The New Group will present the world premiere of An Early History of Fire, a new play by Tony Award-winning playwright David Rabe. Directed by Jo Bonney, this production features Deema Aitken, Gordon Clapp, Erin Darke, Jonny Orsini, Devin Ratray, Dennis Staroselsky, Theo Stockman and Claire van der Boom. Limited Off-Broadway engagement is slated April 5 – May 26 at The New Group @ Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street). Official Opening Night is set for Monday, April 23 at 7:00 PM. Lily Rabe, who was previously slated to star in the play will no longer be taking part in the production.
Rabe told the New York Times: "When schedules shifted and the conflicts became impossible to work out, my father and I made the decision together for the show to go on without me. I look forward to cheering my father, [the director ] Jo Bonney and the cast on from the audience and to collaborating with my father on future projects."
An Early History of Fire is set in a small Midwestern town at the tipping point of the early 1960s. A few years out of high school, Danny finds his days defined by friendship and loyalty – but a confusing new world encroaches in the form of Karen, back from college in the East, alluring and unsettling because of all she has learned. Awhirl in longing and eyeing a chance for radical change, Danny struggles against the grip of his immigrant father, who clings to his only son while mourning a vanished world of lost prestige. Poignant in its portrayal of the loss of America's innocence, this world premiere marks David Rabe's return to The New Group, following the company's acclaimed 2005 revival of Hurlyburly.
An Early History of Fire features Deema Aitken ("Fritz," Film: Yelling to the Sky; TV: "Law & Order"), Gordon Clapp ("Pop," B'way: Glengarry Glen Ross -Tony® nom.; at The New Group: Blood From A Stone; Film: Flags of Our Fathers, Sunshine State, The Game Plan; TV: "NYPD Blue,"-Emmy Award, "CSI," "Monk," "Without A Trace," "Deadwood," "Damages"), Erin Darke ("Shirley," Theater: Summer Shorts Festival/59E59; Film: We Need to Talk about Kevin; TV: "Pan Am"), Jonny Orsini ("Terry," Off-B'way: Be a Good Little Widow/Ars Nova; Film: Cigarette Candy), Devin Ratray ("Benji," at The New Group: Marie and Bruce; Film: Home Alone and Home Alone 2, Dennis the Menace, Little Monsters; TV: "Law & Order" series, "Supernatural," "Third Watch," "New York Undercover"), Dennis Staroselsky ("Jake," Theater: Back, Back, Back/Dallas Theater Center, The Mambo Kings/Golden Gate Theater, Biloxi Blues/Geva Theater Center, Dead End/Huntington Theatre Co.; TV: "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," "Nurse Jackie"), Theo Stockman (B'way: American Idiot, Hair; TV: "Blue Bloods," "Private Practice," "CSI," "30 Rock") as "Danny" and Claire van der Boom (Film: Red Hill; TV: "Hawaii Five-O," "City Homicide") as "Karen."