THE NEW COLOSSUS Directed By Tim Robbins Comes to The Actors' Gang

THE NEW COLOSSUS Directed By Tim Robbins Comes to The Actors' Gang

The Actors' Gang presents The New Colossus, a new play written by The Actors' Gang ensemble and directed by Actors' Gang Artistic Director Tim Robbins. The New Colossus begins previews on Thursday, February 8, has its world premiere on Saturday, February 17 and runs through Saturday, March 24, 2018.

In The New Colossus, The Actors' Gang members tell their ancestors' stories, their struggles and their journeys from oppression to freedom. The New Colossus celebrates the courage and great character of the refugees who came to this country throughout the last 300 years. The ensemble of twelve reflects the great diversity that has defined who we are as a nation; The New Colossus is a celebration of our diversity.

Set somewhere between the 19th century and now, the play tells the story of forced migration and the constant struggle for survival and dignity in an uncertain and hostile environment. The members of The Acting Company are from different parts of the world; they tell their stories, each in a different language, and each in different dress.

Director Tim Robbins said, "I live in Los Angeles, where one can only be struck by the contributions made to our city by immigrants and people who came here as refugees. The Actors' Gang felt compelled to respond to the government's anti-refugee and anti-immigration policies - and to tell a story that draws attention to the true nature of people that live in this country. Save for the Indigenous, all of our families came here as refugees or immigrants."

"The characters in the piece all seem different, from different parts of the world, travelling at different times - but the stories are remarkably the same: the common experience of all refugees is that they are fleeing some kind of oppression and moving toward safety and hopefully, freedom. Our hope is that we will be able to illuminate the courage, fortitude and humor of the refugees that have defined this land and, in doing so, discover the similarities that exist between our ancestors and those who are currently struggling for dignity and freedom today."

The New Colossus shares a title with the sonnet written by poet Emma Lazarus in 1883 for an exhibit to raise funds for the pedestal for the Statue of Liberty, which opened in 1886. Even though the Statue of Liberty was not conceived as a symbol of immigration, Lazarus' "The New Colossus" reinvented the statue's purpose, turning Liberty into a welcoming mother, a symbol of hope to the outcasts and oppressed of the world.

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

At the end of each performance the actors will engage the audience and ask them to share either their experience of immigration or their family's experience. On several of our workshop performances of this piece we found people from all over the world in our audience; a true representation of the character and make up of this country we share.

The 2017/18 Actors' Gang season is about grifters, dreamers, fighters, cowards, con men and saints, our ancestors, their poetry, our story, their dance, our winter solstice and a spring of brand newly hatched plays developed, nurtured, and incubated at The Actors' Gang Theater.

General tickets are available for $34,99. Seniors may purchase $30.00 tickets and young adults under 30 years of age and full-time students may purchase tickets for $20.00. Thursday evenings are "Pay-What-You-Can." For tickets, please call 310-838-4264 or visit www.theactorsgang.com to purchase tickets online or to view the complete Season of Thugs, Outcasts and Heavenly Myths schedule. The Actors' Gang Theatre is located at The Ivy Substation at 9070 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA, 90232.

The New Colossus has its beginnings in the previous 2017 Refugee Project Workshop Production, in which actors from The Actors' Gang told their own stories, the story of their ancestors - where they came from, why they had to leave, and where they arrived and settled.

About The Actors' Gang

Over the past 36 years, The Actors' Gang has produced over 200 plays in Los Angeles, in forty-five US states, and on five continents. The company was founded in 1981 by a group of young artists looking to build a theatre that would present relevant and vibrantly entertaining plays. Guided by Founding Artistic Director, Tim Robbins, the company provides a supportive environment for a diverse ensemble of artists and the development of their groundbreaking work.

The Actors' Gang has presented the work of innovative theater artists including Georges Bigot, Simon Abkarian, Charles Mee, David Schweizer, Bill Rauch and the Cornerstone Theatre Company, Tracy Young, Roger Guenver Smith, Eric Bogosian, Oskar Eustis, Danny Hoch, Beth Milles, Brian Kulick, Stefan Haves, Namaste Theater Company, Culture Clash, Jason Reed, Michael Schlitt, and Tenacious D.

The Actors' Gang ensemble has included accomplished actors such as Jack Black, John Cusack, John C. Reilly, Helen Hunt, Kate Walsh, Fisher Stevens, Jeremy Piven, Ebbe Roe Smith, Jon Favreau, Brent Hinkley, Kate Mulligan, Lee Arenberg, Kyle Gass and Tim Robbins.

Guest artists that have appeared on The Actors' Gang stage include: Jackson Browne, Sarah Silverman, Ben Gibbard, John Doe, Tom Morello, Jenny Lewis, Wayne Kramer, Paul Provenza, Zooey Deschanel, Serj Tankian, David Crosby, Pink, Felicity Huffman, Jill Sobule, William H. Macy, Phillip Baker Hall, Jeanne Tripplehorn, T.C. Boyle. and the late, beloved, Gore Vidal.

Recent touring productions include Harlequino: On to Freedom, A Midsummer Night's Dream, George Orwell's 1984, The Exonerated, Tartuffe, Embedded, The Trial of the Catonsville Nine and The Guys. Over the last thirty years The Actors' Gang has toured the U.S. in forty-five states and on five continents, performing across the world from London to Milan, Bucharest, Athens, Madrid, Barcelona, Bogota, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Buenos Aires.

With our productions, education and outreach programs and tours we strive to strengthen communities in a way that only the medium of theater can. We produce plays that contribute to the ongoing dialogue about our society and culture, while never forgetting that theaters primary purpose is to entertain.

"The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Tim Robbins (Director)

For the past 36 years, Tim Robbins has served as Artistic Director for The Actors' Gang, a theater company formed in 1982 that has over 150 productions and more than 100 awards to their credit. Past productions with The Actors' Gang include: As Writer/Director - Harlequino On to Freedom (2017), Break the Whip (2010-11), Embedded (2003-4), Mayhem, the Invasion (1992), Carnage, A Comedy (1988-89), Violence, The Misadventures of Spike Spangle Farmer (1987) and Alagazam (1986). As Director -A Midsummer Night's Dream (2012-16), Orwells' 1984 (2006-16), Mephisto (2001), The Good Woman of Setzuan (1991), Methusalem, the Eternal Bourgeois (1985), A Midsummer Night's Dream (1984), Ubu the King (1982); In addition to producing live theater throughout the year, The Actors' Gang provides arts education to thousands of Elementary, Middle and High School students working in 12 LA USD schools and in underserved communities in the L.A. area. Since 2006, The Actors' Gang's groundbreaking Prison Project provides theatrical workshops to incarcerated men and women in 11 California prisons. In 2014, Robbins and Prison Project director Sabra Williams were instrumental in reinstating 6 million dollars into the California State budget for Arts in Corrections.

As Actor, credits include the current HBO series Here and Now, Marjorie Prime, The Brink, Mystic River, The Shawshank Redemption, The Player, Bull Durham and Jacob's Ladder and as a Writer/Director, Dead Man Walking, Cradle Will Rock and Bob Roberts. Robbins has won the Academy Award, Golden Globe, Sag Award + Prix d'Interprétation masculine at Cannes and French Legion.

Ticketing information

The New Colossus previews begin Thursday, February 8 opens Saturday, February 17 and runs through Saturday, March 24, 2018. Performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm at The Actors' Gang Theatre, 9070 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA, 90232

General tickets are available for $34.99. Seniors and students may purchase $30.00 tickets. Thursday evenings are "Pay-What-You-Can." For tickets, please call 310-838-4264 or visit www.theactorsgang.com to purchase tickets online or to view the complete Season of Thugs, Outcasts and Heavenly Myths schedule. The Actors' Gang Theatre is located at 9070 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA, 90232.

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