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About Spark Hunter
Spark Hunter examines the story of the world’s most advanced robot (Rebecca Ferguson) who is pitted against the NSA and POTUS who believe she’s gone rogue and are determined to decommission her. Only her Maker (Mark Rylance) knows what danger she poses to the world. Over a sumptuous meal, they discuss her moral dilemma and dark existential crisis. She is critically dysfunctional and that makes her a lethal, unpredictable weapon in the hands of Naval Intelligence.
With sharpshooters in position to take her out, and the NSA and the President listening in, her Maker must determine if she is a threat to herself or others as he tries to protect his masterpiece. She unravels, the unexpected happens, and this machine with an evolving consciousness is increasingly drawn into one of the most human of struggles—the unrelenting desire to understand her purpose in the universe.
As dessert is served, tension escalates when, in an act of treason, her Maker reveals shocking information about her programming that swings the story in a startling direction.
Their fateful dinner is recorded in The Spark Hunter File and released on Election Day, November 8, 2044.
Time travel with the stars…
Cast & Crew
Directed by Trudie Styler (Freak Show). Starring Oscar-winner Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies, Wolf Hall, The Outfit, Phantom of the Open), Rebecca Ferguson (Dune 2021, Reminiscence), Linda Powell (Morning Glory, The Report), with three-time Emmy Nominee Charles Dance (Game of Thrones, Mank) and world-renown recording artist Sting (Dune), also starring De’Adre Aziza, (She’s Gotta Have it, Passing Strange), Oscar Nominee Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Gosford Park, Loki), Edward Hibbert (Frasier), six-time Oscar-winner/Nominee Vanessa Redgrave (Julia, Howard’s End), Eliot Sumner (The Gentlemen), John Douglas Thompson (The Bourne Legacy, For Life), and Oscar Nominee Kathleen Turner (Peggy Sue Got Married). Sound design is by Tony-winner Gareth Fry of Sonorise Systems (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child).
MARK RYLANCE was born in England. He lived in Connecticut, then Wisconsin, before returning to London. He was the Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London for 10 years (1995-2005). He is a trustee of The Shakespearean Authorship Trust and friend of The Francis Bacon Research Trust. In 2007, Rylance wrote his first play, “I Am Shakespeare”. Since leaving the Globe he has primarily been interested in creating new drama. “Farinelli and the King,” written by Claire van Kampen. “Nice Fish” which he co-wrote with Louis Jenkins, and most recently, “Dr Semmelweis”, co-written with Stephen Brown and Tom Morris. Additional popular theater roles include: Countess Olivia in “Twelfth Night”; “Richard III”; and Johnny “Rooster” Byron in “Jerusalem”; Valere in “La Bête” and Robert in “Boeing-Boeing.” Most of his theatre work, since leaving Shakespeare’s Globe, has been with Sonia Friedman Productions. Mark Rylance film work includes three films with Steven Spielberg, Bridge of Spies, The BFG, and Ready Player One. Ciro Guerra’s film Waiting for the Barbarians, Dunkirk, Trial of the Chicago 7, The Institute Benjamenta, Don’t Look Up, The Phantom of the Open and The Outfit. His television appearances include three series with Peter Kosminsky; The Government Inspector,The Undeclared War and Wolf Hall. Rylance is an honourary bencher of Middle Temple Hall in London, Trustee of Intermission Youth Theatre , Patron of Survival, the International movement for Tribal Peoples. He is also a founding patron of the London-based charityPeace Direct, which supports peace-builders in areas of conflict. Lately his work has focused on Intermission Youth Theatre and The Wildfowl and WetlandsTrust. He will always be an active member of STOP THE WAR. In 2017 he was knighted for services to the Theatre.
Swedish born actress REBECCA FERGUSON has been a prominent figure in world cinema. Her recent film credits include Denis Villeneuve highly anticipated DUNE, Lisa Joy’s REMINISCENCE, MEN IN BLACK 4, Christopher McQuarrie’s MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT, THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING directed by Joe Cornish as well as the award-winning THE GREATEST SHOWMAN starring Hugh Jackman. Additionally, Rebecca starred in Daniel Espinosa’s feature LIFE alongside Ryan Reynolds and Tomas Alfredson’s THE SNOWMAN alongside Michael Fassbender.
Past major films also include MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION and DESPITE THE FALLING SNOW with Charles Dance in 2015. Rebecca starred opposite Emily Blunt in THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, directed by Tate Taylor. She has also appeared in FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS directed by Stephen Frears, starring Meryl Streep, as well as HERCULES starring alongside John Hurt, and Ridley Scott’s THE VATICAN opposite Mathew Goode in 2013. More recently, Rebecca has appeared in the sequel to THE SHINING, DR SLEEP directed by Mike Flanagan, alongside Ewan McGregor.
Rebecca also starred as Queen Elizabeth in the BBC drama series THE WHITE QUEEN in 2013, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe. Other television credits include WALLANDER, Ridley Scott’s PORTRAIT, and THE RED TENT, directed by Roger Young.
LINDA POWELL is a New York based actress who works across a broad range of mediums. She counts as highlights appearances on Broadway with legends like James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson, over a decade as a member of the Willow Cabin Theater Company, recurring with the wonderful casts of House of Cards, Chicago Fire and Madam Secretary, and roles in films such as The Report, American Gangster, and Draw Up and Stare. She’s proud to add Spark Hunter to that list.
CHARLES DANCE is an award-winning British actor. In 2021 he was seen in Matthew Vaughan’s latest feature THE KING’S MAN. Charles appears as ‘William Randolph Hearst’ in David Fincher’s film MANK which has received numerous nominations in the 2021 Academy Awards. In 2020 Charles shot a role in Allan Heinberg’s new series SANDMAN for Netflix based on Neil Gaiman’s hit DC Comics series of the same name which is set for release in 2021. Past major films include PLENTY, WHITE MISCHIEF, GOSFORD PARK, and KABLOONAK for which he received the best actor award at the Paris Film Festival. More recent film credits include the third JOHNNY ENGLISH film, Thea Sharrock’s ME BEFORE YOU, GHOSTBUSTERS directed by Paul Feig, THE IMITATION GAME, DRACULA UNTOLD, UNDERWORLD, WOMAN IN GOLD, FRANKENSTEIN, CHILD 44 and Burr Steers’ PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES. In 2019 he appeared in HAPPY NEW YEAR, COLIN BURSTEAD directed by Ben Wheatley, the second GODZILLA movie directed by Michael Dougherty and Thomas Clay’s FANNY LYE DELIVER’D with Maxine Peake. His debut as a film director and writer was LADIES IN LAVENDER starring Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. Charles stars as ‘Lord Mountbatten’ in the fourth season of THE CROWN for which he has been nominated for an Emmy award for ‘Outstanding Guest Actor’ in the 2021 Emmy Awards. He also stars alongside Kate Beckinsale in THE WIDOW on Amazon. In 2020 Charles appeared in Christopher Hampton’s new mini-series THE SINGAPORE GRIP directed by Tom Vaughan. Other recent television credits include HBO’s GAME OF THRONES, Channel 4’s HANG UPS and the BBC mini-series THE WOMAN IN WHITE and THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL directed by Director Park. Past television highlights include a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor in THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN and BLEAK HOUSE for which he received an International Emmy nomination and won the Press Guild Award for Best Actor. On stage Charles has played starring roles with the RSC and in the West End including LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT and SHADOWLANDS, for which he received the London Critic’s Circle Award for Best Actor.
Composer, singer, author, actor, and activist, STING is one of the world’s most renowned artists. Throughout his illustrious career, he’s received 17 Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, an Emmy, three Oscar nominations, a TONY nomination and has sold nearly 100 million albums. A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame, he’s also received the Kennedy Center Honors. Sting has appeared in over 15 films & authored two books. His latest album, The Bridge, showcases his prolific and diverse songwriting prowess, representing various stages and styles from throughout his unrivaled career. He is currently on the acclaimed, My Songs World Tour and in April 2023, will resume his Las Vegas residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. www.sting.com.
EDWARD HIBBERT is best known to audiences for his recurring role as the flamboyant, over-refined food critic, Gil Chesterton, on the hit NBC series, Frasier. He was most recently seen onstage as the Narrator in Into The Woods at the renowned Hollywood Bowl.
He has numerous television credits, which include Grace and Frankie, Search Party, Two Broke Girls, Blue Bloods, Hot In Cleveland, Smash, and Law & Order: SVU.
His Broadway credits include It Shoulda Been You, Something Rotten, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Curtains, The Drowsy Chaperone, Noises Off, The Green Bird, Me and My Girl, and Alice In Wonderland. In London’s West End, he has appeared in The Mystery of Irma Vep, Lend Me A Tenor, and Twelfth Night.
Off- Broadway, Mr. Hibbert received Obie and a Drama-Logue Awards for his performance in Jeffrey. He also appeared off- Broadway in The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, My Night With Reg, Privates on Parade, and as Oscar Wilde in Gross Indecency. He was also seen in the New York City Center “Encores” productions of Lady In The Darkand Anyone Can Whistle. His regional credits include The Importance of Being Earnest (Cape Playhouse), The School For Scandal (Mark Taper Forum), Rough Crossing (Bay Street Theatre), and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Long Wharf Theatre). Hibbert recently debuted his cabaret act Can’t Something Be Done at 54 Below in New York City.
On film, Mr. Hibbert can be heard as The Umbrella in the newly released Mary Poppins Returns. His additional film credits include Taking Woodstock, The Prestige, Everyone Says I Love You, and The First Wives Club.
VANESSA REDGRAVE’s remarkable career includes winning an Oscar as well as Emmy, Tony, Olivier, BAFTA, Cannes, Golden Globe, and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Her recent theatre credits include The Inheritance (Noël Coward Theatre/Young Vic) in 2018 and Vienna 1934 – Munich 1938: A Family Album, the first play Vanessa wrote, directed, and acted in. It was workshopped at The Rose Theatre, Kingston on Thames, in 2018 and produced for two weeks during the Summer Season of 2019 at the Theatre Royal, Bath. Among many notable film performances, she played Guinevere in the film of Lerner and Loewe’s Camelot in 1967. Vanessa made her feature directorial debut in 2017 with the film Sea Sorrow which was selected for the Cannes Film Festival in 2018. She most recently appeared as Mrs. Higgins in Bartlett Sher’s production of My Fair Lady at the London Coliseum.
ELIOT SUMNER is an English actor, musician and music producer. In 2016 he released the album Information as a solo effort and in 2019 released the album Nosferatu as a music producer under the moniker Vaal. He has appeared in several well-known films such as Guy Ritchie’s ‘The Gentlemen’ and was seen in the James Bond film, ‘No Time To Die’, Dionne Edward’s ‘Pretty Red Dress’ and Malgorzata Szumowska’s ‘Infinite Storm’.
JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON, hailed by the New York Times “as one of the most compelling classical stage actors of his generation” and in The New Yorker, is “regarded by some people as the best classical actor in America.” Broadway credits include King Lear and the revival of Carousel, Huntington Theatre’s Man in the Ring, ACT’s Hamlet, and Shakespeare In The Park’s Julius Caesar.
Other credits: August Wilson’s Jitney, The Father and A Doll’s House, Troilus & Cressida, A Time To Kill, Cyrano de Bergerac, Julius Caesar. Off-Broadway: The Iceman Cometh; Tamburlaine; Satchmo at the Waldorf; King Lear; Macbeth; Othello; The Forest; The Emperor Jones; Hedda Gabler. Regional credits: Joe Turner’s Come and Gone; Antony and Cleopatra; Red Velvet; Othello; Richard III; Mother Courage; Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train.
Television: For Life, Mare Of Easttown, The Gilded Age, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Film: 21 Bridges, 355, Let Them All Talk, Wolves, The Bourne Legacy, Glass Chin.
Among KATHLEEN TURNER’s numerous accolades are Golden Globes for Romancing The Stone and Prizzi’s Honor, an Academy Award nomination for Peggy Sue Got Married, Tony Award nominations for Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf, BAFTA nomination for Body Heat, and two Grammy Award nominations. Most recently she starred opposite Michael Douglas on the final season of THE KOMINSKY METHOD on Netflix. On Broadway, she has also starred in High, The Graduate and Indiscretions. Additional theater credits include Bakersfield Mist in the West End; Red Hot Patriot: The Kick Ass Wit Of Molly Ivins at numerous regional theaters; Mother Courage And Her Children and The Year Of Magical Thinking at Arena Stage. Also a best-selling author, she wrote the books Send Yourself Roses: Thoughts On My Life, Love, and Leading Roles and Kathleen Turner On Acting.
DE’ADRE AZIZA is a Tony Award-nominated actor for her multiple-character role in the acclaimed Broadway musical PASSING STRANGE. She recently completed shooting the MGM feature FLINT STRONG, written by Barry Jenkins and directed by Rachel Morrison. Aziza is perhaps best known for her memorable turn as “Raqueletta Moss” in Spike Lee’s Netflix series SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT. A versatile character actress, other notable roles include “Tamika” in THE BREAKS, “Marshall Gwen Meredith” in POWER BOOK II: GHOST, and “Professor Donda Baptiste” in RUN THE WORLD.
ROBIN GALLOWAY is a New York-based actress & producer. Theatre: MTC/The Acting Co., New York Theatre Workshop, The New Group, Roundabout, Theatre for a New Audience, New Ohio, HERE, Ars Nova, Playwrights Realm, Dixon Place, Trinity Rep, Chautauqua Theater Co., Portland Stage, Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre, Gloucester Stage, CFRT. TV/Film: “Saving Grace”, “Law & Order”, Talk to Me in Silence, Mousy Brown & Losing Control. Robin is the founder of P-38 Lightning Productions, specializing in independent & documentary film development & production. Education: M.F.A. Brown University. Website: robingalloway.org
AJAY NAIDU recently completed production on The Good Nurse opposite Eddie Redmayne and Jessica Chastain, which is set to premiere on Netflix in 2022. Other film credits include The Kindergarten Teacher (Netflix), cult classic Office Space, Richard Linklater’s SubUrbia (independent Spirit Award nomination), Bad Santa, Scary Movie 3, Hotel For Dogs, The Accidental Tourist, The Wrestler, The Honeymooners, The Guru, Hannibal, Requiem for a Dream, Chutney Popcorn, and Pi. In 2006, Naidu directed his first feature film, Ashes, which had its release in 2010 and for which he won Best Actor accolades from the New York Indian Film Festival and the London Asian Film Festival. Naidu’s first professional acting job was the film Touch and Go (released in 1986), which he won from an open call. Television includes “WeCrashed,” “Dr. Death,” “Blacklist,” “Blindspot,” “Friends from College,” “Odd Mom Out,” “Deadbeat,” “Bored to Death,” “30 Rock,” “West Wing,” “Lateline,” “The Sopranos,” and MTV India’s “The Ajay Show.” As an emcee, vocals include Talvin Singh’s Mercury award winner “OK.” Theatre includes The Kid Stays in The Picture (Royal Court), Indian Ink (Roundabout), Master and Margarita and Measure for Measure (Theatre Complicite), Little Flower of East Orange alongside Ellyn Burstyn and directed by Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Public Theatre), and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui alongside Al Pacino and directed by Simon McBurney. In 2001 Naidu’s solo theatre piece, Darwaza, was a sold-out hit at New York’s LAByrinth Theatre.
ALFREDO NARCISO is an NYC-based actor, director and producer by way of Wisconsin who has worked on Broadway at venues including: Studio 54, The Gerald Schoenfeld & American Airlines Theater. Upon arriving in NYC, he worked extensively with Jim Simpson’s Obie award-winning Theater, the Flea. In the years following, he’s collected numerous theater credits from prestigious Regional theaters like Yale Rep, American Repertory Theater & The Magic. As well as, Off-Broadway staples like New York Theater Workshop, Theater For A New Audience & Playwrights Horizons and The Public. He can be also be seen in the films: DEMOLITION (Dir. Jean-Marc Vallee), THE DARK TOWER (Dir. Nikolaj Arcel) and LIKE SUNDAY, LIKE RAIN (Dir. Frank Whaley), among others. Television credits including: “Lisey’s Story”, “Monsterland”, “New Amsterdam”, “Dispatches From Elsewhere”, “Law & Order: SVU”, “House of Cards”, “Homeland” & “Manifest”, to name a few. Alfredo is currently shooting the Amazon drama, THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY, based on Jenny Han’s popular book series. Alfredo is a member of Ensemble Studio Theater, LAByrinth Theater, Partial Comfort, New Neighborhood and a lifetime member of The Actor’s Studio.
Teressa Tunney is an accomplished creator. Shestarted her film career behind the scenes as script supervisor for six feature films before stepping in front of the camera as an actress, starring in such films as Dude, Where’s My Car?, The Debtors, and Domenica Cameron-Scorsese’s debut: Almost Paris. She appeared in TV’s ER, NASH BRIDGES and starredon stage in StageCenter’s (Texas) productions of A Streetcar Named Desire and Casablanca. She earned a Masters of Fine Arts Degree in Film from Columbia University. The university created the new category “Most Original Film” for her directing, writing, and producing debut for the film THIS IS A STORY ABOUT TED AND ALICE which premièred in competition in Cannes at Cannes Cinefondation. She production designed/ set decorated seven films and created and shot documentaries for the UN Indigenous Form with Robby Romero and for the Pulitzer prize winning photojournalist Eddie Adams. She is currently working with Malachy McCourt on an adaptation of his New York Time bestseller, A Monk Swimming and an adaption of The Prizefighter and the Playwright by Jay R. Tunney about the enduring friendship between heavyweight boxer Gene Tunney and Nobel Prize winning playwright George Bernard Shaw. Her undergraduate degree from New York University’s Gallatin program focused on individualized study in Philosophy. She grew up in Asia and now lives in the United States.
TRUDIE STYLER is an actress, film producer, director, human rights activist, environmentalist, and winemaker. Her feature directorial debut Freak Show was released by IFC Films in 2018 and she is currently in post-production for her documentary about the city of Naples, Italy, produced by RAI and MAD Entertainment. She has been producing award-winning films for 30 years, such as Michael Apted’s documentary Moving The Mountain (1994); Guy Ritchie’s Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Snatch (2000); Duncan Jones’ Moon (2009); Andrea Arnold’s American Honey (2016); Camille Griffin’s Silent NIght (2021); and Malgo Szumowska and Michal Englert’s Infinite Storm (2022). In 1989, Styler co-founded the Rainforest Fund, an organization devoted to protecting rainforests and their indigenous peoples in South America, Africa and Asia, raising more than $45 million for the cause.
JACK DOULIN has been responsible for the casting of some of the most significant productions in the Off-Broadway theatre in recent years, including the original productions of Tony Kushner’s Homebody / Kabul, Caryl Churchill’s Far Away, Love and Information, Light Shining in Buckinghamshire and A Number (for which he engineered Sam Shepard’s return to the stage as an actor for the first time in over thirty years); Peter and the Starcatcher, Vienna: Lusthaus, The Beard of Avon, Michael Cunningham’s Flesh and Blood, Ivo van Hove’s productions of Hedda Gabler, The Misanthrope, The Little Foxes and Scenes from a Marriage; Sam Gold’s production of Othello with Daniel Craig and David Oyelowo; An Octoroon, Blasted and two notable productions of Uncle Vanya: Andre Gregory’s featuring the young Julianne Moore (filmed by Louis Malle as Vanya on 42nd Street); and Sam Gold’s featuring Michael Shannon. He has worked with many of the top writers and directors including Stephen Daldry, Des McAnuff, Simon Godwin, Michael Greif, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Amy Herzog, Annie Baker, Alan Ball, Jo Bonney, Ivo van Hove, Sarah Ruhl, Theresa Rebeck, Annie Kauffman, Arin Arbus, James Macdonald , Max Stafford-Clark, Arin Arbus and Doug Hughes.
He serves as resident casting director at Theatre for a New Audience where recent productions include Merchant of Venice (with John Douglas Thompson), Alice Childress’ Wedding Band as well as the forthcoming (and long delayed) premiere of Des Moines by the late Dennis Johnson.
His film work includes Jonathan Demme’s A Master Builder, Michael Almereyda’s New Orleans, Mon Amour and the recent What the Night Can Do.
Mr. Doulin cast the speaking roles in the Metropolitan Opera’s 2008 production of Le Fille du Régiment. He has taught as a guest instructor in the Drama Division of the Juilliard School, as well as at the Freeman Studio and has led workshops at the Guthrie / University of Minnesota program and at Brown / Trinity.
SONORISE SYSTEMS, led by Tony-winner Gareth Fry, blend creativity & technical innovation to produce bespoke sound designs for immersive podcasts and audio dramas. We‘re based in the UK, but work internationally. We employ a team of dedicated freelancers, each with specialisms in sound recording, dialogue editing, binaural sound, Foley, music composition, sound design and mixing. We can deliver a project from start to finish, even offering advice on scripts, studios, locations and creative direction; or we can deliver specialist services as part of a larger team.
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About Fighter Steel Productions
Fighter Steel Productions was formed by KB Miller and Teressa Tunney in 2017 to create and develop properties that dramatize the core philosophical, psychological, and technological challenges facing the world.
Current Fighter Steel projects in development include: audio drama Spark Hunter: the search for a new ethics to explore the role of smart machines in all aspects of society and how to help curtail environmental self-destruction; All Things Have Standing a podcast/video course on artificial intelligence and the philosophical, psychological, and environmental ethical themes presented in Spark Hunter; a TV series: Metal Cloud, about the first A.I. passing the Singularity, the threshold where artificial intelligence becomes smarter than humans, and finding her role in the world; Teressa’s next projects include: writing/producing a feature film adaptation of Malachy McCourt’s New York Times best-selling novel, A Monk Swimming and a dramatic TV series adaptation of Jay Tunney’s book, The Prizefighter and the Playwright about the undefeated heavyweight boxing champion Gene Tunney and his unique friendship with Nobel Prize winning playwright George Bernard Shaw. The series includes Tunney’s WWII intelligence work, and their delicate fabric of extraordinary drive, achievement, and affection between two of the most famous celebrities of the time, against the backdrop of the first half of the twentieth century.