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Ethan Hawke, John Leguizamo, Brandon Victor Dixon & More Featured in The New Group Off Stage's Upcoming Programming

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Productions include Waiting for Godot, The Dinner, Lypsinka Must Be Destroyed… Again, Singing Heads, I Need Space, and more.

Ethan Hawke, John Leguizamo, Brandon Victor Dixon & More Featured in The New Group Off Stage's Upcoming Programming

The New Group in association with John Ridley's Nō Studios are joining forces through The New Group Off Stage division, and have announced an upcoming slate of projects. The New Group Off Stage will feature theatrical expressions in different media. This new venture will develop and present original projects at the intersection of art and social engagement, and explore the possibilities of cross-pollination among forms. Within the offerings from The New Group Off Stage, select projects will be co-produced with MiLa Media. The slate of projects below begins production and filming in early 2021 and will be available as they are completed throughout the year.

"Adversity breeds innovation. And often exciting things come of it," says The New Group Artistic Director Scott Elliott, "When I finally emerged from shock, I found myself surrounded by artists and producer friends with 'what's next - let's take risks like we always do' looks on their Zoom faces. And it's that love, devotion and encouragement that inspired the birth of The New Group Off Stage, a new, invigorating arm of our beloved company. And then along came John Ridley, whose support and guidance helped make it all possible. I can't wait for everyone to get a load of the experimental works we're making, all a response to this fraught moment, and a reminder that the theater is alive, theater minds are thriving and vibrancy is everywhere."

"Over the last five years I've had the opportunity to watch, admire and to be part of the creatively ambitious work that Scott Elliott is doing on stage," says John Ridley. "As Nō Studios continues to expand its support of artists, I can think of no more appropriate organization to align with than The New Group as it pushes into other media."

Waiting for Godot

By Samuel Beckett; Directed by Scott Elliott.

Beckett's revolutionary dramatic vision of living in perpetual uncertainty, insecurity, anxiety and loneliness is refracted through the day-to-day realities of our current moment of perpetual uncertainty, insecurity, anxiety and loneliness. This work will feature Ethan Hawke (Vladimir), John Leguizamo (Estragon), Wallace Shawn (Lucky), Tarik Trotter (Pozzo) and Drake Bradshaw (Boy).

The Dinner

Produced in collaboration with WalkRunFly Productions and Shariffa Ali for The New Group Off Stage; Written & Directed by Warren Adams, with Music & Lyrics by Brandon Victor Dixon and Michael Olatuja; Rap lyrics by Ronve' O'Daniel; Poetry by Daniel J. Watts. The company will feature Brandon Victor Dixon, with additional casting to be announced.

Six college friends pledged to each other to come together around a table every June 19th to celebrate their bond. In 2019 they come together for their nineteenth dinner. A year later everything has changed.

Of this project, artist and WalkRunFly Co-Founder Brandon Victor Dixon shares, "Shariffa and I, having had a relationship with The New Group for a few years now, are excited that they continue to support the growth of our artistic voices by asking us to join the initial New Group Off Stage digital projects. Part of the responsibility of artists, producers and creatives is to bridge gaps of understanding and opportunity with both imagination and resources. The New Group's recognition of that has created a platform that allows us to bring the vision of Writer/Director Warren Adams' The Dinner to life in a way that speaks to the challenges and revelations of our current time."

Lypsinka Must Be Destroyed... Again

Written & Performed by John Epperson; Directed by Chloë Sevigny.

Lypsinka, Goddess of Showbiz, finds herself once again in a state of limbo. Will she be able to manage another interior crisis? Only her hairdresser knows for sure. Downtown legend Lypsinka - the surrealist stage creation of John Epperson - returns with this brand new work in a whole New Medium. New Group alum Chloë Sevigny steps into the director's chair bringing her own instinctual depth and glamour to this singular work.

Singing Heads

Written & Composed by Richard Thomas; Directed by Monet.

his signature outrageous, exuberant style, Richard Thomas follows The New Group bow of his Jerry Springer - The Opera with this series of one-person micro musicals based on real-life, almost unbelievable events, blending stand-up with show tunes. Singing Heads: the weird, the glamorous and the phenomenally ordinary.

I Need Space

A multi-episode web series; Written & Directed by Donja R. Love.

After their engagement went viral, Malcolm and his fiancé quickly became social media's go-to couple for relationship advice. But Malcolm ended the relationship, and he still doesn't know why. Now alone and throwing himself into online hook-ups, he's having to look at what drives him away from people, with millions of followers watching. Told entirely through a series of video encounters, I Need Space offers a frank and voyeuristic look into one man's struggle with love and loneliness.

Bernarda's Daughters

An Audio Play inspired by Federico García Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba, by Diane Exavier; Directed by Dominique Rider.

It's summer in Flatbush; streets are hot with protest, and the Abellard sisters are trapped in their mother's house. In this aural exploration of private and public grief, Black women's voices call out in a complex chorus of big frustrations and small joys in a moment where physical touch remains beyond reach.

What I Did For Love

Directed by Alexandra Shiva and Scott Elliott; Produced by Frank Marshall and John Ridley; an Adaptation of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull by Thomas Bradshaw;

Starring Edie Falco, with additional casting to be announced.

Documentary filmmaker Alexandra Shiva follows a group of New York theater folk, led by director Scott Elliott and actor Edie Falco, who, missing their work and each other so terribly, can't help but turn their lives upside down in order to rehearse Thomas Bradshaw's incredibly timely take on Anton Chekhov's The Seagull - itself about people tortured by their dependence on art and career. This meta mash-up of play and process tells the tale of this incredibly fraught but vibrant moment in time: the attempt to rebuild the beloved theater community, against all odds, and the portrayal of how necessary it is for survival of the human spirit.

The New Group Off Stage kicked off in Summer 2020 with "Why We Do It," a series of online conversations, and the "Facing of the Rising Tide" Reading Festival presented with NRDC, and is currently represented by the Reunion Reading Series, available now on demand via The New Group Off Stage Access Pass: Sharr White's The True, Jesse Eisenberg's The Spoils, Beth Henley's The Jacksonian; and most recently, Wallace Shawn's Evening at the Talk House and Aunt Dan and Lemon.

Further details, & dates to be announced. Please visit TheNewGroup.org for info or follow The New Group on social media @TheNewGroupNYC.

And when The New Group Returns to the Stage...

When it is deemed to be safe to return to the stage, future performance dates for the following productions will be announced:

The Fever

By Wallace Shawn.

An anonymous narrator wakes up in a war-torn country with a terrible fever, unable to reconcile the privilege he has enjoyed with his current surroundings. Shawn's prescient play, a solo piece, examines the links between the affluence many Americans take for granted and the horrors of poverty and suffering that haunt the lives of millions.

Black No More

A musical with Book by John Ridley; Music and Lyrics by Tarik Trotter; Choreography by Bill T. Jones; Music Supervision, Orchestrations and Vocal Arrangements by Daryl Waters; Directed by Scott Elliott; featuring John Clay III, Jennifer Damiano, Brandon Victor Dixon, Tamika Lawrence, Tracy Shayne, Theo Stockman, Tarik Trotter and Maimouna Youssef.

Black No More is a musical adaptation of George S. Schuyler's satirical Harlem Renaissance-era novel. It's June 1928 in New York City, and Howard University graduate Dr. Junius Crookman promotes a mysterious machine that promises to remove the burden of race from any person of color by turning them white - Crookman's plan to "solve the American race problem." Black No More is an examination of race, identity and the very nature of love. Originally announced and slated for Fall 2020.


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