Houses on the Moon Theater's DE NOVO Opens Tonight at NYTW

Houses on the Moon Theater's DE NOVO Opens Tonight at NYTWHouses on the Moon Theater Company, as part of the inaugural season of Next Door at New York Theatre Workshop, presents the return engagement of the acclaimed documentary play DE NOVO written and directed by Jeffrey Solomon (Tara's Crossing) originally produced by the company in 2010.

Original cast member Emily Joy Weiner (Coming Through) will be joined by Camilo Almonacid (The Assignment), Zuleyma Guevera (Uncommon Sense) and Manny Ureña (Breaking Brooklyn).

The production is being staged at New York Theatre Workshop's Fourth Street Theatre (83 East 4th Street). Opening Night is tonight, December 7, 2017, for a run through Friday, December 22, 2017.

Houses on the Moon presents its acclaimed production of DE NOVO, which tells the true story of a teenaged boy from Guatemala who faced deportation after fleeing to the U.S. to escape gang life. The gang MS13 was the only family Edgar Chocoy had ever known, but he dreamed of a better life. At fourteen, he fled Guatemala City and travelled over 3,000 miles, across the borders of three countries in search of his mother, who left him when he was a baby to find work in the United States. Detained by the Department of Homeland Security, he pleaded with a Colorado judge not to deport him to Guatemala, where the gang he left had sentenced him to death.

DE NOVO originally premiered Off-Broadway at 59E59 Theaters in 2010. Since then, De Novo has widely toured NYC, the country, and internationally as far as El Salvador (with an all-Spanish production). Houses on the Moon is thrilled to be presenting this piece through Next Door at New York Theatre Workshop.

This documentary play is crafted entirely from immigration court transcripts, letters, and extensive interviews conducted by Houses on the Moon company members in Los Angeles, Colorado and Arizona at Southwest Key, the largest facility for detained immigrant minors in the United States. DE NOVO is augmented with projected images from Donna DeCesare, an award-winning photojournalist who is widely known for her groundbreaking coverage of the spread of Los Angeles gangs in Central America.

DE NOVO provides a rare glimpse into the life of an "unaccompanied alien minor," thousands of whom make the dangerous journey across the border and through the U.S. justice system each year. Though there are thousands of foreign-born minors in U.S. custody; barriers of language, age, class, culture, and law conspire to make this population invisible to many. Their stories of migration are poignant, heroic and painful. They deserve to be heard.

The creative team includes Scenic Design by Lawrence Moten, Costume Design by Genevieve V. Beller Lighting Design by Christina Watanabe, with Projected Images by Donna DeCesare, Original Music by Andrew Ingkavet, and Props Design by Mikaela Hogan. Production Manager/Projections Designer is Zachary Spitzer. Production Stage Manager is Jamie Rose Bukowski. Consulting Producer is R. Erin Craig/La Vie Productions.

DE NOVO will play the following performance schedule: Mondays at 7:30pm, Wednesdays at 7:30pm, Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 3:00pm and 7:00pm, and Sundays at 3:00pm. Tickets for DE NOVO are priced at $35 with Special Reserved Seating available at $55. For Groups of 10+, contact groups@housesonthemoon.org or call (929) 335-3261. Student Rush: $20 cash-only at the door, ID required, subject to availability. Can be purchased an hour and a half before curtain. Tickets may be purchased by calling (866) 811-4111 or visiting www.nytw.org/next-door-nytw.

Houses on the Moon Board of Directors includes Jeffrey Rosenstock, Jane Dubin, Amy Gottlieb, Mark Figel, Melissa Springs, Aryah Somers-Landsberger, Emily Weiner, and Jeff Solomon.

Houses on the Moon Theater Company was founded in 2001 with the mission to dispel ignorance and isolation through the theatrical amplification of unheard voices. Partnership with community groups and extensive interviews with real people about their lives are at the core of the company's developmental process. Through creative workshops, original performances, and post-show discussions, Houses on the Moon helps communities come together by making meaningful connections through the public sharing of their untold stories.

The company's inaugural production in 2001, Building Houses on the Moon, dealt with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youth issues, and, in addition to its many ongoing student and Teacher Training performances, was seen at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York and the Columbus National Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival where it won the Award for Best Ensemble Production. The play tours New York City Public High Schools each year in conjunction with "Respect for All Week," the NYC Department of Education's Anti-Bullying and Harassment Initiative.

This past Spring, Houses on the Moon presented two world premiere productions in repertory at the A.R.T./NY Theaters: The Assignment and gUN COUNTRY. Both pieces were developed through workshops with people whose lives have been touched by guns. DC Metro Theatre called The Assignment, "Socially relevant and thought-provoking, profoundly heartrending and funny."

Additional original company works include Tara's Crossing, one of the first plays ever to deal with political asylum for refugees fleeing persecution based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The play had its World Premiere in 2005 at the L.E.S. Tenement Theatre and is still presented widely in theaters and as a training tool on gender identity and legal issues. TRANSformation is a storytelling performance piece about gender identity and family, with the aim of educating the public and empowering these families in their struggle for inclusion. It was most recently presented in partnership with the NYC Council Speaker's Office.

Next Door at New York Theatre Workshop, in its inaugural season at NYTW in the Fourth Street Theatre, is situated in a newly renovated 65-seat black box space. Next Door at NYTW provides a home for companies and artists who are producing their own work. Meeting the artists where they are in their process, this initiative provides each project with subsidized resources and space for development and performance in the newly renovated Fourth Street Theatre. As part of an ongoing effort to expand support for artists at every stage of their careers, this series will serve nearly 100 additional artists in the first year alone.

Next Door at NYTW expands the existing Artist Workshop roster, including the Dorothy Strelsin Mondays @ 3 reading series, Larson Lab studio projects, and summer developmental residencies at Adelphi University and Dartmouth College, by inviting audiences to see more fully-realized work by a wide variety of voices.

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