F. Murray Abraham (Barnard), Kate Buddeke (Jane), Laura Esterman (Mrs. Garland), Nancy Giles (Marci), Lily Gladstone (Denise), Ed Harris (Dr. Michaels), Charlotte Hope (Mom), Mark Linn-Baker (Timothy), Amy Madigan (Evangeline), Rileigh McDonald (Frannie), Kenny Mellman (Jerome), Maulik Pancholy (Alex), Rhea Perlman (Nora) and Michael Rabe (Jimmy), will lite up the star in the New York premiere of David Rabe’s Good for Otto. Rhea Perlman took over the role of Nora, after Rosie O’Donnell, became ill. Directed by Scott Elliott, this production will play a limited Off-Broadway engagement February 20 – April 1, with Opening Night on Thursday, March 8 at The Pershing Square Signature Center (The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre, 480 West 42nd Street).
Through the microcosm of a rural Connecticut mental health center, Tony Award-winning playwright David Rabe conjures a whole American community on the edge. Like their patients and their families, Dr. Michaels (Ed Harris), his colleague Evangeline (Amy Madigan) and the clinic itself teeter between breakdown and survival, wielding dedication and humanity against the cunning, inventive adversary of mental illness, to hold onto the need to fight – and to live. Inspired by a real clinic, Rabe finds humor and compassion in a raft of richly drawn characters adrift in a society and a system stretched beyond capacity.
This production includes Scenic Design by Derek McLane, Costume Design by Jeff Mahshie, Lighting Design by Jeff Croiter and Sound Design by Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen. Casting by Judy Henderson, CSA. Production Stage Manager is Valerie A. Peterson.
This marks a return for playwright David Rabe to The New Group. Earlier, The New Group presented widely acclaimed revivals of David Rabe’s Hurlyburly and Sticks and Bones, both directed by Scott Elliott; and the world premiere of An Early History of Fire, directed by Jo Bonney. Additionally, Ed Harris and Amy Madigan return to The New Group with this production. Previously, they appeared at The New Group in Beth Henley’s The Jacksonian, directed by Robert Falls, and Sam Shepard’s Buried Child, directed by Scott Elliott. Ed Harris and Amy Madigan also appeared on the West End, in the London production of The New Group’s Buried Child.
Good for Otto premiered at the Gift Theatre in Chicago, directed by Michael Patrick Thornton.
The New Group’s 2017–2018 season launched with the world premiere of Seth Zvi Rosenfeld’s Downtown Race Riot, directed by Scott Elliott, with Cristian DeMeo, David Levi, Moise Morancy, Josh Pais, Sadie Scott, Chloë Sevigny and Daniel Sovich (November 14 – December 23, 2017) and continues with Jerry Springer – The Opera, featuring music by Richard Thomas and book & additional lyrics by Stewart Lee and Richard Thomas and choreography by Chris Bailey, directed by John Rando (in previews, opens February 22). Following this New York premiere of David Rabe’s Good for Otto, the season concludes with the world premiere of Lily Thorne’s Peace for Mary Frances, directed by Lila Neugebauer, featuring Lois Smith (begins May 2018).
Tickets for Good for Otto available now. General playing schedule: Tuesday – Friday at 7:30pm; Saturday at 2:00 & 8:00pm; Sunday at 2:00pm. Regular tickets start at $85. For single ticket purchases, please visit www.thenewgroup.org. Single tickets can also be purchased by calling Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200, or in person at 416 West 42nd Street (12-8pm daily).
David Rabe (Playwright) was born in Dubuque, Iowa, where he lived through his college years, studying creative writing under Reverend Ray Roseliep, a renowned poet. His first professionally produced plays were in New York, a Vietnam Quartet starting in 1971: The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, Sticks and Bones, The Orphan, and Streamers. All were produced by Joseph Papp. In the Boom Boom Room followed, as did Hurlyburly, Goose and Tom Tom, Those the River Keeps, A Question of Mercy, The Dog Problem, The Black Monk adapted from Chekov, Cosmologies, An Early History of Fire Good For Otto and Visiting Edna. His rewarding relationship with The New Group and Scott Elliott began with a Hurlyburly revival followed by An Early History of Fire and the recent Sticks and Bones. Four of his plays have received four Tony nominations. He has received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, and an Obie award; the Drama Desk, John Gassner Outer Critics, the New York Drama Critics Circle awards, and three times won the Elizabeth Hull-Kate Warriner Drama Guild Award. His fiction includes the book of stories A Primitive Heart, and the novels Recital of the Dog, Dinosaurs on the Roof and Girl by the Road at Night. He has three children, Jason, Lily and Michael.
Scott Elliott (Director) is an award-winning stage director, filmmaker and the founding Artistic Director of The New Group, where he most recently directed the world premiere of Hamish Linklater’s The Whirligig and the U.S. premiere of Wallace Shawn’s Evening at the Talk House. Other recent New Group credits include the twice-extended hit production of Sam Shepard’s Buried Child, with Taissa Farmiga, Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, Larry Pine, Rich Sommer, Paul Sparks and Nat Wolff; the critically-acclaimed Mercury Fur by Philip Ridley and the world premiere of The Spoils by Jesse Eisenberg. Also at The New Group, he has directed works by Thomas Bradshaw, Ayub Khan Din, Francine Volpe, Erika Sheffer, Tommy Nohilly, Joe Orton, Mike Leigh and David Rabe. Recently, he directed the acclaimed European premieres of two New Group productions at London’s Trafalagar Studios: Jesse Eisenberg’s The Spoils, followed by Sam Shepard’s Buried Child, presented Lisa Matlin and Adam Speers for Ambassador Theatre Group.
F. Murray Abraham (Barnard) has appeared in more of Terrance McNally’s plays than any other actor. His body of work includes the Greeks, Shakespeare, Moliere, Chekhov, Pirandello, Brecht, Beckett, Pinter, Mamet, Miller, and Macy’s Santa; he’s done live soap opera, commercials, radio, street theater, TV with Louis CK, Homeland and The Good Wife, among others; he has a Best Actor Academy Award, Golden Globe, 2 OBIES, The John Geilgud Award for Excellence in Shakespeare, and The Moscow Art Theater Stanislavsky Award, Theater Hall of Fame. His book on A Midsummer Night’s Dream is published by Faber and Faber. He is also a grandfather.
Kate Buddeke (Jane) has appeared on Broadway in Superior Donuts, Gypsy (w/ Bernadette Peters), Streetcar Named Desire (w/ Natasha Richardson), Death Of A Salesman (w/ Brian Dennehy), Carousel (LCT). Her Off-Broadway credits include: 3C (Rattlestick), Bug (Barrow Street), Mill Fire (Women’s Project). Kate is a proud ensemble member of American Blues Theater in Chicago where she has performed with Steppenwolf Theater, A Red Orchid Theater, The Goodman and many others. Kate is the recipient of five Joseph Jefferson awards and has twice sung the National Anthem at Wrigley Field.
Laura Esterman (Mrs. Garland) has many credits at The New Group, with favorites including Cranes, Curtains and Two Thousand Years. Her credits include countless plays on and Off-Broadway (Playwrights Horizons, Signature, Keen Company, Public Theater, etc.), such as Teibele and Her Demon and The Master and Margarita, both opposite F. Murray Abraham; The Suicide, Edith Stein, The Old Boy and the original production of Marvin’s Room, for which she received Obie, Drama Desk and Outer Critics’ Circle Awards. She was named Best Actress this fall at the Chelsea Film Festival for her portrayal of an eccentric artist in Can Hitler Happen Here?, which actually has nothing to do with Hitler.
Nancy Giles (Marci) is an Emmy Award-winning contributor to “CBS News Sunday Morning,” and also won a Theatre World Award for the satirical musical Mayor. Other Off-Broadway credits include: Police Boys (Playwrights Horizons) and Love, Loss, and What I Wore (Westside Arts Theatre). Her Film credits include Irrational Man, Joshua, Superheroes and True Crime. Her TV credits include: “China Beach,” “Delta” and “Fox After Breakfast.” She toured with Chicago’s famed Second City; developed 3 solo shows at downtown’s acclaimed Dixon Place; has been a long-time volunteer with The 52nd Street Project; and is working on a collection of true stories, “Notes of a Negro Neurotic.” Her podcast, “The Giles Files,” is on Apple iTunes.
Lily Gladstone (Denise) was most recently a company member of The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, performing in the world premiere of Randy Reinholz’s Off the Rails, directed by Bill Rauch. She holds a BFA in Acting from the University of Montana, and has toured with The Montana Repertory Theater’s productions of The Miracle Worker and To Kill a Mockingbird. Her film credits include Winter in the Blood, Walking Out, and Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women, a role which earned her several awards, including Best Supporting Actress from LA Film Critics and The Village Voice Film Poll. She is honored to be joining The New Group with this production, marking her New York theatrical debut.
Ed Harris (Dr. Michaels) starred as the enigmatic ‘Man in Black” in last year’s HBO series sensation, Westworld, and will reprise his role in the upcoming season. Harris also stars in the feature film Kodachrome with Jason Sudeikis and Elizabeth Olson for director Mark Raso. The film premiered at this year’s Toronto Film Festival and will be released by Netflix in 2018. He can currently be seen on screen in Darren Aronofsky’s mother! Harris made his feature film directing debut on Pollock, receiving an Academy Award nomination as Best Actor for his performance in the title role. His co-star, Marcia Gay Harden, won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar under his direction. Harris also directed, as well as co-wrote Appaloosa, starring opposite Viggo Mortensen. His film credits include, A History of Violence (Natl. Society of Film Critics Award), The Hours (Oscar, Golden Globe, SAG and BAFTA nominations), The Truman Show (Oscar nomination, Golden Globe Award), Apollo 13 (Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, SAG Award), In Dubious Battle, Run All Night, Frontera, The Face of Love, The Way Back, Copying Beethoven, The Right Stuff, The Abyss, The Rock, The Human Stain, A Beautiful Mind, Stepmom, The Firm, Places in the Heart, Alamo Bay, Sweet Dreams, Jacknife, State of Grace, The Third Miracle, Touching Home and Victor Nunez’s A Flash of Green. Harris won a Golden Globe Award for “Best Supporting Actor,” along with Emmy and SAG nominations, for his portrayal of John McCain in the Jay Roach-directed Game Change for HBO. He starred with Paul Newman in the HBO miniseries Empire Falls, for which he received Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG “Best Actor” nominations. His other television credits include The Last Innocent Man, Running Mates, Paris Trout and Riders of the Purple Sage, for which he and his wife Amy Madigan, as co-producers and co-stars, were presented with the Western Heritage Wrangler Award for “Outstanding Television Feature Film.” Harris and his wife Amy Madigan made their West End debut this past November in the London production of Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Buried Child. This revival production originated on stage in Manhattan at The New Group, directed by Scott Elliott. Harris received rave reviews for his performance and an Olivier nomination in the UK. In 2012, at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, Harris starred with Amy Madigan, Bill Pullman and Glenne Headley in the world premiere of playwright Beth Henley’s The Jacksonian, directed by Robert Falls. He reprised that role to critical acclaim in the play’s 2014 New York premiere for The New Group. Harris received both an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination (“Outstanding Solo Performance”) and a Lucille Lortel Award nomination (“Outstanding Solo Show”) for the Off-Broadway production of Wrecks at The Public Theater. He originated the role, with writer/director Neil LaBute, for the play’s world premiere at the Everyman Palace Theatre in Cork, Ireland and won the 2010 LA Drama Critics Circle Award for “Best Solo Performance” for the production of Wrecks at the Geffen Playhouse. His theater credits include: Ronald Harwood’s Taking Sides, Sam Shepard’s plays Fool for Love (Obie), and Simpatico (Lucille Lortel Award for “Best Actor”), George Furth’s Precious Sons (Drama Desk Award, Tony Nomination), Prairie Avenue, Scar, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Grapes of Wrath and Sweet Bird of Youth.
Charlotte Hope (Mom) was recently on stage in Mike Bartlett’s critically acclaimed play Albion directed by Rupert Goold at The Almeida. Last year, Charlotte was in the West End production of Buried Child, with Ed Harris and Amy Madigan, directed by Scott Elliott. Other work includes Corin Hardy’s latest feature The Nun, Diana & I for the BBC, Jon Avnet’s upcoming film Three Christs, Robert Zemeckis’ feature Allied, Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom. She is well known for her role in Game of Thrones.
Mark Linn-Baker (Timothy) has Broadway credits including: On the Twentieth Century, You Can’t Take it With You, Relatively Speaking, Losing Louie, A Year With Frog and Toad, A Funny Thing…Forum!, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Face Value, Doonesbury. His Off-Broadway credits include: School for Scandal, Almost an Evening, Chesapeake (Drama Desk and OCC nominations), A Flea in Her Ear (Drama League Award), The Miss Firecracker Contest, The Pajama Game. His Television credits include: “The Leftovers,” “Blue Bloods,” “The Good Fight,” “Red Oaks,” “Ally McBeal,” “Moonlighting” and eight seasons of “Perfect Strangers.” His Film credits include: My Favorite Year, Noises Off, How Do You Know, Laughter on the 23rd Floor. Co-Founder/Co-Director of New York Stage & Film.
Amy Madigan (Evangeline), a critically-acclaimed actress of film, television and stage, received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the feature film Twice In A Lifetime. Madigan can be seen next in the independent film, Stuck, with Giancarlo Esposito. She just completed shooting The Burning Woman with Sienna Miller and Aaron Paul as well as The Last Full Measure with Samuel L. Jackson. She also starred as art patroness Peggy Guggenheim in Pollock. Additional feature film credits include Frontera, Sweetwater, The Lifeguard, Gone Baby Gone, Winter Passing, Loved, Female Perversions, The Dark Half, Uncle Buck, Field of Dreams, Nowhere to Hide, Streets Of Fire, Love Letters and Alamo Bay. On television, Madigan starred in Neil LaBute’s “Ten x Ten” for DirecTV. She recurred on J.J. Abrams’ “Fringe” and ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” as Seattle Grace’s resident psychiatrist. In addition to starring on the HBO series “Carnivàle,” Madigan received a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy nomination for her performance in the telefilm “Roe vs. Wade.” She also starred in Lifetime’s telefilm “Living Proof.” Additional telefilm credits include Lifetime’s “And Then There Was One,” “Shot in the Heart,” HBO’s “The Laramie Project,” “Riders of the Purple Sage,” Robert Altman’s “The Laundromat,” “Victims,” “In The Name of the People,” “Having Our Say,” “A Bright Shining Lie,” “Lucky Day,” “The Revolt of Mother” and “The Day After.” On stage, Madigan recently made her West End debut with Sam Shepard’s Buried Child, which originated at The New Group (NY). She also starred in the critically-acclaimed productions of Beth Henley’s The Jacksonian at The New Group (NY) and the Geffen Playhouse (LA). Other theater credits include Broadway’s A Streetcar Named Desire, Mark Taper Forum’s A Lie of the Mind, Manhattan Theatre Club’s The Lucky Spot, Los Angeles Theatre Center’s Stevie Wants To Play The Blues, LA’s Prairie Avenue and Strasberg Theatre’s production of In the Boom Boom Room. Madigan directed the West Coast premiere of Off the King’s Road at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles.
Rileigh McDonald (Frannie) is known for playing the role of Young Phoebe in USA Network’s “The Sinner,” Matilda in Broadway’s Matilda the Musical, Jessica Majors in the hit podcast “The Ghost of Jessica Majors” and Julia in the Peabody Award-winning podcast “The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel.” She lives in New York City with her family and her retired-racer greyhound.
Kenny Mellman (Jerome) was one half (with Justin Vivian Bond) of the Tony nominated and Obie and Bessie winning act Kiki and Herb. His show Kenny Mellman Is Grace Jones toured the US, Australia and the UK and his one man musical about gay bashing and homophobia, Say Sea Boy You Sissy Boy? was commissioned by Dixon Place. He co-wrote the musical At Least It’s Pink with Michael Patrick King and Bridget Everett at Ars Nova. He also, with Everett and Neal Medlyn, co-created Our Hit Parade, a downtown NY deconstruction of the pop charts which ran for 4 sold-out years at Joe’s Pub. Mellman is currently in the band The Julie Ruin. Fronted by Kathleen Hanna, of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre fame, they have released two records and have toured extensively since 2013.
Maulik Pancholy (Alex) has a career spanning almost 20 years. He has worked with directors including Andy Tennant, Nicole Holofcener, Mike Nichols, Taylor Hackford and most recently Nick Stoller, and has earned the Screen Actors Guild Award on multiple occasions. Pancholy is best known for playing Alec Baldwin’s assistant Jonathan on NBC’s “30 Rock,” Pancholy appeared in the Showtime’s “Weeds” for 27 episodes (created by Jenji Kohan). He followed this by returning to the NBC family in “Whitney.” Pancholy soon pivoted to starring in the Lifetime pilot “HR,” opposite Alicia Silverstone and directed by Darren Star. Through 2011-2015, Pancholy recurred on the Showtime comedy Web Therapy opposite Lisa Kudrow, which garnered an Emmy nomination in 2012. In addition, he had guest star roles on shows including “The Sopranos,” “Law & Order” and “The Good Wife.” Since 2008, Pancholy has entertained children and adults by voicing a number of animated series including “Phineas and Ferb,” which was nominated for 39 awards. He followed this by landing the coveted role of Sanjay in the Nickelodeon animated series Sanjay and Craig, which ran for three seasons. Maulik can be seen on the CBS series Star Trek: Discovery, which is the first Star Trek series to air since 2005. The series was created by Alex Kurtzman. He also guest starred on Netflix’s “Friends from College,” created by Nicholas Stoller and Francesca Delbanco. Pancholy also provided the voice of “Baljeet” in the Disney XD animated series “Milo Murphy’s Law.” On the big screen, Pancholy has appeared in numerous blockbuster films such as 27 Dresses, Hitch, Love Ranch, Charlie Wilson’s War and Horrible Bosses. He has appeared in several independent features, including Raspberry Magic, winner of “Best Narrative Feature” at Philadelphia’s Asian American Film Festival. Pancholy’s theater credits include the Off-Broadway productions of Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom (The Culture Project), Aunt Dan & Lemon (The New Group), and playing Romeo in Los Angeles Shakespeare Festival’s production of Romeo & Juliet. After a sold out run of The Awake in New York, Maulik went on to portray Frank Finger in Terrence McNally’s It’s Only a Play, starring opposite Tony winners Matthew Broderick, Stockard Channing and Martin Short. A graduate of Northwestern University’s Theatre program, Pancholy went on to get his MFA at the Yale School of Drama and trained with the renowned comedy improv group The Groundlings. He also travels extensively around the country delivering keynote speeches at universities, speaking particularly about his own journey as an actor and the entertainment industry’s evolving attitude towards minorities.
Rhea Perlman (Nora) has starred on television, stage and film for more than 30 years. A four-time Emmy winner for her role on the NBC’s “Cheers,” she was nominated an unprecedented 10 times during the 11-year series and appeared in all 273 episodes. Perlman’s recent series include “Me and My Grandma” available YouTube Red, and the FOX series “The Mindy Project.” Recent films include Magnolia Picture’s Lemon and Bleecker Street Media’s I’ll See You in My Dreams. Perlman was on stage in 2013 when she starred in the Northlight Theatre production of Stella & Lou directed by BJ Jones. In 2010 Perlman appeared with her daughter, Lucy, in Nora and Delia Ephron’s Broadway hit Love, Loss and What I Wore at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. The pair previously performed together in the Off-Broadway edition of the same play. Other stage performances include the Broadway production The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, the Off-Broadway play The Exonerated, the Los Angeles production of Last Night at Ballyhoo and London West End revival of Boeing-Boeing. Born in Brooklyn, Perlman graduated from Hunter College with a Theatre degree and was later awarded an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts. She is a mother of three and a well-known children’s advocate recognized for her involvement in a variety of charities including LA’s Best, Children’s Action Network and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Diabetes Center. In 2010 she received the National Angel Award from the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s Angels in Adoption.
Michael Rabe (Jimmy) is thrilled to be working with The New Group and this wonderful team. Upcoming projects include the film Ask for Jane and the “Big Dogs” series.
The New Group (Scott Elliott, Artistic Director; Adam Bernstein, Executive Director) is an award-winning, artist-driven company with a commitment to developing and producing powerful, contemporary theater. While constantly evolving, the company strives to maintain an ensemble approach to all its work and an articulated style of emotional immediacy in its productions. In this way, The New Group seeks a theater that is adventurous, stimulating and most importantly “now,” a true forum for the present culture.
The New Group’s 2016-2017 season launched with Sweet Charity, choreographed by Joshua Bergasse, directed by Leigh Silverman and starring Sutton Foster, which enjoyed three extensions and received Drama Desk, Drama League and Lucille Lortel Award nominations for Outstanding Revival; and continued with the recent U.S. premiere of Wallace Shawn’s Evening at the Talk House, directed by Scott Elliott, featuring Matthew Broderick, Jill Eikenberry, John Epperson, Larry Pine, Wallace Shawn, Claudia Shear, Annapurna Sriram and Michael Tucker; the world premiere of All the Fine Boys, written and directed by Erica Schmidt, with Abigail Breslin, Isabelle Fuhrman, Joe Tippett and Alex Wolff; and the world premiere of Hamish Linklater’s The Whirligig, directed by Scott Elliott, with Noah Bean, Norbert Leo Butz, Jon DeVries, Alex Hurt, Zosia Mamet, Jonny Orsini, Grace Van Patten and Dolly Wells.
In summer 2016, The New Group was represented in the West End by the acclaimed production of Jesse Eisenberg’s The Spoils, and more recently, by the company’s hit production of Sam Shepard’s Buried Child, starring Ed Harris and Amy Madigan (November 14, 2016 – March 4, 2017). For his performance, Ed Harris received a 2017 Olivier Award nomination in the Best Actor category. Director Scott Elliott helmed both productions at London’s Trafalgar Studios, presented by Lisa Matlin and Adam Speers for Ambassador Theatre Group.
Notable productions include David Rabe’s Sticks and Bones, with Holly Hunter and Bill Pullman; Joel Drake Johnson’s Rasheeda Speaking, with Tonya Pinkins and Dianne Wiest, helmed by Cynthia Nixon; Jesse Eisenberg’s The Spoils, with Jesse Eisenberg and Kunal Nayyar; Ecstasy, This is Our Youth, Aunt Dan and Lemon, Hurlyburly, Abigail’s Party, Rafta, Rafta…, The Starry Messenger, A Lie of the Mind, Blood From a Stone, Marie and Bruce, The Jacksonian, Intimacy and many more. The company has received more than 100 awards and nominations for excellence. The New Group is a recipient of the 2004 Tony® Award for Best Musical (Avenue Q). In 2011, The Kid received five Drama Desk nominations and the Outer Critics Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical. That year, The New Group and Scott Elliott were honored with a Drama Desk Special Award “for presenting contemporary new voices, and for uncompromisingly raw and powerful productions.”