Prison Drama WHITE MANS GUIDE TO RIKERS ISLAND Begins Previews July 18
After a critically acclaimed run this spring, A WHITE MAN'S GUIDE TO RIKERS ISLAND returns this summer for an extended run. Based on a true story, it is written by Richard Roy (Richard III with Denzel Washington) and Eric C. Webb, directed by Thomas G. Waites (Awake and Sing! starring Frances McDormand, King Richard III starring Al Pacino), and stars Richard Roy and Connor Chase Stewart. Previews begin July 18 at The Producers' Club with opening night slated for Friday, July 26.After a drunk driving incident leads to an involuntary manslaughter charge, a privileged white actor find himself serving time at Rikers Island, where the population is over 95% people of color. For the first time in his life, Rich is now a minority and his skin color makes him a target. Caught between drug lords, gang members, and his wise trans cellmate, this clueless white man must learn how to survive the violence, horniness, and mind-numbing nothingness that is prison. All while trying to find forgiveness for his crime. Oh, and at the insistence of his Corrections Officer, write A WHITE MAN'S GUIDE TO RIKERS ISLAND for submission to the National Penitentiary Press Competition. Seriously. An eye-opening look inside our broken penal system and a cautionary tale for anyone of any race. Richard Roy(Writer and Performer) was born and raised in Sparta, New Jersey. At 17, he was in the quarter finals in the New York City Golden Gloves at Madison Square Garden. At 19 he turned professional and became a sparring partner with Muhammad Ali (who attended his first professional boxing match). At 22, he retired from boxing and moved to NYC to pursue his career as an actor. Throughout his acting career he appeared in many New York-based soap operas. Favorite stage roles include Hal in Picnic, Andre in Phantom of the Opera and Laertes in Hamlet, as well as a stint in Richard III starring Denzel Washington with The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park.Thomas G. Waites (Director) is an American actor, director and acting instructor. He founded the TGW Acting Studio in 2000, coaching countless actors including Alfred Molina, Vinnie Pastore, Vinessa Shaw, and Oliver Hudson. As an actor, he starred opposite Daryl Hannah in the film The Clan of the Cave Bear as well as in ...And Justice For All, The Thing, Light of Day, and The Warriors. Waites made his Broadway debut in Teaneck Tanzi opposite Deborah Harry and Andy Kaufman. Other Broadway credits include Awake and Sing! with Frances McDormand and Harry Hamlin, King Richard III starring Al Pacino, and Howard Korder's Search and Destroy. Off-Broadway he appeared in Clifford Odets' Paradise Lost opposite Geraldine Page, Alan Bowne's Forty-Deuce, and David Mamet's American Buffalo. On TV he has been seen in "Buffy The Vampire Slayer," "The Equalizer," "Kojak," and "Miami Vice." He has directed numerous Off and Off-Off Broadway plays including the long-running hit Six Goumbas and a Wannabe. Waites directed Joe Mantegna and Frances Fisher in the short film, "Pandora's Box," for which he won Best Director in the Atlantic City Film Festival. ERIC C. WEBB(Writer) is a writer and freelance dramaturg, as well as Director of Creative Development for Davenport Theatrical Enterprises and March Forth Productions. Writing projects currently in development include Breakup-The Musical (with composer Stephanie Bianchi), Thompson/Gifford (a Gothic chamber musical), Booth (a rock retelling of the Lincoln assignation), and Taking Step Three13 (a rock/rap adaptation of "Crime and Punishment" with composer Matt Doers, recently developed at the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals. Previous writing credits include The Angels of Mons, Krampusnacht, Orion (short film, produced by Second Star Productions), Ubu (a twisted puppet show co-adapted from Jarry's Ubu Roi), Playwriting is Easy and Current Currencies. CONNOR CHASE STEWART (Performer) has appeared in "Teens on Broadway" at Circle in the Square. He has appeared in the short films TK436, The Exit Room, Just a Favor, Just a Copy, and Whispers. He has trained at the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Arts, Stella Adler Studio of Acting, Upright Citizens Brigade, and The Neighborhood Playhouse. He currently trains at the TGW Acting Studio and with Mercedes Hall for voice. A WHITE MAN'S GUIDE TO RIKERS ISLAND runs July 18 - August 31, Thursday - Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 3pm. The Producers' Club is located at 344 West 44th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues. Tickets are $25, available at 212-315-4743 or www.theproducersclub.com.
Photo: Connor Chase Stewart as Rich. Photo by Jacob Goldberg.