A timely new comedy about democracy and how to save it (maybe) premieres. 
June 22 - 25 at NJRep

Buy tickets HERE.

New Jersey Repertory Company (NJRep) will present DEMOCRACY SUCKS, a timely comedy about the sad state of politics. It is written by Monica Bauer, directed by John FitzGibbon, and stars John Fico, who also contributes production design and puppets. Performances are June 22 - 25, Thursday & Friday at 7pm, Saturday at 3pm & 7pm, and Sunday at 2pm at NJRep’s West End Arts, 132 West End Avenue in Long Branch. Running time is 70 minutes. Tickets are $30 at or 732-229-3166.

Professor B has been teaching Political Philosophy 101 at Upper Michigan State for ten years, but now, reeling from rejection by his former lover, Dean Dick Harvey, he drinks during class and uses sock puppets of Plato and Socrates to convince his students that DEMOCRACY SUCKS. There’s an online petition to have him fired. His only hope is an outstanding rating from his students on the Course Evaluations. To get them, he reaches back into his past as a theater kid at the Stage Door Summer Camp to give his students the most exciting last class on democracy in the history of Upper Michigan State.

DEMOCRACY SUCKS began as a short film that was recorded and produced entirely by remote during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. It went on to win ten film festival awards.

DEMOCRACY SUCKS is presented as part of NJRep’s PRIDE 2023, a month-long celebration of LGBT+ works that includes an art gallery show, a photography exhibit, and five full length plays running throughout the month.

Monica Bauer (playwright) might very well be the only working playwright with a Ph.D. in Political Science. She earned an MA in Creative Writing from Boston University, studying playwriting with Nobel laureate Derek Walcott, and studied with Beth Henley at the Sewanee Writers Conference. Selected credits, New York, regional, and international: Vivian’s Music, 1969 (Edinburgh Fringe, 59E59 Theaters, Anacostia Playhouse in Washington DC); Two Men Walk Into a Bar (Dream Up Festival, Theater for the New City), My Occasion of Sin (Urban Stages, Detroit Rep); Made for Each Other (East to Edinburgh at 59e59, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, United Solo, Orlando Fringe, Boulder Fringe, Hollywood Fringe - Best Solo Show); Chosen Child (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre); The Maternal Instinct (Midtown International Theater Festival, Brighton Fringe Festival in the UK). Publications include: “Vivian’s Music, 1969” (Original Works Publishing) “Three Men With Guns” is included in The Best New Ten Minute Plays of 2021, from Applause Books. A monologue from Porter’s Will is included in Best New Stage Monologues for Men, 2022, published by Smith and Kraus. Awards include the Emerging Playwright Award from Off Broadway’s Urban Stages, Second Place, New Works for Young Women; the Ike Award from UK reviewer Chris Neville Smith for Best New Script produced in the UK in 2018. In 2006 she was a finalist for the Heideman Award from the Actors Theatre of Louisville. In fiction, The Snare was awarded First Prize for a New Novel by the Arizona Authors Association, and her short story “Dead Birds” was nominated for the 2022 Pushcart Prize. Proud member of the Dramatists Guild. Contact her through her website,

John Fico (Professor B) is an actor and voice-over artist in NYC. He is a longtime collaborator with director John D. FitzGibbon and playwright Monica Bauer on projects including the award-winning short film version of DEMOCRACY SUCKS and the similarly honored solo comedic play MADE FOR EACH OTHER (which he has performed in festivals and theatres from Edinburgh to Tuscon and NYC to Orlando since 2010). Notable NYC credits: Off Broadway’s IRON CURTAIN (Prospect Theatre), AS I LAY DYING (Live Source Theatre Co.) A. R. Gurney’s SCREEN PLAY (The Flea Theater), Monica Bauer’s ANNE FRANK IN THE GAZA STRIP (Planet Connections Theatre Festivity award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Comedy), THE MOST RIDICULOUS THING YOU EVER HOID (NYMF – winner Outstanding Ensemble Performance), A STOOP ON ORCHARD STREET (Mazur Theater), and Monica Bauer’s THE HIGHER EDUCATION OF KHALID AMIR (MITF, Nominated Outstanding Supporting Actor). TV credits include: INVENTING ANNA, LAW & ORDER, THE BLACKLIST, and I LOVE YOU BUT I LIED.

John FitzGibbon (director) directed Monica Bauer’s one-man show MADE FOR EACH OTHER starring John Fico for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2012. It garnered great reviews. He also directed her TWO MEN WALKED INTO A BAR for the Dream Up Festival at the Theatre for the New City. For New Jersey Rep’s THEATRE BRUT Festivals he has directed one-act plays by Robin Rice Lichtig, John Weagly, and Jacob Zack. He directed Cocteau’s ORPHEE for Jean Erdman’s Theatre of the Open Eye, NYC. He was a founding member of that company and as an actor there in W.B.Yeats’ “CAT AND THE MOON,” he received an OBIE Nomination in 1973. As an actor, he has been nominated for a Carbonell Award for his “Nick” in SIGHT UNSEEN; and played “Jim Tyrone” in MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN which received a “Best of Boston Award”; he also played the leading role of Dr. Baines in the short film SHOCK ACT by Seth Grossmann which won the “Best Short Award” in the Tribeca Film Festival, 2004. During Covid he played leads in two films: TONIGHT AT THE BACKSTAGE DOOR, directed by Laura Esterman and WHERE LOVE IS, GOD IS for Fellowship for the Performing Arts. For FPA he also played “St. Peter”, the judge in MARTIN LUTHER ON TRIAL for two national tours in 2018-19. As a member of NJ Rep, he has originated roles in 12 new plays.

The New Jersey Repertory Company was founded in 1997 by SuzAnne and Gabor Barabas. Its current central headquarters is the Lumia Theater located on lower Broadway in Long Branch. The theater's mission is to develop and produce new plays and to make a lasting contribution to the American Stage. Over two decades NJ Rep has produced 140 plays of which 125 have been world premieres. The theater has the additional distinction of having had many of its plays produced by other theaters around the country totaling over 200 subsequent productions in the U.S. and overseas. In 2012 and 2018 NJ Rep was the recipient of a National Theater Company Grant from the American Theater Wing that sponsors the annual Tony Awards for Broadway in recognition of its contribution to the repertoire of the American Stage. Only seven theaters have had this distinction. In addition, the theater has presented over 400 developmental readings as well as introduced 136 new works through its Theatre Brut Short-Play Festivals that focus on visionary and avant-garde works. In May 2016, NJ Rep acquired a new property, a 28,000 square foot school situated on 2 ½ acres and located just five minutes from its Main Stage Lumia Theater and two blocks from the Jersey Shore. The theater plans on gradually transforming the school in stages into a cultural center that will house additional performance spaces, an art cinema, an art museum, a rooftop café, an arts education wing, and residences for out-of-town actors and playwrights. When completed, the center will present a wide array of programs in acting, playwriting, art, sculpture, poetry, music, and photography and will serve as a catalyst for economic development and as the foundation for the cultural renaissance of the community.