An exciting roster of stars have been tapped for the New Group’s upcoming slate of project for its Off Stage initiative. Different media will be used for these theatrical pieces, which will be presented by the New Group in association with John Ridley’s Nō Studios. The projects are scheduled to begin production and filming in early 2021 and will be available as they are completed throughout the year.
New Group Artistic Director Scott Elliott will helm a production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, starring Ethan Hawke as Vladimir, John Leguizamo as Estragon, Wallace Shawn as Lucky, Tarik Trotter as Pozzo and Drake Bradshaw as Boy.
What I Did For Love, directed by documentary filmmaker Alexandra Shiva and Elliott, follows a group of New York theater folk, led by Elliott and 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 timely take on Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull. This meta mashup of play and process tells the tale of this incredibly fraught but vibrant moment in time.
The Dinner, produced in collaboration with WalkRunFly Productions and Shariffa Ali, centers on six college friends who pledge to come together around a table every June 19 to celebrate their bond. Written and directed by Warren Adams, Brandon Victor Dixon and Michael Olatuja created the music and lyrics for this show, which Dixon will also perform. Additional casting for the production, which also includes rap lyrics by Ronve’ O’Daniel and poetry by Tina Tony nominee Daniel J. Watts, will be announced later.
Also to come are John Epperson’s Lypsinka Must Be Destroyed… Again, directed by Chloë Sevigny, Richard Thomas’ Singing Heads, directed by Monet, Donja R. Love’s multi-episode web series I Need Space and Diane Exavier’s audio play Bernarda’s Daughters.
“Adversity breeds innovation, and often, exciting things come of it,” said Elliott in a statement. “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.”
The New Group Off Stage initiative kicked off this summer and is currently represented by the Reunion Reading Series. Dates for these forthcoming works will be announced later.
When New Group productions can resume live onstage safely, Wallace Shawn’s The Fever and John Ridley and Tarik Trotter’s previously announced musical Black No More are set to play. The latter, a musical adaptation of George S. Schuyler’s satirical Harlem Renaissance-era novel, will feature songwriter Trotter, John Clay III, Jennifer Damiano, Brandon Victor Dixon, Tamika Lawrence, Tracy Shayne, Theo Stockman and Maimouna Youssef. Additional dates and details will be announced later.