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The New Group to Bring Kuritzkes' THE SENSUALITY PARTY to NYC College Campuses

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The New Group proudly presents The Sensuality Party as part of its 2015-2016 season. This New York premiere of a new play by Justin Kuritzkes was developed through The New Group's New Group/New Works play development program. Directed by Danya Taymor, this production will play 18 performances only at college campuses across all five boroughs of New York City, with venues including Brooklyn College, LaGuardia Community College, Gallatin School (New York University), Baruch College, Lehman College, Pace University NYC Campus, Pace University Westchester Campus and the College of Staten Island. Full schedule of venues & dates follows. Casting to be announced.

Brought to life in common rooms and student unions at college campuses across all five boroughs of New York City, Justin Kuritzkes' new play The Sensuality Party depicts six college students - three women and three men - who reflect on an afternoon of group sex they shared during their first semester, and how what began as a rather casual experiment went suddenly and horribly wrong. As they internalize and even fetishize this event, they battle their own disaffection and disconnection from the wider world. Kuritzkes offers an incisive look at his own post-9/11 generation's consciousness.

"The Sensuality Party was developed over a couple years in our NewGroup/NewWorks program, in which we tailor-make our development process to suit the needs of each play. When we decided to produce the play, we wanted to find a way to honor Justin's intention that there be 'a minimal divide between the audience members and the actors,' and therefore we felt a non-theater setting with no technical barriers might be ideal," says Artistic Director Scott Elliott. "We've also wanted to expand the New Group/New Works program to works produced not just on the mainstage, but also in smaller, more intimate settings; The Sensuality Party is a perfect fit to launch this next stage of the program. The subject and setting of the play suggested that performing at colleges might allow the play to resonate even more, while also making sure that peers of the young author and actors get to attend. A bonus is that this is a rare opportunity for us to bring The New Group's work to the outer-boroughs and reach a larger community. We relish the adventure that this bold, thought-provoking play has inspired."

The Sensuality Party was developed through The New Group's New Group/New Works play development program. New Group/New Works focuses on the nurturing and development of new work and emphasizes the building of lasting relationships with artists whose work resonates with The New Group's mission of presenting works that are adventurous, stimulating and socially-relevant. The play and musical development program serves as a vital incubator that allows The New Group to produce the works of emerging playwrights as part of its season. In addition to Mainstage productions, The New Group is expanding New Group/New Works to include productions that will be presented in smaller, more intimate settings, with minimal production elements, and accessible ticket prices for audiences of no more than 99 people per performance for a limited run. The New Group believes that through these productions, the company will be able to provide the most meaningful impact to playwrights and the development of their work.

New Group Mainstage productions that were developed through New Group/New Works include Erika Sheffer's Russian Transport, David Rabe's An Early History of Fire, Thomas Bradshaw's Intimacy, Joel Drake Johnson's Rasheeda Speaking, and most recently, Mark Gerrard's Steve, earlier this season. Justin Kuritzkes' The Sensuality Party follows in The New Group tradition of introducing emerging and provocative playwrights to New York audiences.

Justin Kuritzkes' plays If...Then... and War of Attrition were recently produced by Actors Theatre of Louisville as part of the 2014 Humana Festival of New American Plays. He was a member of Ars Nova's 2014-2015 Play Group, and he has been awarded residencies from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Edward F. Albee Foundation, and Space on Ryder Farm, where he was a member of the inaugural writers group: The Working Farm. Justin is the winner of the 2011 Tennessee Williams / New Orleans Literary Festival One Act Play Contest, and he has been a finalist for: the 2014 Nick Darke Award, the 2015 Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship, the 2015 Resident Playwright Company at New Dramatists, and the 2015-2016 LMCC Workspace. His plays have been produced and developed at venues including: Ars Nova, Magic Theatre, The New Group, New York Theatre Workshop, Colt Coeur, Steep Theatre Co., The Brick, Dixon Place, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Brecht Forum, The 24-Hour Company, The New York International Fringe Festival, Farm Theater Projects, The Tennessee Williams / New Orleans Literary Festival, The Collectin, and the University of New Orleans. Justin is a graduate of Brown University, where he earned his B.A. in both Philosophy and Literary Arts and studied playwriting with Gregory Moss, Lisa D'Amour, and Erik Ehn. He is a native of Los Angeles.

Danya Taymor is a director and translator. Recent work includes Brian Watkins' Wyoming (Lesser America, World premiere) and My Daughter Keeps Our Hammer (The Flea, World premiere, NY Times/Time Out Critics Pick), Engagements by Lucy Teitler (Ensemble Studio Theater), I Hate Fucking Mexicans (U.S. premiere, The Flea) and Shakespeare's The Tempest (NYU/Stella Adler). Translations include Alejandro Ricaño's We Are Getting Better at Saying Goodbye, Luis Enrique Guitierrez Ortiz Monasterio's I Hate Fucking Mexicans and Ettore Scola's Working on a Special Day. She is a 2014-2016 Time Warner Directing Fellow at Women's Project, a 2050 fellow at New York Theatre Workshop, an Artist in Residence at Theatre for a New Audience, an Associate Artist at The Flea Theater, New Georges Affiliated Artist and a semi-finalist for the Lange-Taylor prize with Dominic Bracco for The Northern Pass. Other awards/fellowships include: Van Lier Directing Fellowship; Gates Foundation Grant, Rough Draft Residency at the Drama League and Lincoln Center Directors Lab. Upcoming: Anna Moench's In Quietness at Walker Space (Dutch Kills), Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard (Stella Adler) and Susan Soon-He Stanton's Cygnus (Women's Project).

The New Group opened its 2015-2016 Season with the Off-Broadway premiere of Philip Ridley's Mercury Fur, directed by Scott Elliott, a Critics' Pick in The New York Times. The company's season continued with the world premiere of Mark Gerrard's Steve, directed by Cynthia Nixon, featuring Ashlie Atkinson, Mario Cantone, Jerry Dixon, Francisco Pryor Garat, Malcolm Gets and Matt McGrath, which enjoyed an extended run. The New Group is currently represented Off-Broadway by Sam Shepard's Buried Child, twice extended, now through April 3 at The Pershing Square Signature Center (The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre, 480 West 42nd Street). Directed by Scott Elliott, this hit production features Taissa Farmiga, Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, Larry Pine, Rich Sommer, Paul Sparks and Nat Wolff. Buried Child is presented by The New Group in association with Lisa Matlin.

The Sensuality Party plays April 25 - May 13 as follows:

Monday, April 25 - Wednesday, April 27 at 7:00pm: Pace University NYC Campus (Eddie Layton Student Union, 3-5 Spruce Street, New York, NY)

Thursday, April 28 at 3:30pm & 7:00pm: Pace University Westchester Campus (Kessel Student Center, Gottesman Room, 860 Bedford Road, Pleasantville, NY)

Friday, April 29 at 7:00pm: Gallatin School, New York University (Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre for the Performing Arts, 1 Washington Place, New York, NY)

Monday, May 2 - Wednesday, May 4 at 7:00pm: Brooklyn College (Roosevelt Hall, 206 Roosevelt Extension, 2950 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY)

Thursday, May 5 at 2:00 & 7:00pm: Lehman College (Speech and Theatre Building, Room B-20, 250 Bedford Park Blvd. West, Bronx, NY)

Friday, May 6 at 7:00pm: VENUE TBD

Monday, May 9 at 7:00pm: College of Staten Island (2800 Victory Blvd., Staten Island, NY)

Tuesday, May 10 at 7:00pm: VENUE TBD

Wednesday, May 11 at 2:30 & 7:00pm: LaGuardia Community College (Room C-401, 29-10 Thomson Avenue, Long Island City, NY)

Thursday, May 12 & Friday, May 13 at 7:00pm: Baruch College (Skylight Room, 3rd Floor, 17 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY)

Tickets are $10 for students, $25 for The New Group subscribers and members, and $35 General Admission. For tickets, visit thenewgroup.org/sensualityparty

In an effort to engage the students and create an open dialogue regarding the themes of the play, The New Group will be organizing a talkback series with experts from various fields. Please visit thenewgroup.org for a full schedule of talkbacks and participants.

The Sensuality Party is supported, in part, by Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation.

New Group/New Works is supported, in part, by The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust and by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

The Sensuality Party is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.


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