José Rivera, the Obie Award-winning playwright and Academy Award nominee (The Motorcycle Diaries) will move from the page to the stage when he joins the cast of his play Massacre (Sing to Your Children), having its world premiere at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (224 Waverly Place – off Seventh Avenue South, between Perry & West 11th Streets), it was announced today. Mr. Rivera will play Erik, the character created by original cast member AdrIan Martinez, who is leaving the production due to an imminent film commitment.
MR. Martinez's final performance will be this Sunday, April 22nd at 3pm. Mr. Rivera will step into the role for two performances only - Monday, April 23rd and Wednesday, April 25th. Denis Butkus, currently playing Lucentio in the Theatre for a New Audience production of The Taming of the Shrew, will assume the role on Thursday, April 26th and remain with the production through the end of the run. Directed by Brian Mertes, performances began Wednesday, April 4th and the production enjoyed an official opening night on Thursday, April 12th. The production is scheduled to run through May 12th.
"While we are sorry to lose Adrian from this very brave and daring cast, we are thrilled that José has agreed to step in at the last moment," says Artistic Director David Van Asselt. "It will be very exciting to hear the playwright's own words spoken by him. Denis is part of the Rattlestick family and we are happy that he, too, was available to be part of this exhilarating work."
In a small New Hampshire town, seven friends conspire to murder their mysterious neighbor Joe. On the night of the killing, as they confront the many meanings of their crime and finally relax and laugh and love again…there's a knock on their door.
The cast also features Jolly Abraham, Brendan Averett, Dana Eskelson, Jojo Gonzalez, William Jackson Harper, Sona Tatoyan, and Anatol Yusef.
The creative team features Andromache Chalfant (scenic design), Cait O'Connor (costume design), Austin Smith (lighting design), Daniel Baker (sound design), Andrew Diaz (properties), Jeremy Chernick (special effects), Erin Kennedy Lunsford (makeup) and Rick Sordelet (fight direction). Melissa Mae Gregus is Production Stage Manager and Sam Horwith is Assistant Stage Manager.
The performance schedule is as follows: Wednesday – Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 3pm and Monday at 8pm. Tickets are $55 and are available through TicketCentral.com/212- 279-4200. Rattlestick is offering $10 tickets to students (with valid ID) and $15 tickets to patrons under thirty years of age and theater artists. Information on how to purchase student, under thirty, and theater artist tickets can be found on the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater Facebook page.