Jolly Abraham, Brendan Averett, Dana Eskelson and More to Star in Rattlestick's MASSACRE

Jolly Abraham, Brendan Averett, Dana Eskelson and More to Star in Rattlestick's MASSACRE

Rattlestick Playwrights Theater has announced the cast and creative team for the world premiere of Massacre (Sing to Your Children), by Obie Award-winning playwright José Rivera, directed by Brian Mertes. Performances will begin Wednesday, April 4th at Rattlestick Theater (224 Waverly Place – off Seventh Avenue South, between Perry & West 11th Streets). The official opening night is set for Thursday, April 12th. The production is scheduled to run through May 12th.

In a small New Hampshire town, seven friends conspire to murder their mysterious neighbor Joe. On the night of the killing, as they confront the many meanings of their crime and finally relax and laugh and love again…there's a knock on their door.

"It has always been a dream of mine to produce a play by José Rivera," says Artistic Director David Van Asselt. "I am thrilled that he has given us the opportunity to premiere this brave and exciting work, which has been completely re-conceived over the past several years."

The cast features Jolly Abraham, Brendan Averett, Dana Eskelson, Jojo Gonzalez, William Jackson Harper, AdrIan Martinez, Sona Tatoyan, and Anatol Yusef.

The creative team features Andromache Chalfant (scenic design), Cait O'Connor (costume design), Austin Smith (lighting design), Daniel Baker (sound design), and Andrew Diaz (properties). Melissa Mae Gregus is Production Stage Manager and Sam Horwith is Assistant Stage Manager.

The performance schedule is as follows: Wednesday – Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 3pm and Monday at 8pm. Tickets are $55 and are available through 279-4200. Rattlestick is offering $10 tickets to students (with valid ID) and $15 tickets to patrons under thirty years of age and theater artists. Information on how to purchase student, under thirty, and theater artist tickets can be found on the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater Facebook page.

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José Rivera (Playwright) is the two-time Obie Award winning author of Marisol, Cloud Tectonics, References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, Boleros for the Disenchanted, and many other plays. Currently in the works are Human Emotional Process, The Hours are Feminine, Lessons for an Unaccustomed Bride, The Book of Fishes, a new translation of Kiss of the Spiderwoman, and a musical for The Civilians called La Corona. Rivera was nominated for an Academy Award, a BAFTA, and a Writers Guild Award for his screenplay The Motorcycle Diaries, directed by Walter Salles. His screenplay of Kerouac's On the Road, also directed by Salles, will premiere internationally in 2012. For HBO he has written a pilot for a one-hour series based on Massacre (Sing to Your Children) called "Mayhem." Also in the works is The 33 – a film about the 2010 rescue of 33 trapped miners in Chile. Celestina, based on his play Cloud Tectonics, will mark his debut as a feature film director. Rivera, who is playwright in residence at the Lark Theatre and a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre and LAByrinth, lives in New York.

Brian Mertes (Director) has directed the world premieres of many new plays, including David Greenspan's The Myopia for the Foundry Theater. Mertes has developed new work at EST, MCC, Naked Angels, MTC, Public Theater, PS 122, Actors Theater of Louisville, Playwrights Center Minneapolis, New Dramatists, Ars Nova, PlayPenn, BACA and Christine Jones' Theater For One. He regularly directs at Juilliard, most recently creating a multi-media theater work based on Sam Shepard's Paris, Texas with alt-country rocker, Jim White. He has taught directing for the Columbia and NYU film programs and at Brown/Trinity Rep as the current Head of the MFA Directing Program. He has been a guest director at North Carolina School of the Arts, SUNY Purchase, NYU Grad, UT Austin, and Yale. Mertes has directed television for ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, garnering three Emmy and three DGA nominations, and an Emmy for directing. With director Melissa Kievman, he hosts an annual retreat at an old stone house in upstate NY, where, with their company, they have presented epic, environmental stagings of Chekhov's Ivanov, Platonov, The Cherry Orchard, Three Sisters, Seagull, and Uncle Vanya. Brian is also an associate director at Trinity Rep where he recently staged Clybourne Park.

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