Dixon Place & The Apothetae to Present THE PENALTY, 6/13-29


Dixon Place & The Apothetae present The Penalty, written by Clay McLeod Chapman and directed by Kris Thor, with music and lyrics by Robert M. Johanson and Clay McLeod Chapman. The inaugural show for a company devoted to theatre featuring disabled artists begins previews on Thursday, June 13 at 7:30, and continues Fridays and Saturdays: June 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 & 29 at 7:30 at Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie Street, New York, NY. Tickets: $15 GA / $18 door / $12 Students & Seniors. Visit www.dixonplace.org or call 212 219­0736. Run time: 70 minutes,­ no intermission.

What would you sacrifice to be made whole? New York City. 1920. A legless beggar pleads with the oncoming foot­traffic for spare change. Barely a nickel comes his way. But what these pedestrians don't know is-this deformed derelict at their heels is none other than Blizzard, kingpin to the seedy underbelly of the Lower East Side. With an army of dancing girls at his beck and call, Blizzard is hell­bent on executing his master plan: Get his revenge against the prominent doctor who left him in this condition-and against the city that couldn't have cared less. 3 People. 4 Legs. 1 Game of Revenge.

The Penalty features an ensemble cast, integrated with able­bodied and actors with disabilities. Written by Clay McLeod Chapman and directed by Kris Thor, The Penalty will be presented at Dixon Place for six performances June 14th ­ 29th, 2013. Featuring songs by composer Robert M. Johanson (Nature Theatre Of Oklahoma's Life and Times Episodes 1­4), The Penalty is inspired by the novel of the same name by Gouverneur Morris, and its film adaptation, starring Lon Chaney, written by Charles Kenyon and directed by Wallace Worsley.

The Apothetae is the first theatre of its kind dedicated to the production of new full­length plays about the "Disabled Experience," and the only New York City based company with this unique mission to be run, owned and operated by people with disabilities. A core element of The Apothetae's mission is to expand the current existing narratives that depict people with disabilities. Too often in today's popular culture, people with disabilities are painted as men and women who overcome adversity or act as symbols of pity and or inspiration. This wasn't always the case. And while depictions of characters with disabilities throughout history may not have always been positive, The Apothetae does not want to shy away from these darker depictions. We believe great power rests in the retelling and exploration of these stories and embodiment of these characters.

Lon Chaney himself contradicted the Hollywood ideal of beauty, glamor and romance. Both his parents were deaf and it was through non­verbal communication with them with which he mastered the art of pantomime. In addition, Chaney's second wife, Hazel's previous husband was a double amputee. Throughout his career Chaney played myriad disabled characters imbuing each and every one of them with great strength and determination.

The character of Blizzard has overcome a great deal of adversity in his world to become a great power on the Lower East Side. He is challenging because he is dark, complex, and undeniably evil. Underneath the universe of blood, thunder and tears however, beats a human heart.

About the Artists:

Gregg Mozgala (Blizzard & Founder of The Apothetae)

Gregg has been in various New York productions Off and Off­Off Broadway with Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, The LAByrinthTheatre Company, La Mama ETC, PS 122, Theater Breaking Through Barriers, Foolish Theatre Company, The Brick Theater, The National Theatre Workshop of the Handicapped, Visible Theatre and the Ensemble Studio Theatre. Regionally, he has appeared on stage at the Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts and the Spoleto Festival USA. He has worked internationally in London, England and Zagreb, Croatia. He has participated in Northeast Public Radio's Playing On Air series with Mammie Gummer and Tony winning director, John Rando.

Sara Buffamanti (Sophie Ferris)

Sara is an international performer who has played in Tokyo, Korea, Southeast Asia, Germany, Italy and Scotland. Since graduating from the BFA Acting Conservatory at UC Santa Barbara, and the MFA Acting Program at Columbia University, she has worked in NYC with the LITE group, the LIFT group, Theatreworks USA, Vortex Theater, Target Margin Theater, Judson Church Theater, Broadway Asia, Electric Pear Productions, Alphabet Arts, and the Metropolitan Opera. Performance Lab 115 credits include: Ari in Artifacts of Consequence, Shauva in the Caucasian Chalk Circle, The Emcee in The Terrible Temptation to do Good, and Antoinette in The Verge. Sara is the creator and solo­performer of Eleanor alla Barre, a one­woman clown piece, and currently teaches voice and movement at the School of Film and Television.

Phillip Tarantulo (Dr. Ferris)

Recent NY credits include The World is Round (RipeTime/JCC); The Deepest Play Ever (New Ohio/Collaboration Town); The Lily's Revenge (HERE Arts Center); Accidentally, Like A Martyr (Wild Project); Two Gentlemen Of Verona (UrbanStages); Call Me Anne (Access Theater, also scripted); 6969 (59E59 Theatres); Notes! (P.S. 122/Abrons Arts Center). Regional: Berkshire Theater Group, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Castleton, Portland Stage, Welfleet Harbor Actors Theater, Huntington, Disney Cruise Lines, ArtFarm. Webseries: "The Outs". BFA, Boston University School of Theatre.

Clay McLeod Chapman ­ Playwright

Clay McLeod Chapman is the author of Rest Area a collection of short stories, and Miss Corpus a novel. Miss Corpus was recognized in part of The New Yorker's Reading Glasses series in 2003. Hyperion Books recently published his trilogy of children's novels titled The Tribe -book one, Homeroom Headhunters He will occasionally write from time to time for his geek­gods Marvel Comics (Ultimate Spider­Man) and Fangoria Magazine. Chapman's story Late Bloomer was adapted into film by director Craig Macneill. An official selection at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, their most recent collaboration, Henley, a short film based on the chapter The Henley Road Motel from his novel Miss Corpus, was an official selection at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. It was awarded Best Short Film at the 2011 Gen Art Film Festival and the 2011 Carmel Arts and Film Festival.

Chapman is the creator of the rigorous storytelling session The Pumpkin Pie Show. In its ten­plus years of existence, it has performed internationally at the Romanian Theatre Festival of Sibiu, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the New York International Fringe Festival, the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, the Edmonton Fringe Festival, the Minnesota Fringe Festival, the Dublin­based thisisnotashop art space, IGNITE Festival, the Women Center Stage Festival and the Impact Theatre Festival. The Pumpkin Pie Show continues to perform in New York City annually with long­time scene­stealer Hanna Cheek.

Kris Thor ­ Director

Kristjan Thor is a critically acclaimed director of both theater and film. Active for ten years, he has most recently completed his first feature, entitled Diving Normal, and is in pre­production for two others, Iceland and Astraea. His wildly successful immersive fear experience, Blackout, is now running in both New York and Los Angeles, and was named, "the extreme theater event of the year" by the New York Times and, "the scariest haunted house in NYC" by the New York Post. Thor graduated as a Senior Fellow from Dartmouth College and holds an MFA in Directing from Columbia's School of the Arts.

Robert M. Johanson ­ Composer

Robert M. Johanson is a member of Nature Theater of Oklahoma. He has composed music for and appeared in their epic bio­musical Life and Times, which had its US premiere at The Public Theater in January. Robert has also performed in their previous pieces Poetics: a ballet brut, No Dice, and Romeo and Juliet. He has written music for and directed new musical pieces in Norway and next winter in Estonia.

Miriam Crowe ­ Lighting Designer

Miriam Nilofa Crowe designs regularly for Latin Grammy and Grammy­winner Lila Downs, Ko­Ryo Dance Theater, The Drilling Company, Balasole Dance, and Strindberg Rep. Recent projects include Honky (Urban Stages), What It Means to Disappear Here (Ugly Rhino), Gorilla (SATC), RescYou (Eckert+Sorenson­Jolink), Project RUIN (Carlye Eckert and Lucie Baker), home/sick (The Assembly), Bridesburg (Miscreant Theater), Symphony for the Dance Floor (Daniel Bernard Roumain), Life after Dark (Dana Leong), Flags (Firefly Theater @ 59E59), Woman in Waiting (Farber Foundry), Beowulf (Lincoln Center Festival), and The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow (Yale Rep). She is a founding member of Wingspace Theatrical Design. www.wingspace.com/miriam

Robert Eggers ­ Costume Designer

Robert Eggers is a designer for film, television, commercials, print, theater and dance. Eggers has designed and created sets, costumes, puppets and more for Sesame Street, Comedy Central, AT&T, Toyota, Ritz Carlton, Sharp, Johnson & Johnson, Pantene, Chipotle, at Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, La Mama E.T.C. and many others. Films he has designed have screened at SXSW, Tribeca, NYFF and many more. Eggers will be participating in this year's Lincoln Center Director's Lab as a designer.

Dixon Place, a non­profit organization, was founded in 1986 to provide a space for literary and performing artists to create and develop new works in front of a live audience. Our mission to support and nurture the development of new work and work in progress from diverse artists and to build new audiences for the work. The artist's experience is given top priority through our professional atmosphere and remuneration, and their process is enhanced through the reaction of our adventurous audiences. Dixon Place is a local haven for creativity as well as an international model for the open exploration of the process of creation.

For more information, visit dixonplace.org, follow @dixonplace on Twitter, or go to facebook.com/dixonplace.

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