59E59 Theaters (Elysabeth Kleinhans, Artistic Director; Peter Tear, Executive Producer) welcomes The Directors Company, in association with Chase Mishkin, Barbara & Buddy Freitag, and Invictus Theater Company, with MURDER IN THE FIRST, written by Dan Gordon and directed by Michael Parva. MURDER IN THE FIRST begins performances tonight, Friday, May 25, for a limited engagement through Sunday, July 1. Check out photos of Chris Kimball, Guy Burnet, Larisa Polonsky and more on stage below!
Inspired by a compelling true story, MURDER IN THE FIRST is a gripping drama about the murder trial that blew open the deplorable treatment of the prisoners at Alcatraz, the most notorious correctional institution in U.S. history. The stage version of Dan Gordon's 1995 film explores the unlikely friendship that develops between the young, idealistic attorney and the prisoner that he was brought in to defend.
Tony Award-nominee Chad Kimball (Memphis) plays the Alcatraz convict Willie Moore. British actor Guy Burnet (TV: Hollyoaks; Film: Two Jacks, Rites of Passage) makes his NY stage debut as Willie’s attorney Henry Willard Davidson. Larisa Polonsky (Burning for The New Group) plays fellow attorney Mary McCasslin.
The cast also includes Joseph Adams, J. Stephen Brantley, Richard Fiske, John FitzGibbon, Robert Hogan, Jim Lorenzo, Ian Holcomb, Anthoula Katsimatides, Daren Kelly, Thomas Ryan, Ryan Scoble, and John Stanisci.
The design team includes Mark Nayden (set design); David Castaneda (lighting design); Tristan Raines (costume design); Quentin Chiappetta (original music and sound design); and Leah Loukas (hair/wig design). The stage manager is Katharine S. Fergerson.
Dan Gordon's (playwright) theater credits include the Broadway production of Irena's Vow, starring Tovah Feldshuh (nominated for Best Play, Outer Circle Critics Awards); the West End production of Rain Man, starring Josh Hartnett and Adam Godley (nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actor, Adam Godley); and the UK production of Terms of Endearment starring Linda Gray. His feature film credits include The Hurricane, starring Denzel Washington (nominated for Academy Award, Best Actor); Wyatt Earp starring Kevin Costner (Spur Award, Best Screenplay); Murder In The First, starring Kevin Bacon (nominated for a Broadcast Film Critics Award and SAG Award, Best Actor, Kevin Bacon); and The Assignment, starring Sir Ben Kingsley, Aiden Quinn and Donald Sutherland. His television credits include the HBO feature Gulag (Cable Ace Nominee, Best Screenplay); the pilots of The Highlander and The Dirty Dozen; and 45 episodes of Highway to Heaven starring Michael Landon, as well as numerous movies for television. He is the author of six published novels and is the co-founder of The Zaki Gordon Institute For Independent Film Making in Sedona, Arizona.
Artistic/Producing Director of The Directors Company, Michael Parva (director) has developed and directed over 50 new plays and musicals, most recently directing Irena’s Vow, starring Tovah Feldshuh, which transferred to Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre. He has had the privilege of directing the work of many exceptional playwrights including Drifting Elegant by Stephen Belber, winner of the first Development Award from the Kennedy Center; 25 Kesselring Award projects including Brooklyn Bridge by Bridget Carpenter and The Latecomer by David Auburn; Land of Cockaigne by David Ives; Avow by Bill C. Davis; and Trudy Blue by Marsha Norman at The Actors Studio, where he is a member of the Directors & Playwright’s Unit. Other credits include, Concrete Christ Trilogy with Philip Seymour Hoffman & Kristin Johnston. Producer credits include: Bad Girls, by Joyce Carol Oates, featuring Merritt Wever, Kilt starring Tovah Feldshuh; The Passion of Frida Kahlo featuring Priscilla Lopez; and Bat Boy: The Musical.
Press Opening is Wednesday, June 6 at 7:00 PM. The performance schedule is Tuesday - Thursday at 7:00 PM; Friday at 8:00 PM; Saturday at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM; and Sunday at 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM. Please note, there are no 7:00 PM performances on Sunday, May 27 and Sunday, July 1. Performances are at 59E59 Theaters (59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues). Tickets are $60 for regular performances; $45 for preview performances ($42 for regular performances and $32 for preview performances for 59E59 Members). To purchase tickets, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or go to www.59e59.org.