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The New Group's REFLECTING RABE Opens Tonight, 4/15

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Bobby-Cannavale-Judith-Ivey-and-Matthew-Modine-Set-for-REFLECTING-RABE-415-20010101

On Sunday, April 15, at 4 pm, The New Group presents this season's final presentation in Dark Nights at The New Group – Reflecting Rabe: Readings from David Rabe's Work. This event features readings of excerpts from David Rabe's acclaimed writing, from plays to fiction. Special guests, including Bobby CannavaleJudith Ivey and Matthew Modine, will read selections and reflect on Rabe's singular career. Discussion with David Rabe and guests will follow.

Now in its fourth season, Dark Nights at The New Group is a series of cultural conversations and readings designed to create a dialogue between artists and audience.  Dark Nights generally coincide with mainstage productions at The New Group, creating a forum for public conversation and enhancing the cultural landscape.  These events have featured, most recently, Ethan Hawke and Jonathan Marc Sherman discussing Sherman's new play inspired by Brecht's Baal; Scott Elliott, Lisa Emery, Mamie Gummer, Josh Hamilton and Wallace Shawn in Hamlet at Home; and Thomas Bradshaw and Todd Solondz in Talking Taboos.  Previous Dark Nights events have featured luminaries such as F. Murray Abraham, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Eric Bogosian, Zoe Caldwell, David Henry Hwang, Tony Kushner, Martha Plimpton and Hal Prince.  Dark Nights at The New Group collaborated with the 92nd Street Y for an event featuring Matthew Broderick and Kenneth Lonergan (The Starry Messenger), moderated by Leonard Lopate.  Topics have ranged from gay adoption (in an event hosted by Rosie O'Donnell timed to The Kid) to an evening highlighting Sam Shepard's work (led by Ethan Hawke with music by the composers from A Lie of the Mind), to a panel on documentary theatre (featuring Marc Wolf performing Another American, his OBIE-winning play first produced at The New Group ten years ago).

Tony Award-winning playwright David Rabe's first play in New York in 1971 was The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel.  This was followed by Sticks and Bones, The Orphan, In the Boom Boom Room and Streamers, all produced by Joseph Papp.  Hurlyburly came later, as did Those the River Keeps, A Question of Mercy, The Dog Problem and The Black Monk adapted from Chekhov.  In recent years he has devoted his time more to fiction as he pursued a course begun with the novel Recital of the Dog.  Since 2005 he has published A Primitive Heart, a book of stories, and two novels, Dinosaurs on the Roof and Girl by the Road at Night.  A fourth novel was completed not long ago, along with several plays.  Among his awards are the Drama Desk, NY Drama Critics Circle, Outer Critics, Obie, American Academy of Arts and Letters, Tony and three Hull-Warriner Awards.

Next up for The New Group is the world premiere of David Rabe's An Early History of Fire, which begins previews April 5 in advance of Official Opening Night on April 30.  Directed by Jo Bonney, this production features Deema Aitken, Gordon ClappErin DarkeJonny OrsiniDevin RatrayDennis StaroselskyTheo Stockman and Claire van der Boom.

An Early History of Fire is set at the tipping point of the early 1960s.  In a Midwestern town, Danny's days are defined by friendship and loyalty - but the bigger world encroaches in the form of Karen, back from college in the east, alluring and unsettling because of all she has learned.  Awhirl in longing and eyeing a chance for radical change, Danny struggles against the grip of his immigrant father, who mourns a vanished world of lost prestige while clinging to his only son.  This world premiere marks David Rabe's return to The New Group, following the company's acclaimed 2005 revival of Hurlyburly.

Tickets for An Early History of Fire may be arranged at www.telecharge.com or (212) 239-6200, or at the Theatre Row Box Office (12–8 PM daily).  Tickets are $60.00 plus $1.25 restoration fee.  For more, please visit www.thenewgroup.org.

The New Group, led by founding Artistic Director Scott Elliott and Executive Director Geoff Rich, is an award-winning company with a commitment to developing and producing powerful, contemporary theater.  In 15 seasons, The New Group has been honored with 9 Obie Awards, 28 Drama Desk nominations, 6 Lucille Lortel Awards and 3 Tony® Awards.  The New Group was founded in 1995 by Artistic Director Scott Elliott as a place for artists to experiment, take risks and collaborate in an artist-driven environment. The company launched its current 2011-12 Season with Thomas Bradshaw's Burning, and followed with the extended run of Erika Sheffer's Russian Transport (both directed by Scott Elliott).  Other notable productions include Ecstasy, This is Our Youth, Aunt Dan and Lemon, Hurlyburly, Abigail's Party, Rafta, Rafta..., The Starry Messenger, A Lie of the Mind, The Kid, Blood From a Stone, Marie and Bruce and many more.  The New Group's first musical, Avenue Q, won three Tony Awards.  Most recently, The New Group and Scott Elliott were honored with a 2010-2011 Drama Desk Special Award "for presenting contemporary new voices, and for uncompromisingly raw and powerful productions."

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