If You Start a Fire [Be Prepared to Burn]

Kevin Kautzman
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An Internet sex comedy for the Recession Generation: Lucy and Chris are typical American twenty-somethings struggling to survive the Great Recession with their dignity intact. They hate their jobs like most everybody else, but they need the insurance …

Production Info

Cast: 2 total (1 female, 1 male, 2 additional male voice-over roles)
Full Length Comedy (about 75 minutes)
Single Set
Contemporary Costumes

Press Quotes

“Like the reply-all taboo and the necessity of logging out of a public computer, the latest formative lesson our society is learning is that absolutely anything posted online can take on a life of its own. Playwright Kevin Kautzman phrases it better in the enticing title of his new internet-age sex comedy, IF YOU START A FIRE [BE PREPARED TO BURN] … this script has so much fun guiding its characters into a zany, last-ditch enterprise … The play’s emphatically contemporary context suits the immediacy of its premise. Lucy and Chris are a couple of textbook ninety-nine percenters, overeducated and underemployed in a crummy economy: She’s thanklessly waiting tables while toiling on an expensive MBA; he’s a college dropout whose service job affords them the barest health coverage. It’s a lamentable career picture for both, so for things to get worse merely adds insult to injury. And when the business world has no place for a couple of hungry, desirable youths, these two blaze their own trail that plays to their unique strengths — in this case, putting a technologically new spin on the oldest profession … Kautzman’s text is magnificent as he submerges these two characters robbed of forethought into a trajectory of pure discovery … Kautzman ensures that the weirder the requests get, the funnier the interactions become, which helps to defuse the mounting tension of the second act: as their business grows exponentially, Lucy and Chris grapple with the changes in their relationship when sex becomes work, with morphing demands on their privacy and consent, and with the surprising consequences of success … [a] cutting-edge, boundary-pushing comedy.” —roguecritic.com

About the Author


  • Kevin Kautzman

    Kevin is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter originally from North Dakota. He holds degrees from the University of Minnesota (BA, History & Philosophy '03) and the University of Texas at Austin (MFA, Creative Writing, Michener Fellow '13). He lives in Saint Paul. Kevin first studied playwriting at the Royal Court's young writers program and has received both the Jerome and Michener fellowships as well as a number of awards and scholarships, including the UK International Student Playscript (COYOTE), the Kernodle and the Southwestern Playwriting awards (DREAM OF PERFECT SLEEP) and the Sewanee and Kenyon playwriting scholarships. His IRIS with Red Eye in Minneapolis was named best playwriting by Lavender Magazine's year in review, 2010. He has been a finalist for the Yale Drama Series (THEN WAVES), the Pen Center USA (THEN WAVES, WOLF CRY WOLF), and the Princess Grace (DREAM OF PERFECT SLEEP) awards in addition to the Lila Acheson Wallace program at Juilliard (MODERATION). His drama DREAM OF PERFECT SLEEP was nominated for an Offie and is available from Oberon. His work has appeared in the UK and US at including the Finborough, History Theatre, the Living Theatre, Page 73, the Playwrights' Center, Red Eye, Spooky Action Theatre and Theatre503. In 2017 Kevin worked on BBQ Films Emmy-nominated live theatrical ECoin Launch Party, in support of MR ROBOT. Most recently his new play MODERATION received a Zoom workshop with Spooky Action Theatre and was named a semi-finalist at the Austin Film Festival. In collaboration with London-based director Abbie Lucas, he’s at work on two original feature screenplays and a concept for television. He also hosts a podcast about things people love, called GET THIS as well as a podcast about the dark side of creativity called ART OF DARKNESS. He is co-founder of the experimental theatre writers Cut Edge Collective.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 3/25/2021
Pages 68
ISBN 9780881458992

Special Notes

Special Notes

Licensees are required to include the original stage producers credits in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:
The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
If You Start a Fire [Be Prepared to Burn] is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC