THE WHIPPING MAN Makes New England Premiere with New Rep, Now thru 2/15

THE WHIPPING MAN Makes New England Premiere with New Rep, Now thru 2/15

New Repertory Theatre presents the New England Premiere of THE WHIPPING MAN, today, January 25 through February 15, 2014. Directed by Benny Sato Ambush, THE WHIPPING MAN performs in the Charles Mosesian Theater at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal Street, in Watertown, MA.

Tickets are $28- $60 and may be purchased by calling the box office at 617-923-8487 or online at newrep.org. Student, senior, and group discounts are available. The press performance is Monday, January 27 at 7:30pm.

"This new play fits beautifully with New Rep's mission," says Artistic Director Jim Petosa. "It explores the human experience through profound ways, and offers a new way of looking at older, historical ideas."

"We're thrilled to welcome guest director Benny Sato Ambush," says Managing Director Harriet Sheets. "And we welcome actors Johnny Lee, Jesse, and Keith back to New Rep."

THE WHIPPING MAN features Johnny Lee Davenport as Simon, Jesse Hinson as Caleb, and Keith Mascoll as John.

About THE WHIPPING MAN: As the Civil War ends, a Jewish Confederate soldier returns home to find that only his two former slaves, raised as Jews in his household, remain. As they cobble together a Passover Seder, they grapple with a changing social order, newfound freedom, and long-buried secrets that threaten them all. This story of self-definition, discrimination, and the pain of being an outsider forces all three men to ask what their futures hold in a new world of freedom. One of the most produced and popular plays of 2012.

About New Repertory Theatre: New Repertory Theatre is the award-winning, professional theatre company in residence at the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown, MA. Entering its 30th season as a leading self-producing theatre in greater Boston, New Rep produces contemporary and classic dramas, comedies, and musicals in both the 340-seat Charles Mosesian Theater and the 90-seat Black Box Theater. Annually, New Rep serves 45,000-50,000 patrons, including over 2,200 season Subscribers. In addition to its mainstage productions, the non-profit theatre produces New Rep's Next Voices, with four playwrights each season, which develops new plays into three staged readings and one world premiere production. Under its Lifelong Enrichment Arts Programs (LEAP), New Rep also produces its Classic Repertory Company, summerSTAGE2, Page To Stage, Insider Experiences, and Spotlight Symposium Series.

New Rep's Mission: New Repertory Theatre produces plays that speak powerfully to the essential ideas of our time. Through the passion and electricity of live theater performed to the highest standards of excellence, New Rep expands and challenges the human spirit of both artists and audience. New Rep presents world premieres, contemporary and classic works in several intimate settings. We are committed to education and outreach, including special dedication to the creation of innovative in-school programming and providing access to underserved audiences. New Rep is an active advocate for the arts and a major voice in the national dialogue defining the role of theater in our culture.

ARTISTIC BIOS:

Johnny Lee Davenport* (Simon) returns to New Repertory Theatre after performing in House with No Walls. Other area credits include It's A Wonderful Life, A Radio Play (Wheelock Family Theatre); Water by The Spoonful and Broke- ology/Elliot Norton Award, Best Actor (The Lyric Stage Company); Driving Miss Daisy and Master Harold...and the Boys (Gloucester Stage Company); and Invisible Man/Helen Hayes Award, Best Ensemble) Studio Theatre Washington, D.C. and The Huntington Theatre Company. Mr. Davenport has played more than 50 roles in 24 of Shakespeare's plays, working most recently in Richard III (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company); Pericles (Actors' Shakespeare Project); and Richard II (Shakespeare & Company). Film credits include Ted, The Fugitive, U.S. Marshals, and the upcoming film Ascendants. He was named Best Actor in Boston Magazine (2011). After The Whipping Man, Mr. Davenport will perform in The Unbleached American (Stoneham Theatre).

Jesse Hinson* (Caleb) returns to New Repertory Theatre after performing in Holiday Memories. Other credits include Pericles, Twelfth Night, and Antony and Cleopatra (Actors' Shakespeare Project); Seminar and Miracle on 34th Street (Stoneham Theatre); The Puppetmaster of Lodz, Moonchildren, Macbeth, The Einstein Project, and A Christmas Carol (Berkshire Theatre Group); Three Sisters, Love's Labour's Lost, The Game of Love and Chance, Hecuba, Siddhartha, Funnyhouse of a Negro, and Little Monsters (Brandeis Theatre Company); and Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, Coriolanus, and Cymbeline (Georgia Shakespeare). Mr. Hinton earned his MFA in acting at Brandeis University and his BA in theatre at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, GA. He teaches the Suzuki method of actor training at Brandeis University and is also a fight choreographer. He resides in Cambridge. After The Whipping Man, he will perform in As You Like It (Actors' Shakespeare Project).

Keith Mascoll* (John) returns to New Repertory Theatre after performing in Macbeth (New Rep On Tour). Other area credits include Intimate Apparel (Boston University); The Roots of Freedom (Central Square Theatre); The Colored Museum (Providence Black Rep); Hamartia Blues (Theater Offensive); Grimm (Company One); and Love Jones (New African Company). In Boston, his work has earned two IRNE Award nominations. In New York, he earned the Samuel French Festival Critics Choice Award for The Test and the Best Actor Award for the Strawberry One Act Play Festival in Los Angeles for Love Jones. Film and television credits include Freestyle (HGTV); Knock Around Kids (Adekoje-Filmwerks); The Test (Paula Caplan Productions); and a commercial for the Massachusetts State Lottery. Mr. Mascoll earned his BA in Theatre at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, resides in Cambridge, and will appear in the web series DeCo this spring.

Benny Sato Ambush (Director) serves as Distinguished Producing Director-In-Residence at Emerson Stage, the producing wing of the Department of Performing Arts at Emerson College. A professional SDC stage director, producer, former LORT Artistic Director, educator, consultant, NEA panelist and site evaluator, and published commentator, his prior artistic leadership experience includes Ensemble Theatre, American Conservatory Theater, Rites and Reason Theatre Company, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Florida Stage, and Theatre Virginia. He directed at all these theaters. He was Associate Artistic Director of the Institute on the Arts & Civic Dialogue at Harvard University. He has also directed for dozens of professional regional theatres, festivals, and universities. He has narrated the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, and has toured the former Soviet Union and Kenya via the United States Information Agency. He was Director of the Institute for Teledramatic Arts and Technology at California State University. He has taught at the North Carolina School of the Arts; American Conservatory Theater Conservatory; California State University; Colorado College; Kenyatta University, Kenya; Contra Costa College; Brown University; University of California; University of North Carolina, and Florida Atlantic University. He has served on numerous regional and national boards - including Theatre Communications Group and is an active advocate of cultural equity, non- traditional casting, and pluralism in the American theater. His work has earned many awards throughout the country. Mr. Ambush earned his MFA in Directing from University of California, San Diego, and his BA from Brown University.

Matthew Lopez (Playwright)'s The Whipping Man enjoyed its world premiere at Luna Stage in 2006 and has played at over two dozen theatres across the country including The Old Globe, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, The ALLIANCE THEATRE, Northlight Theatre, Barrington Stage, Hartford Stage, and Baltimore Centerstage. The play premiered in New York in 2010 at Manhattan Theatre Club. The sold-out production extended four times, ultimately running 101 performances off-Broadway and garnering Obie and Lucille Lortel Awards. Mr. Lopez was awarded the John Gassner New Play Award from the New York Outer Critics Circle for the play. His play Somewhere started at Summer Play Festival at The Public Theatre in 2008 and premiered at The Old Globe in San Diego in 2011. The play was subsequently presented at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto in the winter of 2013 and will receive its East Coast premiere at Hartford Stage in the spring of 2014. His newest play, The Legend of Georgia McBride, will premiere at the Denver Theatre Center in the winter of 2014. Other plays include Reverberation, Zoey's Perfect Wedding and The Sentinels, which premiered in London at Headlong Theatre Company in 2011. Mr. Lopez holds new play commissions from Roundabout Theatre Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, and Hartford Stage, where he is the 2012/13 AETNA New Voices Fellow. He is also a staff writer on Aaron Sorkin's HBO series The Newsroom.

Tickets: $28-$60; student, senior, and group discounts available. Telephone: 617-923-8487. Online: newrep.org. In Person: 10am to 6pm, Arsenal Center for the Arts 321 Arsenal Street, Watertown, MA 02472. Free, six-level parking garage next to the Arsenal Center for the Arts. Public transportation: #70 or #70A bus to the School Street stop from Central Square Station, Red Line. Wheelchair Accessible, Assistive Listening System Large-Print and Braille Programs Available.

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