The Fly Room cast brings together a group of today’s most exciting emerging actors. 10-year-old Zoe Brooks, who is making her feature film debut, leads a group that includes rising talents Henry Hopper, Haskell King and Mikal Evans, and features cameos by the actual Betsey Bridges, daughter of pioneer geneticist Calvin Bridges, and several of the world’s leading science minds.
Ten-year-old Zoe Brooks makes her feature film debut as the star of The Fly Room. Passionate about singing and acting, she is an avid modern dancer and takes classes at the Mark Morris Dance School and loves writing and poetry. She will be appearing as a gingerbread kid in a children’s opera rendition of Hansel and Gretel staged by the Little Orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall.
Ben Mehl performed in The Public Theater’s Comedy of Errors and co-starred in the OBIE award-winning New York premiere of Habit. Other theater credits include Troublemaker at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Yentl at Cleveland Playhouse, Six Degrees of Separation at Williamstown Theatre Festival and Feeling at New Ohio Theatre. Mehl appeared on Supernatural Investigator and holds a master’s degree from the NYU Tisch acting program.
Stuart Firestein is a neuroscientist at the Biological Sciences at Columbia University, where he teaches biology. Firestein is the author of Ignorance: How It Drives Science and teaches a course on the same topic, which was the source of a talk on the TED 2014 mainstage. He worked in theater for almost twenty years in San Francisco before entering academia.
Lesley is a New York based actor who has been seen on The Good Wife, Law and Order: SVU, Person of Interest, and Rescue Me. Her stage credits include The Gin Baby (IRT) and Happy Birthday (TACT), the world premiere of Henry Box Brown by Tony Kushner, a developmental production of Acquainted with the Night by Keith Reddin (NYU Grad Acting), as well as numerous regional theatre appearances. She is a graduate of East Carolina University and NYU Grad Acting.
Griffin Newman is an actor and comedian who will appear in Ivan Reitman’s upcoming Draft Day, Chris Rock’s Finally Famous, and recently recurred in John Mulaney’s NBC pilot, Mulaney. He has also appeared in the films Beware the Gonzo with Ezra Miller and Zoe Kravitz, and reoccurred in the television series, Political Animals and Blue Bloods.
.Ali Brivanlou is a developmental biologist and heads the Laboratory of Molecular Embryology at Rockefeller University in New York, where much of his research focuses on the molecular events and cellular interactions that regulate the emergence of key structures in the early embryo. Brivanlou received the Irma T. Hirschl/Monique Weill-Caulier Trusts Career Scientist Award.
Mikal Evans, a native of Moore, South Carolina, is a New York actress and accomplished singer/songwriter who has released two records and often plays live in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Her recent projects include Jay Roach’s Emmy award winning HBO film Game Change and other credits include Kisses, Chloe, Jon Lindstrom’s How We Got Away with It, and Hilary Brougher’s Innocence.
Haskell has worked in theater for over ten years, recently portraying Isaac Newton in Isaac's Eye and James Watson in Photograph 51, at Ensemble Studio Theatre. Film credits include Shadows and Lies, Brother and Happy Hour. Television credits include As The World Turns and Law and Order: Criminal Intent. He is an MFA student in creative writing at Syracuse University and is finishing a book of short stories.
Henry Hopper is an actor, painter and sculptor. His film credits include Gus Van Sant’s film Restless, which premiered at Un Certain Regard at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. He was also featured as 20-year old American poet C.K. Williams in TAR, a collection of poems adapted into an omnibus film and will be appearing with James Franco in the upcoming period drama Yosemite.
Leslie Vosshall is an American neurobiologist known for her contributions in the field of olfaction and the head of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior at Rockefeller University. A native of Switzerland, Vosshall and has won numerous honors and in 2001, was given a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. Vosshall has worked in experimental filmmaking and has appeared at the World Science Festival.
Sara is a Brooklyn actress, comedienne, and writer. Her recent credits include Willa, which premiered at the Interrobang Film Festival, the urban fantasy webseries Skye of the Damned, Law and Order SVU and the Workshop Theatre production of I Know What Boys Want. Sara received an MFA in acting from American Conservatory Theater and is the creator/writer of the new comedic webseries The Industry.
Twelve year-old Franco-American Felix Chaplet makes his debut feature film as Charlie, friend of starring role Betsy in The Fly Room. He’s already well travelled and has lived in three different continents, giving him a unique perspective that he enjoys expressing in a variety of mediums: music, acting and visual arts.
Betsey Bridges is the daughter of geneticist Calvin Bridges and was born in Leonia, NJ in 1918, She studied costume design at Pratt Institute, graduating in 1940 and became a costume designer, working for Macy’s. Betsey married her husband Ed after he swept off the ground at a Pratt dance in the 1930 and now lives in Asheville, NC near her son Jeff, grand-children and great-grandchildren.
Stan Demidoff is a graduate of NYU's Graduate Acting program who has recently appeared in Classic Stage Company's production of Romeo and Juliet, FX's The Americans and NBC's The Blacklist. His most notable past Off-Broadway/regional credit is the critically acclaimed production of In Conflict, which toured at the Barrow St. Theater, The Long Wharf Theater, The Kennedy Center, and Assembly Stages in Edinburgh.
Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee with a strong family background in the visual arts, Andra Eggleston is both a textile designer and an actor. She considers her career in the performing arts a vital part of her design work, giving it a unique sensibility that breathes life and emotion into each piece. She has worked and studied extensively in both Los Angeles and New York, where recent credits include feature film Baby Mama(NY, director Micahel McCullers) and experimental film Man Equals Man (NY, director Liz Lazer). She was recently inspired by and returned to the south (Nashville, TN), where she now lives with her husband and son.
Joseph LeDoux is a professor and member of the Center for Neural Science and Department of Psychology at NYU, focusing on the brain mechanisms of emotion and memory. He is author of The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life and Synaptic Self: How Our Brains Become Who We Are and is also a singer and songwriter in the rock band, The Amygdaloids.
Erica Fae is a performer, writer and director for theatre and film. Her work has been given a Critics' Pick in The New York Times and Backstage, garnered her awards for "Best Female Director" (at Salento) and "Best Actress" (at BAC Festival/ Brooklyn Museum), and has received support from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. Acting credits include Synecdoche New York, Little Children, and Please Give, among many others. Erica also teaches at Yale and is shooting her first feature this summer. (www.ericafae.com)
Alexander Setzko is an actor, musician, photographer, and writer. Theatrical credits include János Szász’s adaptation of The Master & Margarita, Fear and Misery of the Third Reich at London’s Oval Theatre and The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek. He has appeared in several short films and site-specific devised theatrical works. Alexander trained at BADA and received his B.A. in dramatic arts from Bard College.