Jose Rivera Joins Cast of MASSACRE (SING TO YOUR CHILDREN) at Rattlestick Tonight


José Rivera, the Obie Award-winning playwright and Academy Award nominee (The Motorcycle Diaries) will move from the page to the stage when he joins the cast of his play Massacre (Sing to Your Children), having its world premiere at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (224 Waverly Place – off Seventh Avenue South, between Perry & West 11th Streets).

Mr. Rivera will play Erik, the character created by original cast member AdrIan Martinez who is leaving the production due to an imminent film commitment April 22. Mr. Rivera will step into the role for two performances only - tonight, April 23rd and Wednesday, April 25th.

Denis Butkus, currently playing Lucentio in the Theatre for a New Audience production of The Taming of the Shrew, will assume the role on Thursday, April 26th and remain with the production through the end of the run. Directed by Brian Mertes, performances began Wednesday, April 4th and the production enjoyed an official opening night on Thursday, April 12th. The production is scheduled to run through May 12th.

"While we are sorry to lose Adrian from this very brave and daring cast, we are thrilled that Jose? has agreed to step in at the last moment," says Artistic Director David Van Asselt. "It will be very exciting to hear the playwright's own words spoken by him. Denis is part of the Rattlestick family and we are happy that he, too, was available to be part of this exhilarating work."

In a small New Hampshire town, seven friends conspire to murder their mysterious neighbor Joe. On the night of the killing, as they confront the many meanings of their crime and finally relax and laugh and love again...there's a knock on their door.

The cast also features Jolly Abraham, Brendan Averett, Dana Eskelson, Jojo Gonzalez, William Jackson Harper, Sona Tatoyan, and Anatol Yusef.

The creative team features Andromache Chalfant (scenic design), Cait O'Connor (costume design), Austin Smith (lighting design), Daniel Baker (sound design), Andrew Diaz (properties), Jeremy Chernick (special effects), Erin Kennedy Lunsford (makeup) and Rick Sordelet (fight direction). Melissa Mae Gregus is Production Stage Manager and Sam Horwith is Assistant Stage Manager.

The performance schedule is as follows: Wednesday – Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 3pm and Monday at 8pm. Tickets are $55 and are available through 279-4200. Rattlestick is offering $10 tickets to students (with valid ID) and $15 tickets to patrons under thirty years of age and theater artists. Information on how to purchase student, under thirty, and theater artist tickets can be found on the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater Facebook page.

Rattlestick Playwrights Theater is a multi-award-winning company which has produced over fifty world premieres in the past sixteen and a half seasons and was the recipient of the 2007 Ross Wetzsteon Memorial OBIE Award for its work developing new and innovative work. Rattlestick's Advisory Board participates in The Emerging Playwrights Project, which matches a new playwright with an established artist for an experienced eye and creative support. Playwright and artist mentors have included Edward Albee, Jon Robin Baitz, Zoe Caldwell, Arthur Kopit, Craig Lucas, Joe Mantello, Terrence McNally and Marsha Norman. Previous plays include Two Boys in a Bed, Message to Michael, Carpool, Volunteer Man, A Trip to the Beach, Ascendancy, Stuck, Vick's Boy, The Messenger, Saved or Destroyed, Neil's Garden, My Special Friend, Faster, Bliss, St. Crispin's Day, Where We're Born, Five Flights, Boise, Finer Noble Gases, God Hates The Irish: The Ballad of Armless Johnny, Miss Julie, Acts of Mercy: passion- play, Cagelove, It Goes Without Saying, Dark Matters, Stay, American Sligo, Rag and Bone, War, Geometry of Fire, That Pretty Pretty or The Rape Play, The Amish Project, Killers and Other Family, Post No Bills, Blind, Little Doc, underneathmybed, There Are No More Big Secrets, The Hallway Trilogy, Carson McCullers Talks About Love, The Wood, Asuncion, Horsedreams, Yosemite, the Off- Broadway GLAAD Award-nominated hit The Last Sunday in June, Craig Wright's The Pavilion (Drama Desk nominee - Outstanding Play of 2005) and Lady (Drama Desk nominee – Outstanding Play of 2008), as well as The Aliens by Annie Baker (2010 Obie Award winner for Best New American Play).

José Rivera (Playwright) is the two-time Obie Award winning author of Marisol, Cloud Tectonics, References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, Boleros for the Disenchanted, and many other plays. Currently in the works are Human Emotional Process, The Hours are Feminine, Lessons for an Unaccustomed Bride, The Book of Fishes, a new translation of Kiss of the Spiderwoman, and a musical for The Civilians called La Corona. Rivera was nominated for an Academy Award, a BAFTA, and a Writers Guild Award for his screenplay The Motorcycle Diaries, directed by Walter Salles. His screenplay of Kerouac's On the Road, also directed by Salles, will premiere internationally in 2012. For HBO he has written a pilot for a one-hour series based on Massacre (Sing to Your Children) called "Mayhem." Also in the works is The 33 – a film about the 2010 rescue of 33 trapped miners in Chile. Celestina, based on his play Cloud Tectonics, will mark his debut as a feature film director. Rivera, who is playwright in residence at the Lark Theatre and a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre and LAByrinth, lives in New York.

Denis Butkus is an actor and producer. He has been an Artistic Associate of Rising Phoenix Repertory since 2003, and a member of the Literary Department, along with Daniel Talbott and Julie Kline, at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater since 2008. With RPR he has produced, developed, and/or acted in: Summer Lovin', Ponies, The Sibling Plays, Gift, The Telling Trilogy, Three Sisters, Rules of the Universe, Fall Forward, What Happened When, 365 Days/Plays Week 47, Don't Pet the Zookeeper, Too Much Memory, Nobody, Birthday, Slipping, Afterclap, Ceremony and The Cino Nights Series. As a member of the Literary Department of Rattlestick Playwrights Theater he has helped produce over 70 new play readings over the course of the last three seasons including Rattlestick's theaterjam I, II and F*@CKING GOOD PLAYS! (festival). As an actor he has appeared on Broadway in The Caine Mutiny Court Martial and in The Coast of Utopia at Lincoln Center Theater. Internationally, he appeared in the Austrian premiere of Old Wicked Songs at the English Theatre of Vienna. Off Broadway he has been seen at Theater for a New Audience in Othello and Measure for Measure; The Mint Theater Company in The Skin Game and Walking Down Broadway; Red Bull in The Revenger's Tragedy; The Summer Play Festival in Unfold Me; Rattlestick in St. Crispin's Day; Keen Company in Three-Cornered Moon. He holds a BFA from Juilliard (Group 31) and teaches acting at Primary Stages/ESPA.

For more information, visit

Related Articles

Off-Broadway THEATER Stories | Shows

From This Author BWW News Desk

Before you go...