The Johnny Cycle is about what it costs to “keep the world safe for democracy.” It references the cycles of war, history and power, encouraging us all to question our role in the decisions that cause young men and women to fight and die in other people’s wars.


The audience, as Johnny, grapple with questions of choice, nationalism and the larger impact that war has on both those who are asked to fight, and those who are left behind to pick up the pieces.


The Speakeasy Society takes audiences on a journey through war rooms and memories in an immersive theatrical production loosely inspired by Trumbo’s Johnny Got His Gun.  


The Johnny Cycle: Part 1: The Quick and the Dead

An epic but personalized experience examining the costs of war. Moving through personal battlefields in place of physical ones, the guests could engage with a multitude of characters--childhood loves, family members, war room generals, soldiers, nurses, and even major religious figures--each character playing their role, intentionally or not, in sending our hero, in this case the audience, to his destiny as he desperately struggles to be heard.  The living and the dead have voices--but Johnny is trapped in between.


Video Link - Part 1: The Quick and the Dead


Featuring: Rose Arscott, Matthew Bamberg-Johnson, Michael Bates, Sam Breen, Sam Brittan, James Michael Cowan, Hayden Ezzy, Emily Faris, Natalie Fryman, Christie Harms, Nils Jansson, Nora King, Roberto Martin, Paul Matthis, John McCormick, Sallie Merkel, Robert Paterno, Michael Pignatelli, Jessica Rosilyn, Kalean Ung,




The Johnny Cycle: Part II: The Shell  

In The Shell, the character of Johnny is trapped in his own private purgatory, teetering on the brink of oblivion - caught in a cycle of memory, anger, regret and violence - counting down to the moment where it all went wrong


A countdown to the impact that destroyed his body, The Shell explores the fragmented mind of a soldier trapped in wartime memories of the trenches. The Shell puts the audience in the middle of the action, moving through a complex web of characters and convictions.


Video Link - Part 2: The Shell


Featuring: Matthew Bamberg-Johnson, Jonathan Bangs, Michael Bates, Sam Brittan, Lindsay Coryne, James Cowan, Natalie Fryman, Christie Harms, Zan Headley, John McCormick, Thomas Constantine Moore, Jessica Rosilyn, and Olivia Sandoval


Production Team:

Costumes: Felicia Rose

Sound: Martin Gimenez

Music: Chris Porter

Sound Tech: Eddy Rodriguez

Lighting: Andrew M. Lia


The Johnny Cycle: Part III - The Living

The Living is the culmination of a three year investigation into the life and work of Dalton Trumbo through his most controversial work.


explore Johnny’s isolation and longing to connect with the world of the living, as well as the reoccuring cycles of history as it pertains to politics, war and power. Hopefully Johnny will find peace at last.


The Living explored the impact of conflict on those left behind, and the way in which the echoes of the nationalistic rhetoric of the WWI era impacted the life and career of Dalton Trumbo, who was blacklisted during the McCarthy trials. The author struggles with the ongoing impact of his work, forcing his character to suffer to spare the lives of others.


Video Link - Part 3: The Living

Featuring: Matthew Bamberg-Johnson, Jonathan Bangs, Jenny Curtis, Zach Davidson, Alex Demers, Christie Harms, Zan Headley, Michael Pignatelli, Colleen Pulawski, Jessica Rosilyn, Chynna Skye with Michael Bates, James Cowan, and Julia Henning


Production Team:

Felicia Rose - Costumes

Martin Gimenez - Sound

Lauren Sego - Lighting