Billy the Bomber - June 02 - June 04, 2023

Emergent TheatreWorks

 A Note from the Director 




I first discovered the world of Billy the Bomber over a decade ago when I was paired with Mary Sue Price for the Boston Theatre Marathon. At the time, Billy was a ten-minute play, but I could tell Mary Sue was creating something very special.  I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to continue working with Mary Sue on readings of Billy the Bomber over the next few years as she developed it into a full-length play.  Then I moved to New York City in 2015 and Billy became a distant memory.

Fast forward to the end of 2022.  Ryan and I had recently completed the first production of Emergent TheatreWorks, and the search was on for our next production.  We knew we wanted to produce a new play, but we wanted to find a play that fit strongly into the mission statement of Emergent.  Suddenly, the memory of Billy the Bomber resurfaced. 

On a whim, I reached out to Mary Sue to find out what had happened with Billy in the many years since I had last worked on it.  There had been a few workshops and readings done, but there still had not been a fully staged production.  At that moment, it was clear what our second production would be. Mary Sue graciously agreed to allow me to bring her play to life for the first time. 


The pressure was on.  Not only would I be responsible for bringing Mary Sue’s vision to life, but I would be responsible for bringing the story of Billy, a character with a developmental disability, to life as well.

Thanks to the generosity, support and kindness of John Stephens, I was able to cast his son, Frank, in the lead role of Billy.  It has been an absolute pleasure working with Frank over the last two months.  There was never a dull moment when Frank was in the rehearsal room, and he continually impressed me with his talent and dedication to the role of Billy.

And then there is Gabriella, Christopher and Allan.  Aside from being talented actors, all three are genuinely wonderful human beings.   As soon as we assembled for the first read-through at the end of April, I knew we had the perfect cast of four to tell this important story. Throw in Michael and Ryan as the backbone of the rehearsal process, and we were well on our way to creating the play you are about to see.

I’d like to thank Mary Sue for trusting me to tell this story that is so near and dear to her heart.  While Billy’s story isn’t universal, it most certainly is not unique.  Billy’s experiences are shared by people with disabilities all over the world, and it has been an honor to be able to play a small part in bringing this story to the stage. 

Joey DeMita

Artistic Director, Co-Founder
Emergent TheatreWorks, Inc.

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