Hunter Foster Leads New Group's BURNING, Opens 11/14
Off-Broadway's The New Group proudly presents Burning, written by Thomas Bradshaw and directed by Scott Elliott, kicking off the company's 2011-12 Season. The Official Opening will take place on Monday, November 14 at 7:00 PM. Burning plays a limited engagement through December 17 at The New Group @ Theatre Row (The Acorn Theatre, 410 West 42nd Street).
In emotionally charged intersecting stories spanning two eras, a contemporary black painter, who depicts shocking racial violence in his art but hides his race from the press, goes to Berlin for a gallery show only to find that his work has been misinterpreted. And in the mid-'80s an ambitious teenage boy, recently orphaned, comes to New York to become an actor and is taken in by a gay couple in the industry as they are preparing the debut of a new Broadway play. In searing and graphic tales of self-invention and sexual identity, Burning attacks the pretenses of the worlds of art and theatre.
Burning features Jeff Biehl (Off-B'way: The Master Builder, Women Beware Women, The Polish Play, Hellhouse, Civilization, Thomas Bradshaw's Southern Promises), Reyna DeCourcy (Dreams of the Washer King - Cherry Lane Studio Theatre, Civilization - Clubbed Thumb's Summerworks 2011), Barrett Doss (Thomas Bradshaw's Cleansed - Brick Theater, Orestes 2.0 - HERE), Hunter Foster (B'way: Million Dollar Quartet, Little Shop of Horrors - Tony®, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle noms., Urinetown, The Producers; Off-B'way: Happiness - Drama Desk nom., Modern Orthodox; also: Little Miss Sunshine - La Jolla Playhouse), Andrew Garman (Partial Comfort Productions' After and A Bright New Boise; Off-B'way: Uncle Vanya - CSC), Drew Hildebrand (The Flea: Thomas Bradshaw's Dawn, also Offending the Audience and Oh, the Humanity and other exclamations), EVan Johnson (Off-B'way debut), Danny Mastrogiorgio (B'way: Wait Until Dark, Contact; Off-B'way: Stunning - LCT3, Sailor's Song - LAByrinth, Wintertime - Second Stage, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui and Two Gentlemen of Verona - NYSF), Andrew Polk (Off-B'way: The Accomplices - The New Group, Drama Desk nom., Flight - Lucille Lortel, The Odysseys, Vick's Boy, The Truth Teller), Larisa Polonsky (Off-B'way at The New Group: One Arm; TV: "Eden," "Lights Out," "The Good Wife"), Adam Trese (B'way: 12 Angry Men, A View From The Bridge; Off-B'way at The New Group: Marie and Bruce, The Women of Lockerbie), Vladimir Versailles (Off-B'way: The Wood; Film: Moozlum, How to Score Your Life; TV: "The Philanthropist") and Stephen Tyrone Williams (Off-B'way: Adam Rapp's The Hallway Trilogy - Nursing, Paraffin; Film: HBO's Stag & Doe and Phil Spector-upcoming, Showtime's Children of God).
Guggenheim Award-winner Thomas Bradshaw's recent plays include Mary (The Goodman Theater); The Bereaved (Partial Comfort Productions, and subsequently produced at The State Theater of Bielefeld in Germany); Southern Promises (P.S. 122); Dawn (The Flea Theater); Job (The Wilma). He is the recipient of a 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship, the 2010 Prince Charitable Trust Prize, and a 2011 New Voices New York Fellowship from the Lark Play Development Center. Prophet, Strom Thurmond Is Not A Racist, Cleansed, Purity, Dawn, and Southern Promises are all published by Samuel French, Inc. A German translation of Dawn was presented at Theater Bielefeld and The National Theatre of Mannheim in Germany. Bradshaw is an Assistant Professor in the MFA program at Northwestern University. He has been featured as one of Time Out New York's ten playwrights to watch and Best Provocative Playwright by The Village Voice. He was the Playwright in Residence at The Soho Theatre in London.
Director Scott Elliott is the founding Artistic Director of The New Group, a place for artists to experiment, take risks and collaborate in an artist-driven environment. With the company, he has produced over 47 plays, 22 of which he directed, including last season's revival of Wallace Shawn's Marie and Bruce and the world premiere of Tommy Nohilly's Blood From A Stone (Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play). He also directed The Kid, the musical based on the book by Dan Savage (Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical; Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Award nominations for Outstanding Musical), Groundswell, Rafta, Rafta..., The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Hurlyburly, Aunt Dan and Lemon, The Fever, Two Thousand Years, Abigail's Party, Smelling a Rat, Goose-Pimples and the company's first production in 1995, Ecstasy. He also directs Broadway shows and writes and directs for film and television.
Burning features Set Design by Derek McLane (B'way: How to Succeed..., Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Anything Goes, Million Dollar Quartet and many more; Off-B'way at The New Group: Marie and Bruce, Blood From A Stone, A Lie of the Mind, The Starry Messenger, others), Lighting Design by Peter Kaczorowski (B'way: Born Yesterday, Anything Goes, That Championship Season, Driving Miss Daisy, Time Stands Still, others; Off-B'way: The School for Lies, Venus in Fur, more), Costume Design by Clint Ramos (The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide... - Public, After The Revolution - Playwrights Horizons, Angels in America - Signature), Sound Design by Bart Fasbender (B'way: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson; Off-B'way: Terrorism - The New Group, Edgewise, Bad Jazz, A View from 151st Street, Hellhouse) and Video Design by Wendall Harrington (B'way: The Who's Tommy, Driving Miss Daisy, Grey Gardens, Putting it Together, Freak, Ragtime, The Capeman, Company, Having Our Say, The Heidi Chronicles, more; Off-B'way: Angels in America, Rap Guide to Evolution, others). The Dialect Coach is Doug Paulson (at The New Group: Blood From A Stone, One Arm).
Last season The New Group (Scott Elliott, Artistic Director; Geoff Rich, Executive Director) presented Tommy Nohilly's Blood From A Stone featuring Ethan Hawke (Obie winner), the revival of Wallace Shawn's Marie and Bruce starring Marisa Tomei and Frank Whaley, and One Arm (co-production with Tectonic Theater Project) based on an unproduced screenplay by Tennessee Williams, adapted for the stage and directed by Moisés Kaufman. In 2009-10, The New Group presented the extended run of Kenneth Lonergan's The Starry Messenger featuring Matthew Broderick, the sold-out revival of Sam Shepard's A Lie of the Mind directed by Ethan Hawke, and the world premiere of the new musical The Kid. Other productions include Ian Bruce's Groundswell, Eugene O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra, Ayub Khan-Din's Rafta, Rafta..., Jonathan Marc Sherman's Things We Want, Jay Presson Allen's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Bernard Weinraub's The Accomplices. Additional standouts include David Rabe's Hurlyburly, Mike Leigh's Two Thousand Years, Abigail's Party, Smelling a Rat, Goose-Pimples and Ecstasy, Wallace Shawn's The Fever and Aunt Dan and Lemon, Kenneth Lonergan's This is Our Youth and Kevin Elyot's Mouth to Mouth and My Night With Reg. The New Group is a recipient of the 2004 Tony® Award for Best Musical (Avenue Q). The New Group and Artistic Director Scott Elliott were honored with a Special 2010-11 Drama Desk Award "for presenting contemporary new voices, and for uncompromisingly raw and powerful productions."
Burning plays at The New Group @ Theatre Row (The Acorn Theatre / 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Aves) as follows: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday at 7:00 PM and Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8:00 PM. Matinees Saturday at 2:00 PM. Tickets may be arranged through 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 info, visit www.thenewgroup.org.
Photo Credit: Peter James Zielinski