Dixon Place & The Apothetae to Present THE PENALTY, 6/13-29


Dixon Place & The Apothetae present The Penalty, written by Clay McLeod Chapman and directed by Kris Thor, with music and lyrics by Robert M. Johanson and Clay McLeod Chapman. The inaugural show for a company devoted to theatre featuring disabled artists begins previews on Thursday, June 13 at 7:30, and continues Fridays and Saturdays: June 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 & 29 at 7:30 at Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie Street, New York, NY. Tickets: $15 GA / $18 door / $12 Students & Seniors. Visit www.dixonplace.org or call 212 219­0736. Run time: 70 minutes,­ no intermission.

What would you sacrifice to be made whole? New York City. 1920. A legless beggar pleads with the oncoming foot­traffic for spare change. Barely a nickel comes his way. But what these pedestrians don't know is-this deformed derelict at their heels is none other than Blizzard, kingpin to the seedy underbelly of the Lower East Side. With an army of dancing girls at his beck and call, Blizzard is hell­bent on executing his master plan: Get his revenge against the prominent doctor who left him in this condition-and against the city that couldn't have cared less. 3 People. 4 Legs. 1 Game of Revenge.

The Penalty features an ensemble cast, integrated with able­bodied and actors with disabilities. Written by Clay McLeod Chapman and directed by Kris Thor, The Penalty will be presented at Dixon Place for six performances June 14th ­ 29th, 2013. Featuring songs by composer Robert M. Johanson (Nature Theatre Of Oklahoma's Life and Times Episodes 1­4), The Penalty is inspired by the novel of the same name by Gouverneur Morris, and its film adaptation, starring Lon Chaney, written by Charles Kenyon and directed by Wallace Worsley.

The Apothetae is the first theatre of its kind dedicated to the production of new full­length plays about the "Disabled Experience," and the only New York City based company with this unique mission to be run, owned and operated by people with disabilities. A core element of The Apothetae's mission is to expand the current existing narratives that depict people with disabilities. Too often in today's popular culture, people with disabilities are painted as men and women who overcome adversity or act as symbols of pity and or inspiration. This wasn't always the case. And while depictions of characters with disabilities throughout history may not have always been positive, The Apothetae does not want to shy away from these darker depictions. We believe great power rests in the retelling and exploration of these stories and embodiment of these characters.

Lon Chaney himself contradicted the Hollywood ideal of beauty, glamor and romance. Both his parents were deaf and it was through non­verbal communication with them with which he mastered the art of pantomime. In addition, Chaney's second wife, Hazel's previous husband was a double amputee. Throughout his career Chaney played myriad disabled characters imbuing each and every one of them with great strength and determination.

The character of Blizzard has overcome a great deal of adversity in his world to become a great power on the Lower East Side. He is challenging because he is dark, complex, and undeniably evil. Underneath the universe of blood, thunder and tears however, beats a human heart.

About the Artists:

Gregg Mozgala (Blizzard & Founder of The Apothetae)

Gregg has been in various New York productions Off and Off­Off Broadway with Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, The LAByrinthTheatre Company, La Mama ETC, PS 122, Theater Breaking Through Barriers, Foolish Theatre Company, The Brick Theater, The National Theatre Workshop of the Handicapped, Visible Theatre and the Ensemble Studio Theatre. Regionally, he has appeared on stage at the Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts and the Spoleto Festival USA. He has worked internationally in London, England and Zagreb, Croatia. He has participated in Northeast Public Radio's Playing On Air series with Mammie Gummer and Tony winning director, John Rando.

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