Janeane Garofalo, Daniel Oreskes, et al. to Star in New Group's RUSSIAN TRANSPORT


The New Group proudly announces casting for the second show in the company's 2011-2012 Season: Russian Transport, written by Erika Sheffer. Directed by Scott Elliott, the production will feature Janeane Garofalo, Daniel Oreskes, Morgan Spector, Sarah Steele and Raviv Ullman. Performances slated to begin January 17 at The New Group @ Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street). Official Opening Night is set for Monday, January 30.

Set in the Russian-Jewish enclave of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, Russian Transport is a deeply personal tale of an immigrant couple, their two assimilated teenagers and the fierce and fiery upheaval they experience when sexy, mysterious Uncle Boris from the old country comes to stay with them for his shot at the American dream. Part family drama, part heart-pounding thriller, this debut from
Erika Sheffercaptures the complex and conflicting layers of striving, joy, painand terrorinone very particular immigrant experience.

Russian Transport will feature
Janeane Garofalo (Film: The Truth About Cats & Dogs, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion) as "Diana" (mother), Daniel Oreskes (B'way: Billy Elliot: The Musical, The Miracle Worker; Off-B'way at The New Group: Roar, Terrorism) as "Misha" (father), Morgan Spector (B'way: A View from the Bridge) as "Boris" (uncle), Sarah Steele (Off-B'way at The New Group: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie; Film: Spanglish; TV: "The Good Wife," "Gossip Girl") as "Mira" (daughter/niece) and Raviv Ullman (TV: Disney Channel's "Phil of the Future") as "Alex" (son/nephew).

Russian Transport is the Off-Broadway debut of playwright Erika Sheffer. Her other plays include The Drowning Side and short pieces Engaging Dynamic Guest Experience, Likes to Scratch and Something in Your Stomach. Her work has received readings at Naked Angels, Primary Stages, The Woodshed Collective and Personal Space Theatrics in association with The Actors Studio. She has performed original pieces at Upright Citizens Brigade and Dixon Place. She will develop her newest play through a fellowship from SPACE on Ryder Farm. Erika Sheffer founded The Jam Band Writers Group, is a founding member of the 15th Floor Playwrights Collective, and an alumna of The Movement Theatre Company's 2010 New Works/Moving Up Writers Group. Sheffer has been a finalist for The Estrogenius Festival and a Juilliard fellowship. B.F.A. in drama from Syracuse University.

Scott Elliott is the founding Artistic Director of The New Group, a place for artists to experiment, take risks and collaborate in an artist-driven environment. With the company, he has produced over 48 plays, 23 of which he directed, including last season's revival of Wallace Shawn's Marie and Bruce and the world premiere of Tommy Nohilly's Blood From A Stone (Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play). He also directed The Kid, the musical based on the book by Dan Savage (Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical; Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Award nominations for Outstanding Musical), Groundswell, Rafta, Rafta..., The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Hurlyburly, Aunt Dan and Lemon, The Fever, Two Thousand Years, Abigail's Party, Smelling a Rat, Goose-Pimples and the company's first production in 1995, Ecstasy. He also directs Broadway shows and writes and directs for film and television.

Last season
The New Group (Scott Elliott, Artistic Director; Geoff Rich, Executive Director) presented Tommy Nohilly's Blood From A Stone featuring Ethan Hawke (Obie winner), the revival of Wallace Shawn's Marie and Bruce starring Marisa Tomei and Frank Whaley, and One Arm (co-production with Tectonic Theater Project) based on an unproduced screenplay by Tennessee Williams, adapted for the stage and directed by Moise?s Kaufman. In 2009-10, The New Group presented the extended run of Kenneth Lonergan's The Starry Messenger featuring Matthew Broderick, the sold-out revival of Sam Shepard's A Lie of the Mind directed by Ethan Hawke, and the world premiere of the new musical The Kid. Other productions include Ian Bruce's Groundswell, Eugene O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra, Ayub Khan-Din's Rafta, Rafta..., Jonathan Marc Sherman's Things We Want, Jay Presson Allen's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Bernard Weinraub's The Accomplices. Additional standouts include David Rabe's Hurlyburly, Mike Leigh's Two Thousand Years, Abigail's Party, Smelling a Rat, Goose- Pimples and Ecstasy, Wallace Shawn's The Fever and Aunt Dan and Lemon, Kenneth Lonergan's This is Our Youth and Kevin Elyot's Mouth to Mouth and My Night With Reg. The New Group is a recipient of the 2004 Tony® Award for Best Musical (Avenue Q). The New Group and Artistic Director Scott Elliott were honored with a Special 2010-11 Drama Desk Award "for presenting contemporary new voices, and for uncompromisingly raw and powerful productions."

The company is currently represented Off-Broadway by the world premiere of
Thomas Bradshaw's Burning, directed by Scott Elliott. Limited engagement through December 17. Tickets may be arranged through www.telecharge.com or (212) 239-6200. Tickets are $60.00 plus $1.25 restoration fee.

As previously announced, in Spring 2012 the company will present the world premiere of a new play by
David Rabe, An Early History of Fire, directed by Jo Bonney and starring Lily Rabe.
All productions play at
The New Group @ Theatre Row (The Acorn Theatre / 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Aves). For more info, visit www.thenewgroup.org.

Tickets for Russian Transport on sale to the public December 5.

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