Chloe Sevigny-Led DOWNTOWN RACE RIOT Begins Tonight at The New Group
Downtown Race Riot features Cristian DeMeo (Tommy-Sick), David Levi (Jimmy "Pnut" Shannon), Moise Morancy (Marcel "Massive" Baptiste), Josh Pais (Bob Gilman), Sadie Scott (Joyce Shannon), Daniel Sovich (Jay 114) and as previously announced, Chloë Sevigny (Mary Shannon).
Directed by Scott Elliott, this production features Set Design by Derek McLane, Costume Design by Clint Ramos, Lighting Design by Yael Lubetzky, Sound Design by M.L. Dogg and Fight Direction by UnkleDave's Fight-House.
A limited Off-Broadway engagement is slated tonight, November 14, through December 23, with Official Opening Night set for Sunday, December 3 at The Pershing Square Signature Center (The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre, 480 West 42nd Street).
On a hot late summer day in 1976, a mob of young men - Al. White except one - descended on Washington Square Park with pipes and bats, and attacked any people of color they could find. Seth Zvi Rosenfeld takes us back to that day, to the cramped Village apartment of Mary Shannon, a strung-out, free-wheeling single mom, as her son Pnut and his Haitian best friend Massive wrestle with their obligation to join the riot. The boys, torn between loyalty to each other and to the neighborhood, grasp for ways to keep the violence from destroying their friendship forever. A snapshot of a time not so different than today, when a new social freedom ran smack into the forces of reaction, and when the stakes were truly life and death. Scott Elliott directs this world premiere of Downtown Race Riot for The New Group, launching the company's 2017-2018 season.
This world premiere of Downtown Race Riot marks a return to The New Group for Seth Zvi Rosenfeld. Previously, the company presented the world premiere productions of his works The Flatted Fifth, directed by Jo Bonney (1997) and Everythings Turning Into Beautiful, directed by Carl Forsman (2006).
Following Downtown Race Riot, The New Group's season continues in Winter 2018 with the Off-Broadway premiere of Jerry Springer - The Opera, with music by Richard Thomas, book & lyrics by Stewart Lee and Richard Thomas and choreography by Joshua Bergasse, directed by John Rando (begins January 2018); and The New York premiere of David Rabe's Good for Otto, directed by Scott Elliott, featuring E. Harris and Amy Madigan (begins February 2018). In Spring 2018, the company presents the world premiere of Lily Thorne's Peace for Mary Frances, directed by Lila Neugebauer, featuring Lois Smith (begins May 2018).
Subscriptions and memberships for The New Group's 2017-2018 season are available now. For subscription purchases and season information, visit www.thenewgroup.org. Subscriptions can also be purchased by calling Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200, or in person at 416 West 42nd Street (12-8pm daily).
Tickets for Downtown Race Riot are on sale now. General playing schedule: Tuesday - Friday at 7:30pm; Saturday at 2:00 & 8:00pm; Sunday at 2:00pm. Regular tickets start at $75. For single ticket purchases, visit www.thenewgroup.org. Single tickets can also be purchased by calling Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200, or in person at 416 West 42nd Street (12-8pm daily).
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Seth Zvi Rosenfeld (Playwright) has previous collaborations with The New Group including The Flatted Fifth (1997) and Everythings Turning into Beautiful (2006). His play Downtown Race Riot received a developmental production at NYS&F. Seth credits a youth cemented to a loud corner on Amsterdam Avenue with setting his imagination afire. His plays are often his sincere attempts to recreate those sights and sounds. His plays include: The Writing on the Wall, written in 1986, produced by Westbeth Theater Company; Servy-n-Bernice 4ever (Provincetown Playhouse); A Passover Story, commissioned by the late Joseph Papp for The Public Theater; The Black Eyed Brothers, which Seth directed (winner of the Samuel French short play award); and A Brother's Kiss and After the Marching Stopped with Anastasia Traina at Intar. The tiny plays La Familia, My Starship and PS: I'm glad you sent your hair were done at Naked Angels and the Hip-Hop Theater Festival. His play Handball was developed at NYS&F and produced by UTM and Central Park Summerstage. Seth's film and TV credits include writing several episodes and acting as co-executive producer on the first two parts of Baz Luhrmann's Netflix series The Get Down. He's developed shows for most of the major networks and premium cable stations and script doctored and developed screenplays for most of the major studios. He wrote the Tri-Star film Sunset Park. He wrote and directed the films A Brother's Kiss and King of the Jungle both adaptations of his stage plays. He wrote and directed a segment of Subway Stories for HBO. He co-wrote and directed the groundbreaking internet series We Deliver for Palm Pictures and Sputnik 7 in 2000. He served as a Writer/Producer on the HBO series How to Make it in America for two seasons.
Scott Elliott (Director) is an award-winning stage director, filmmaker and the founding Artistic Director of The New Group, where he most recently directed the world premiere of Hamish Linklater's The Whirligig and the U.S. premiere of Wallace Shawn's Evening at the Talk House. Other recent New Group credits include the twice-extended hit production of Sam Shepard's Buried Child, with Taissa Farmiga, E. Harris, Amy Madigan, Larry Pine, Rich Sommer, Paul Sparks and Nat Wolff; the critically-acclaimed Mercury Fur by Philip Ridley and the world premiere of The Spoils by Jesse Eisenberg. Also at The New Group, he has directed works by Thomas Bradshaw, Ayub Khan Din, Francine Volpe, Erika Sheffer, Tommy Nohilly, Joe Orton, Mike Leigh and David Rabe. Recently, he directed the acclaimed European premieres of two New Group productions at London's Trafalagar Studios: Jesse Eisenberg's The Spoils, followed by Sam Shepard's Buried Child, presented Lisa Matlin and Adam Speers for Ambassador Theatre Group.
Cristian DeMeo (Tommy-Sick), who has been acting since age 6, is known for Searching for Bobby D (2005), Once Upon a Time In Brooklyn (2013), Twice Upon a Time (2015) and Back In The Day (2016). Cristian played the teenage version of Anthony Rodriguez in that film, his first major role. Growing up in a Christian home, he was always told that with focus and determination he could be whatever he wanted to be. Today, Cristian is a co-producer of the upcoming TV series "The Neighborhood" (2018), created by William DeMeo, and he will play a brawler in the currently filming Bare Knuckle Brawler (2018).
David Levi (Jimmy "Pnut" Shannon) was born and raised in Greenwich Village, and immersed himself in artistic endeavors since childhood. His first creative passion was visual artwork. David's professional career began at age nine, when he starred in The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie. The movie spawned the eponymous television series on Nickelodeon, in which David acted and performed music. Following a hiatus from acting, he made his return in 2016, starring as Happy Loman in an Off-Broadway production of Death of a Salesman. Since then, he has also appeared on "Law & Order: SVU." He is honored to be making his New Group debut.
Moise Morancy (Marcel "Massive" Baptiste) is a Brooklyn-born actor, director, hip-hop recording artist, poet, writer and activist. Television credits include "Happy," "The Affair" and "Law & Order: SVU."
Josh Pais (Bob Gilman) has TV credits including "Ray Donovan," "Law & Order: SVU," "Younger," "2 Broke Girls," "The Good Wife," "Psych," "Damages," "Rescue Me," "How To Make It In America," "Sex and The City," the upcoming Netflix series "Maniac" and the upcoming season of "High Maintenance." His film roles include: Synecdoche NY, That Awkward Moment, Adventureland, Going In Style, Touchy Feely, Arbitrage, Leaves of Grass, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Year of The Dog, and Amazon's upcoming feature: Land of Steady Habits. He is the Co-Creator of Sony Television's upcoming series, "Paint" and the founder of Committed Impulse.
Sadie Scott (Joyce Shannon) is psyched to be a part of The New Group's Downtown Race Riot. A Manhattan Native and a graduate of the LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts, also known as the "Fame" School, she made her TV debut on "Law & Order: SVU." She recently finished filming her second independent feature, CRSHD.
Chloë Sevigny (Mary Shannon). Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning actress, was recently seen in The Dinner, Beatriz at Dinner, and the Netflix series Bloodline. She will next be appearing in The Snowman, Golden Exits, Lean on Pete and Lizzie, on which she also served as producer. She made her directorial debut on the short film Kitty, which made an extremely successful debut in the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and has just made her second foray into directing with another short film entitled Carmen, which made its debut at the 2017 Venice Film Festival. Sevigny made her film debut in the lead role of "Jennie" in the controversial Kids, directed by Larry Clark and written by Harmony Korine. For her performance as "Lana Tisdel" in Kimberly Peirce's Boys Don't Cry, Sevigny received nominations for an Academy Award®, a Golden Globe®, and a Screen Actors Guild Award, as well as winning an Independent Spirit Award, the Los Angeles Film Critics Award, the Boston Film Critics Award, Chicago Film Critics and the National Society of Film Critics and a Golden Satellite Award. She also won a Golden Globe Award for her portrayal of Nicolette Grant on HBO's Big Love. Sevigny makes her home in New York.
Daniel Sovich (Jay 114) makes his Off-Broadway debut in Downtown Race Riot. Daniel is finishing his Senior year at New York University, studying Psychology and Child/Adolescent Mental Health; his acting training comes from John Howard Swain. Outside of drama, Daniel is also a singer/songwriter.
The New Group (Scott Elliott, Artistic Director; Adam Bernstein, Executive Director) is an award-winning, artist-driven company with a commitment to developing and producing powerful, contemporary theater. While constantly evolving, the company strives to maintain an ensemble approach to all its work and an articulated style of emotional immediacy in its productions. In this way, The New Group seeks a theater that is adventurous, stimulating and most importantly "now," a true forum for the present culture.
The New Group's 2016-2017 season launched with Sweet Charity, choreographed by Joshua Bergasse, directed by Leigh Silverman and starring Sutton Foster, which enjoyed three extensions and received Drama Desk, Drama League and Lucille Lortel Award nominations for Outstanding Revival; and continued with the recent U.S. premiere of Wallace Shawn's Evening at the Talk House, directed by Scott Elliott, featuring Matthew Broderick, Jill Eikenberry, John Epperson, Larry Pine, Wallace Shawn, Claudia Shear, Annapurna Sriram and Michael Tucker; the world premiere of All the Fine Boys, written and directed by Erica Schmidt, with Abigail Breslin, Isabelle Fuhrman, Joe Tippett and Alex Wolff; and the world premiere of Hamish Linklater's The Whirligig, directed by Scott Elliott, with Noah Bean, Norbert Leo Butz, Jon DeVries, Alex Hurt, Zosia Mamet, Jonny Orsini, Grace Van Patten and Dolly Wells.
In summer 2016, The New Group was represented in the West End by the acclaimed production of Jesse Eisenberg's The Spoils, and more recently, by the company's hit production of Sam Shepard's Buried Child, starring E. Harris and Amy Madigan (November 14, 2016 - March 4, 2017). For his performance, E. Harris received a 2017 Olivier Award nomination in the Best Actor category. Director Scott Elliott helmed both productions at London's Trafalgar Studios, presented by Lisa Matlin and Adam Speers for Ambassador Theatre Group.
Notable productions include David Rabe's Sticks and Bones, with Holly Hunter and Bill Pullman; Joel Drake Johnson's Rasheeda Speaking, with Tonya Pinkins and Dianne Wiest, helmed by Cynthia Nixon; Jesse Eisenberg's The Spoils, with Jesse Eisenberg and Kunal Nayyar; Ecstasy, This is Our Youth, Aunt Dan and Lemon, Hurlyburly, Abigail's Party, Rafta, Rafta..., The Starry Messenger, A Lie of the Mind, Blood From a Stone, Marie and Bruce, The Jacksonian, Intimacy and many more. The company has received more than 100 awards and nominations for excellence. The New Group is a recipient of the 2004 Tony® Award for Best Musical (Avenue Q). In 2011, The Kid received five Drama Desk nominations and the Outer Critics Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical. That year, The New Group and Scott Elliott were honored with a Drama Desk Special Award "for presenting contemporary new voices, and for uncompromisingly raw and powerful productions."
The Pershing Square Signature Center, the permanent home of Signature Theatre, is a three-theatre facility on West 42nd Street designed by Frank Gehry Architects to host Signature's three distinct playwrights' residencies and foster a cultural community. The Center is a major contribution to New York City's cultural landscape and provides a venue for cultural organizations that supports and encourages collaboration among artists throughout the space. In addition to its three intimate theatres, the Center features a Studio Theatre, rehearsal studio, a bookstore, and the Signature Café + Bar, open to the public from noon-midnight Tuesdays-Sundays. For more information on renting the Center, visit www.signaturetheatre.org/rentals.