Cast of Den of Thieves in foreground from left, J.R. Adduci, Katie Cappiello and Brandon Scott. In back, Jonathan Meyer left, and Mark Mallek right.
Tragic death of child inspires new theater
Gifts of PS41 student immortalized
By Jerry Tallmer
Her name was Celia Rose T. Fitzgerald. Everybody called her CeCe. She lived in SoHo, went to P.S. 41, and would have been 8 years old this past March. When she went off for a brief vacation in February, she gave a hug to Katie Cappiello, one of her teachers on Saturdays at the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute, and said: Save me a lollipop.
She was supposed to be in class the day she died, says Ms. Cappiello.
CeCe Fitzgerald was killed in a skiing accident during that vacation. Her legacy is the PossEble Theatre Company, founded by Katie Cappiello, 24, and fellow Strasberg Institute teacher Brandon Scott, 23.
CeCe was a fantastic actress, says Ms. Cappiello. In improvs she came up with very intense scenes and the most amazing characters. Brandon and I had this dream of starting something. When CeCe passed away, it kind of ignited us.
For their first production they picked Den of Thieves, the Stephen Adly Guirgis hardboiled comedy about the attempt of some amateur crooks two of them kleptomaniacs, another a hooker with a particular specialty to rip off a TriBeCa joint run by a very well connected Big Tuna whod as soon fry you as look at you.
Directed by Cecilia Rubino, it runs through Sunday, September 18, at Altered Stages, 212 West 29th Street. And oh yes, Katie Cappiello and Brandon Scott have roles in it she as Angie, a kleptomaniac, he as Paul, a recovering kleptomaniac.
Boochie the sex queen is portrayed by Sergia Louise Anderson, while the role of Big Tuna is split between Mike Alvino and Lee Gundersheimer. Rounding out the cast are J.R. Adduci, Jonathan Meyer, and Mark Malek.
If all this is to honor a lollipopping 7-year-old, why such a tough-worded make-believe?
Brandon and I are big fans of Guirgis. We were reading this play when we were mourning and feeling miserable. It made us laugh.
And why that capital E in PossEble Theater Company?
It has to do with a posse, or a crew, or a family, coming together to make things happen. CeCe used to say: Defeat the possible and do the impossible. We wanted a hip urban feel to the project.
Katie Cappiello is from Brocton, Massachusetts, Brandon Scott is from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Both are graduates of NYUs Tisch School of the Arts, and director Rubino is a professor there. Fifty percent of the proceeds of the show go toward a Celia Rose T. Fitzgerald Memorial Scholarship Fund.
One last question: Wheres the headquarters of the PossEble Theater Company?
In the Starbucks on the corner of 15th Street on the east side of Union Square i.e., down the block from the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute.