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This project was successfully funded on September 2, 2018

The Bishop

by Kip Fagan


The Bishop is an intimate, character-driven story about a Catholic priest who is forced into early retirement by illness. On the day of the announcement to his parishioners, his estranged mother and younger brother surface after years of absence. The two brothers are a picture of opposites: a devout, introverted priest and a troubled, struggling musician. Their respective mid-life crises—connected by their free-spirited mother—lead to a small piece of understanding inside the fractured family. Inspired by a late Anton Chekhov short story, The Bishop examines middle age, familial strain, and the confrontation of mortality with humanity and humor.

I'm going to film The Bishop in my hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. I wrote the lead role of Father Kevin for my friend and mentor Kevin Lawler, who co-founded Blue Barn Theatre in Omaha—a company that changed my life as a high school student—and currently is artistic director of Great Plains Theatre Conference, also in Omaha. Joining Kevin in the cast are two of New York City's finest and most sought-after actors, Deirdre O'Connell and Keith Nobbs. My award-winning collaborators, cinematographer Greta Zozula and producer Michael Cuomo, will come with me from New York, but the rest of the movie will be crewed with locals in a city that has a burgeoning and vital film community. 

To accentuate the depth and warmth of the story and characters, Greta and I have decided to shoot the movie on 16mm film rather than digital video. This increases our budget a bit, so your contribution would go toward that, as well as paying a daily wage for all cast and crew, feeding everyone involved in the three-day shoot, providing the highest possible production value in sets and costumes, and crucial post-production elements. 

Thanks for considering a donation to The Bishop. All donations through Hatchfund are 100% tax-deductible. 


Kip Fagan (writer/director) is a theatre director, perhaps best known for Jesse Eisenberg's The Revisionist, starring Eisenberg and Vanessa Redgrave at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York. Also in NYC, he has staged new plays at Roundabout, Playwrights Horizons, Primary Stages, Rattlestick, Page 73, P.S. 122, Clubbed Thumb, and more. Regionally, he has worked at Alliance Theatre, Long Wharf, Woolly Mammoth, Williamstown, Humana Festival, George Street Playhouse, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Portland Center Stage, Marin Theatre Company, City Theatre, and many others. Kip has taught and/or directed at Juilliard, NYU, SUNY Purchase, Mason Gross School for the Arts, National Theatre Institute, Strasberg Center. NEA/TCG directing fellow, Clubbed Thumb affiliated artist, co-founder of Printer's Devil in Seattle. Represented by UTA.

Kevin Lawler (Father Kevin) is a poet, playwright, producer, director, designer, and actor in Omaha, NE. He is the Producing Artistic Director of The Great Plains Theatre Conference, a co-founder of the award winning Blue Barn Theatre, the founder and Artistic Director of the National Institute For The Lost, and the founder and host of the monthly storytelling gathering “The Stories of O.”

Deirdre O'Connell (Joyce): Recent stage work includes Terminus (New York Theatre Workshop), The Fulfillment Center (Manhattan Theatre Club - Drama Desk and Drama League nominations), Judy (Page 73), Little Children Dream of God (Roundabout), By the Water (MTC - Lucille Lortel Nomination), The Way West (Labyrinth Theater Company, Steppenwolf), A Family For All Occasions (directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Thinner Than Water (Labyrinth Theater Company, of which she is a proud member), Magic/Bird (Longacre Theatre), Circle Mirror Transformation (Playwrights Horizons - Obie and Drama Desk Awards), and all of the major plays by Anton Chekhov at "Chekhov at Lake Lucille." Film credits include: Diane (Best Feature, 2018 Tribeca Film Festival), Lez Bomb (Best Feature, 2018 Bentonville Film Festival), The Boy Downstairs (Tribeca Film Festival 2017), In the Radiant City (Toronto Film Festival 2016), St. Vincent, Gabriel (Tribeca Film Festival 2014), The Quitter, Synecdoche, NY, What Happens in Vegas, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Secondhand Lions, and Pastime (Independent Spirit Award, Best Supporting Actress nomination). Recent TV: "The Path," "Friends From College," "The Affair," "Nurse Jackie." She has an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Performance and a Lilly Award.


Keith Nobbs (Stephen) has appeared on Broadway in Bronx BombersLombardi, and The Lion in Winter; and Off-Broadway in Hold On To Me DarlingThe Legend of Georgia McBrideThe Great God PanLemon SkyStupid KidsFuddy MeersRomance, and Four (Lucille Lortel Award, Drama Desk Nomination) among others. Among his film credits are The Bad GuysWeakness25th Hour, and Phone Booth. Television credits include Steven Spielberg and Ed Burns' "Public Morals," "Inside Amy Schumer," HBO’s "Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight," "The Pacific," "Person of Interest," "The Black Donnellys," "Fringe," "Law & Order" series, and "The Sopranos."

Greta Zozula (director of photography) is a New York City-based cinematographer who studied film at the School of Visual Arts. After spending a several years as an AC, Greta transitioned her work into cinematography with a short film called The Immaculate Reception which premiered at Sundance in 2014 and shortly after received an Emerging Cinematographers Award. Later in 2016, another short film, Fry Day, premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and received the Grand Jury Prize at MIFF. Recently it was selected as a Vimeo staff pick. Since then, Greta has focused on feature films. Last year she finished work on a documentary feature called They Fight directed by Andrew Renzi and produced by Common. This year, her narrative feature debut Never Goin’ Back premiered at Sundance and later screened at SXSW. It was picked up by A24 and opens nationwide August 3.

Michael Cuomo (producer) is an award-winning producer and actor of film, television and theatre. He recently produced and co-starred in The Light of the Moon, written and directed by Jessica M. Thompson, which took home the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at SXSW'17 and sold to Imagination Worldwide and Amazon. The film premiered theatrically in Fall ‘17 with the support of UN Women and is currently streaming on AmazonPrime and all major digital platforms. Cuomo also produced and starred in the critically acclaimed feature film Happy New Year (Snag Films), written and directed by K. Lorrel Manning, executive produced by Iain Smith (Children of MenThe Fountain). The film’s premiere at the SXSW and Hamptons International Film Festivals was followed by a successful tour through sixteen international film festivals.