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(L to R) Matt Maretz as Corey, Richard Wingert as Henry, Ellie Gossage as Philly. Photo: Bryan Cash.

Dead Brains
Art is Dangerous

By Erik Champney
Directed by Adam Chisnall

Benefiting Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
Presented by Jim Kierstead & Erik Champney

Contains explicit violence and strong sexual content. Audience discretion is advised.





Teatro LATEA @ The Clemente
Thursday 7/12 @9:30pm-11:00pm
Saturday 7/14 @9:15pm-10:45pm
Sunday 7/15 @1:45pm-3:15pm
Tuesday 7/17 @5:45pm-7:15pm
Thursday 7/19 @9:45pm-11:15pm
Sunday 7/22 7:30pm-9:00pm

Read the press release for DEAD BRAINS on Broadway World.

Henry and Philly have gotten a little caught up in the fantasy. No truth. No regret. No boundaries. Artist and muse, they are idols in their own minds. Enter Corey – vulnerable and real. Now a decision must be made about his role in their game. It’s time to change the rules. Again and again and again. In Erik Champney’s dark and often hilarious thriller, art is dangerous and nothing is sacred. DEAD BRAINS is the winner of The Kennedy Center’s National AIDS Fund/CFDA-Vogue Initiative Award for Playwriting (Craig Lucas, Head Adjudicator).  


“Hope for the future of theater. Wonderful plays.”
– Craig Lucas, Playwright

“Champney’s voice and ideas have made a significant impact.”
– Lexy Leuszler, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center

“Funny, visceral, intriguing, sexy, horrifying and utterly beguiling – all at once.”
– Stephen Collins,

“Mr. Champney’s writing is searing, insightful and believable…Exceptional…Precise, detailed and effective.”
– Darryl Reilly,

“They say it’s always good leaving your audience wanting more. Erik Champney did that.”
– Michael Block,


Playwright/Producer: Erik Champney
Producer: Jim Kierstead
Director: Adam Chisnall
Cast: Ellie Gossage, Matt Maretz, and Richard Wingert

Photo: Bryan Cash

Erik Champney (Playwright/Producer) was first commissioned to write a play when he was fifteen years old. He has been honored twice by The Kennedy Center for his plays DEAD BRAINS (National AIDS Fund/CFDA-Vogue Initiative Award for Playwriting) and PANGAEA (Commendation for Excellence). His work has been produced and developed across the country through such organizations as the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Potomac Theatre Project, La MaMa, Seattle Fringe Festival, Left Coast Theatre Co., MadLab Theatre, The Acting Ensemble, Pittsburgh New Works Festival, T. Schreiber Studio & Theatre, and Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. Erik is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and was formerly a member of Young Playwrights Inc., where he studied under John Weidman and Wendy Wasserstein. He received a B.A. in both Theatre and English from Centenary College of Louisiana followed by an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from New York University Tisch School of the Arts.

Photo: Bryan Cash

Adam Chisnall (Director) won the 2017 Planet Connections Award for Best Director of a Short Play/One Act for his work on EMERSON AT BIG MART. NYC directing credits include EMERSON AT BIG MART (NYWinterfest and Planet Connections Theatre Festival), (THE PLAY’S) THE THING (La MaMa), THE CHARM (One Act Comedy Fest), POP GOES THE WEASEL (Strawberry One Act Festival), MRS. LEE’S YELLOW CAT (The Gallery Players), WAR IS A PICNIC (Thespian Productions), HAPPY HAMSTER BIRTHDAY (LeelaNYC Theatre Festival), SODD AND GOMM (Venus/Adonis Theatre Festival), and MURDER NEEDS COMPANY (The Gallery Players). Adam has served as Assistant Director to Erik Ehn’s CLOVER (La MaMa) and THE VANITY (Theatre Row). Adam is a line producer with The New York Theatre Barn. He thanks his parents for their constant love and support.

Photo: Bryan Cash

Ellie Gossage (Philly) is a recent graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Lately, you may have seen her as Kate in WHAT HAPPENED by Lia Romeo at the Women in Theater Festival, or as one of the witches in The No Name Collective’s MACBETH. Her favorite roles to date were Hamlet, performed in the original pronunciation, and Minnie in W.S. Gilbert’s ENGAGED. Find her at



Photo: Bryan Cash

Matt Maretz (Corey) is honored to be appearing in Erik Champney’s DEAD BRAINS at Planet Connections. Off-Broadway: AMERICAN GAMES. Tours: THE LIGHTNING THIEF (1st National Tour). Regional: COLLEGE COLORS (Crossroads Theatre) A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (Syracuse Stage), THE WHO’S TOMMY (San Diego Rep). Film: KILLER CHRISTMAS (Cutler), UNDAUNTED (Ian). Matt is a graduate of the Drama program at Syracuse University.


Photo: Bryan Cash

Richard Wingert (Henry) Born Richard Alwyn Wingert, Richie learned at an early age the importance of hard work, dedication, and perseverance. His parents, Debra Mercer and Richard I. Wingert, constantly instilled in him the idea that he could become anything he set his mind to. From the time he was a young child, he has always gravitated toward creative arts. He attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he received a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering. Now a full-time actor in Films, Television, Commercials, and Theater, Richie is proving to be one of the most sought-after talents. Besides acting, Richie has also done print catalogs for Apple, Lego, IBM and Summer Infant. More information about Richie can be found here:

Jim Kierstead (Producer) Broadway: KINKY BOOTS (Tony, Olivier), PIPPIN (Tony), WAITRESS, INDECENT, THE GREAT COMET, THE VISIT, YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU (all Tony nominated), M. BUTTERFLY, IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU, SIDE SHOW, ROCKY. London: DREAMGIRLS, YANK!, THRILL ME. Off-Broadway: UNEXPECTED JOY, THRILL ME, YANK! Upcoming: PRETTY WOMAN, AIN’T TOO PROUD, SPARKLER. He is currently on the Board of The York Theatre Company, The Abingdon Theatre Company, and The New York Theatre Barn. Jim is thrilled to be working with Erik and this talented cast and crew!

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