involve people at the office. But the ad agency where he works is the corporate equivalent of Survivor. When someone “has your back” it is to decide exactly where to stick the knife. The environment is toxic, but DeVita’s crackling dialogue makes the visit a pleasure.
As a festival producer I know this play thoroughly, and voted it through both submissions and our own awards processes.
DeVita has here woven a rich tapestry of lives we THINK we know all too well (from the pop-media ad-agency habitat). But as this weaving unfolds we find warmth, color, depth of character, and wit – all lacking in so much new theatre. This is a winner from the top down.
This play is deceptively poignant. It lilts along like the playful behind-the-scenes office farce it postures at being, but then, in operatic fashion, elevates its core of longing for ill-advised love in the workplace. At once, an adept advertising industry primer on the cut-throat dynamics of that business, and a cautionary tale about choosing relationships by proximity within the environment we’re forced to spend way too much time in.
Beautifully written with many fun characters to delve into. The dialogue just rolls off the tongue. This play has lots of wit and then packs a punch with a heart warming, unexpected friendship.
I had the privilege of playing Meryl in the New York production of this play and Doug’s writing quickly turned the experience into an actor’s dream job.
He created a world full of humor, wit, and as the synopsis perfectly describes, unlikely – but powerful – relationships.
The story is also a perfect reminder that whenever you’re feeling “grounded” in life, it’s most likely time to take off and soar.
DeVita skewers the work environment of a busy New York ad agency with terrific accuracy and economy. The characters are appealing even (especially?) when behaving atrociously, and the DeVita imbues the relationships with growing emotional resonance without ever getting manipulative or sentimental. Expertly done.
Witty, caustic, effervescently bitchy, yet always instilling a pervasive unease…
BUT ENOUGH ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT!!!
THE FIERCE URGENCY OF NOW lives up to its title, even when it’s making you wait for the other shoe to drop. DeVita thrusts us (literally) into the middle of the action. Soon, protagonist Kyle embarks on an adventure simply by going to work!
Advertising is notoriously cutthroat and we aren’t always sure who is friend or foe.
The characters are terrific! We love some, love to hate others, and are intrigued by all. They deserve a great story. DeVita gives them one.