Off-Broadway's The New Group honors David Rabe and Nancy Manocherian, founding Artistic Director of the cell theater in Chelsea, at the company's 2012 Gala, hosted by Janeane Garofalo & Morgan Spector. Rabe and Manocherian are recipients of the sixth annual Michael Mendelson Award for Outstanding Commitment to Theater. Founded in 2005, this award recognizes individuals who show outstanding commitment to the theatrical community. Past recipients include Wallace Shawn, Fred Wistow, Robyn Goodman, Ethan Hawke, Ruth and Stephen Hendel, Wendy Ettinger and Derek McLane.
"I feel honored that the The New Group had recognized thecell's work. We are committed to presenting new artists and incubating new work," said Manocherian. "We love what we do and are lucky to work with such an amazing collective of multi-disciplined artists. We are looking forward to The Irish Cell,which opens in our space on Thursday. The subject of Irish Republicanism and its reverberating impact on the Irish psyche is relevant and applicable to the many fighting factions in the world today."
The Gala, held Monday, February 27 at the Edison Ballroom, featured cocktails, dinner, entertainment and silent & live auctions filled with exciting items and one-of-a-kind experiences. Cabaret performances by Alan Cumming, Veanne Cox, Jay Rogers, Penny Fuller, Leslie Uggams, Jeremiah James. Special guests: Deema Aitken, Eric Bogosian, Jo Bonney, Bobby Cannavale, Halley Wegyn Gross, Anthony Haden-Guest, Josh Hamilton, Jim Lehrer, Hamish Linklater, Robin MacNeil, Daniel Oreskes, Lily Rabe, Alan Rickman, Wallace Shawn, Erika Sheffer, Dennis Staroselsky, Sarah Steele, Raviv Ullman.
According to press notes, since its inception in 2006, the cell: A Twenty First Century Salon™ (Nancy Manocherian, Founding Director; Kira Simring, Artistic Director) has been, and continues to be, an incubator for creative projects. Through its strong commitment to cultivate undiscovered artists, the cell has created residencies for diverse groups including the Tandem Reading Series, Center for Contemporary Opera and The Blackboard Reading Series. the cell is located in the heart of Chelsea, New York City. For more information, visit www.thecelltheatre.org
The New Group (Scott Elliott, Artistic Director; Geoff Rich, Executive Director) launched its 2011-12 Season with Thomas Bradshaw's Burning and is currently represented Off-Broadway by the extended run of Erika Sheffer's Russian Transport (both directed by Scott Elliott). Last season, the company presented Tommy Nohilly's Blood From A Stone featuring Ethan Hawke (Obie winner), the revival of Wallace Shawn's Marie and Bruce starring Marisa Tomei and Frank Whaley, and One Arm (co-production with Tectonic Theater Project) based on an unproduced screenplay by Tennessee Williams, adapted for the stage and directed by Moisés Kaufman. In 2009-10, The New Group presented the extended run of Kenneth Lonergan's The Starry Messenger featuring Matthew
Broderick, the sold-out revival of Sam Shepard's A Lie of the Mind directed by Ethan Hawke, and the world premiere of the new musical The Kid. Other productions include Ian Bruce's Groundswell, Eugene O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra, Ayub Khan-Din's Rafta, Rafta…, Jonathan Marc Sherman's Things We Want, Jay Presson Allen's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Bernard Weinraub's The Accomplices. Additional standouts include David Rabe's Hurlyburly, Mike Leigh's Two Thousand Years, Abigail's Party, Smelling a Rat, Goose-Pimples and Ecstasy, Wallace Shawn's The Fever and Aunt Dan and Lemon, Kenneth Lonergan's This is Our Youth and Kevin Elyot's Mouth to Mouth and My Night With Reg. The New Group is a recipient of the 2004 Tony® Award for Best Musical (Avenue Q). The New Group and Artistic Director Scott Elliott were honored with a Special 2010-11 Drama Desk Award "for presenting contemporary new voices, and for uncompromisingly raw and powerful productions."