by Maya Werner
On Monday, October 23, The New Group’s new show Downtown Race Riot opened its doors to the press. This new show was created by Seth Zvi Rosenfeld, and directed by Scott Elliott. The show stars Cristian DeMeo (Tommy-Sick), David Levi (Jimmy “Pnut” Shannon), Moise Morancy (Marcel “Massive” Baptiste), Josh Pais (Bob Gilman), Sadie Scott (Joyce Shannon), Chloë Sevigny (Mary Shannon) and Daniel Sovich (Jay 114). This production includes Scenic Design by Derek McLane, Costume Design by Clint Ramos, Lighting Design by Yael Lubetzky, and Sound Design by M.L. Dogg. Previews begin November 14, with an opening night of December 3 at Pershing Square Signature Center (Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre, 480 West 42 Street).
On a hot late summer day in 1976, a mob of young men – all white except one – descended on Washington Square Park with pipes and bats, and attacked any people of color they could find. Seth Zvi Rosenfeld takes us back to that day, to the cramped village apartment of Mary Shannon, a strung out, free wheeling single mom, as her son Pnut and his Haitian friend Massive wrestle with their obligation to join the riot. The boys, torn between loyalty to each other and to the neighborhood, grasp for ways to keep the violence from destroying their friendship forever. A snapshot of time not so different from today, when a new social freedom ran smack into the forces of reaction, and when the stakes were truly life and death.
“Photographed at New 42nd Street Studios”
Photos: Maya Werner