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9 CIRCLES Premiere, John Lithgow, John Patrick Shanley and More Slated for Sheen Center in 2017

The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture (18 Bleecker Street) has announced the Spring programming of the 2016-2017 season.

Featuring a varied array of thought-provoking theater, film, music, art, and discourse, The Sheen Center delves deeper into its many signature series, and for the first time will produce a mainstage theatrical production: The New York premiere of Bill Cain's acclaimed play, 9 Circles.

As its first foray into theatrical producing, The Sheen Center will present Bill Cain's compelling and visceral thriller 9 Circles, directed by Kent Nicholson (Long Story Short), in a four-week strictly limited engagement, beginning on February 21, 2017 and running until March 19.

Inspired by a true story and based on the 9 Circles of Hell in Dante's Inferno, the play centers on Daniel Reeves, who is arrested and prosecuted for acts that he may have committed while serving in the U.S. Army during the Iraq War. Thrown into a labyrinth of military bureaucracy, the confused and troubled teenager tries to navigate through layers of commanding officers, public defenders, pastors, army psychiatrists and, essentially, his own personal hell. This is the New York premiere of the play following several critically-acclaimed regional productions.

Additional highlights of the spring season include: An Evening with John Lithgow, in which the five-time Emmy, two-time Tony winner and two-time Oscar nominee discusses his storied career and life with Lincoln Center Theater dramaturg Anne Cattaneo (Apr 30); Latin Broadway Party!, a concert hosted by Drama Desk nominee Andréa Burns (On Your Feet!, In the Heights) with a band led by Hamilton's Kurt Crowley (Mar 20); Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum's debuts his new album, #LoveCovers in a special St. Valentine's Day concert with Lindsey Webster, "Smooth Jazz Artist of the Year" of 2016 to inaugurate the new series, Jazz on Bleecker Street (Feb 10 & 11); the launch of Kate Hennessy's latest work, a biography on her grandmother, Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved by Beauty (Mar 20); NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray leading a Mental Health Summit accompanied by His Eminence, Timothy CardinAl Dolan, Reverend Dr. A. R. Bernard, and Rabbi Joseph Potasnik (Feb 13); Michael Cerveris and His Accomplices, in which the two-time Tony winner is joined by special guests to perform from his album Piety and more as part of the Convergences: Indie Artist Series (Mar 16); An Evening with John Patrick Shanley, during which the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright will discuss his career with Anne Cattaneo (Apr 3); Civility in '17, a new 3-part series that features thought leaders on opposite sides of an issue discussing the need to focus more on civility in politics, the media and religion, moderated by America magazine's editor-in-chief, Matt Malone, SJ (May 9); and more.

9 Circles is presented as part of a special Black Box theatre series at The Sheen Center this season, titled "War is Hell," focusing on plays that center around the theme of war. Other presentations in this series include Frog & Peach Theatre Company's version of Macbeth in the Black Box theater (Jan 19-Feb 12); A gripping WWII drama Luft Gangster directed by Austin Pendelton (Mar 31-Apr 23); a production of Hamlet set in WWI Iraq, starring Tony nominee Arian Moayed (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo) from May 5- June 3 and Death Comes for the War Poets, by Joseph Pearce a piece centered around the great WWI poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, presented by Blackfriars Repertory Theatre (Jun 9-24).

The Sheen Center will continue with several of their signature series in 2017. The Justice Film Festival will kick off a new documentary series with A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story about the acclaimed anti-bullying activist (Feb 18); before the full festival later in the year. Marc Kaplan's (Subculture) curated series Classical Music Series journeys on with artists like violinist Anthony Marwood and Les Violins du Roy on Apr 24; cellist Joshua Roman on May 6; and pianist Greg Kallor with the Attaca Quartet on June 5. In addition to Cerveris, Convergences: Indie Artist Series will present singer/songwriter Dan Mills on Jan 13; followed by Brooklyn based Sky-Pony joined by Nimbus Dance Works and West Village Chorale on Jan 28. Highlights from the Broadway Inspirational Voices series include Celise Henderson (Godspell) and Eliseo Roman (On Your Feet!, In the Heights) on May 1; Michael McElroy (Rent, The Who's Tommy) and Capathia Jenkins (Newsies, Fame Becomes Me) on May 15; as well as the previously announced evening with Clarke Thorell (The Front Page, Hairspray) and Marva Hicks (The Lion King) on Jan 23. Jazz on Bleecker Street continues when pianist Kenny Werner and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith team up to put their improvisational skills to the test on Mar 11; followed by pianists Roger Kellaway and Peter Beets in a two-piano concert paying tribute to the great Paul McCartney with "The Many Moods of McCartney" on Mar 23.

The Sheen Center's Art Gallery exhibitions continue with Black Wall Street: A Case for Reparations by artist, Ajamu Kojo presenting re-imagined portraits of African-American families from Tulsa, OK that perished when their community was bombed and burned down by a white mob in 1921. (Jan 5-Feb 19).

Named after the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, best known for his popular radio and TV ministry in the 1950s and 60s, The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture is a project of the Archdiocese of New York with the mission of showcasing works in the performing and visual arts, lectures and symposia that highlight the true, the good, and the beautiful as they have been expressed throughout the ages. The state-of-the-art complex has a 270-seat proscenium theater equipped with five-camera high-definition livestream capability and a multi-track recording studio with thirty-two onstage inputs; an 80-seat black box theater; four rehearsal studios; and an art gallery. This facility is the newest arts center in Manhattan in 35 years and a great addition to the growing artistic community in the East Village/NoHo.

Season events and dates subject to change. Tickets now available at: For the full listing of events for the 2017 season, visit

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