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By: Joseph Ramski
Director C McCabe

Be Prepared follows four budding teenagers and their leaders as they embark on a scout led campout! In their newly found maturity Billy begins to wonder about the necessity of the scouts, as they all contemplate what it means to be masculine. Between societal expectations, trouble in the family life, harsh scout rules and a stickler in Scoutmaster Peters the ideals surrounding manhood and growth are challenged in ways these young people haven’t faced before.

Boy Scout Poster - Rough Draft.jpg
Ramski 2018 - Horizontal.jpg


Joseph Ramski (he/him/his) is a native Chicago actor, writer, and visual artist with a BFA in Theatre and English from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. He’s worked with a number of theatres as an actor and designer, including Red Tape, Oracle Productions, Otherworld Theatre, The Arc Theatre, The Ruckus, MOZAWA, Organic Theatre Company, Reutan Collective, (re)discover theatre, The Runaways, Mudlark Theatre, The Prop Thtr, Chicago Slam Works, and the Right Brain Project, where he served as Managing Director and Graphic Designer from 2013 to 2017. Joe has also performed his poetry and other written work across the city, has written a number of plays, and had his first full-length play The Dancing Plague produced in the fall of 2016. He conceived and wrote BE PREPARED!(?) as part of The New Colony's Writer's Room program.

Why I wrote the play:

Over the past several years, our society has become increasingly present to the effects of toxic masculinity, be it through the #metoo movement, the current president and his administration, or how it stifles men from being emotionally present and communicative in their relationships and lives. Rather than write a play that simply said "all of this is bad!", which it is, I wanted to write something that asked the question "is it possible to still be a 'good man' in this day and age, and if so, what does that even mean?" My past experiences with Scouting seemed like fertile ground to examine masculinity for all of its thorns and roses, particularly in regards to how our culture's parameters for "being a man" affect young men. I also wanted it to be funny, as I've never written a comedy before, and there's nothing funnier to me than a bunch of men trying to convince one another that they're "right". 



C McCabe (they/them) is a director and intimacy director who recently moved to Chicago! Their work experiments with form, the audience's role, and cultivating the bravest space possible. Director: Nevermind the Furthermore...Self-Defense (Eclectic Full Contact's 24-Hour Theatre); This Vessel is a Fragile Thing, Smokefall, Wheels of Our Mind (The WhereHouse). Assistant Director: Everybody (Shakespeare Theatre Company); All I Want...Sometimes (Kennedy Center); The Magic Play (Actors Theatre of Louisville); Dex & Abby (Pride Films & Plays). Intimacy Director: Boeing Boeing (Three Brothers Theatre). Directing Fellowship: Shakespeare Theatre Company, Kennedy Center MFA Playwrights Workshop. Recipient of 2019 National SDC Award. BS in Theatre, Middle Tennessee State University. SDC Associate Member.  

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