Dogmouth at Theater for the New City

08/21/11 through 09/01/11 100 min. runtime 155 First Avenue Map
212-254-1109 Ages: 16+ 12
'The Fourth State of Matter' at Theater for the New City
08/21/11 through 09/04/11 90 min. runtime 155 First Avenue Map
212-254-1109 Ages: 16+ $12

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"Dogmouth" (world premiere of a new version) written by John Steppling, directed by Stephan Morrow. Johnson Theater - Sunday, August 21 at 2:00PM; Wednesday, August 24 at 9:00PM; Saturday, August 27 at 5:00PM; Sunday, August 28 at 5:00PM; Wednesday, August 31 at 9:00PM; Thursday, September 1 at 7:00PM. Running Time: 100 minutes | Tickets $12.

Does an underground mafia of Vietnam vets really exist hoboing around on the rails? Is it as large and powerful as it is portrayed by journalists, or is it a media creation drawing the heat for every murder on the rails from Arizona to California? And has the leader of this group become a changed man, dedicating himself to his nineteen year old pregnant girlfriend? Or is he an unrepentant racist criminal bent on plotting to murder a rival over a deal that went sour. When he visits a black man - is it to buy a dog or to kill him? John Steppling's play “Dogmouth” gives the spectator a good look at people on the edge. The fact that he also deftly manages to place ruminations on death and dying, the brutality of existence and the survival of the fittest on the streets of Phoenix, not to mention the breeding of dogs - in the middle of it - is what makes this play dark and riveting, taking us far beyond just dog fighting and mysterious murders on the rails. John Steppling was first championed by Robert Egan at The Mark Taper Forum with his play "The Shaper" and the Taper consequently produce Steppling's "The Thrill" in one of its new-works festivals. His characters were from, and remain in, the margins of society. Steppling's other plays include "Teenage Wedding," "The Dream Coast" and "Neck." He also adapted Elmore Leonard's "52 Pickup" for director John Frankenheimer. Steppling mentored Jon Robin Baitz at the beginning of his playwriting career. Steppling has just completed an 11-year stint in Poland (where he taught screenwriting at the Polish National Film School) and created his own adaptation of "King Lear," which he describes as a "sliced-back" and "fairly traditional" version (with Goneril and Regan spoken in Norwegian and the other roles in either Polish or English. ) He wrote a modern day adaptation of "Faust" that was presented at Los Angeles Theater Center in 1998. Steppling is currently Artistic Director of the Gunfighter Nation theater company and had a new play, "Phantom Luck," produced last fall in Los Angeles. Stephan Morrow directed "Trio" by Mario Fratti at Theater for the New City in 2010 and a sequel, "Quartet," also at Theater for the New City in 2011. That production came fast on the heels of his production of "Triangle - The Shirtwaist Triangle Factory Fire" by Jack Gilhooley at 59E59St Theaters. In March 2007, he acted in and directed a staged reading of "The Deer Park or Hollywood Goes to Hell" by Norman Mailer, which Mr. Mailer attended. On the basis of that work, Mailer invited Morrow to co-direct and perform in a film of "The Deer Park." Mr. Mailer passed away before the film could be realized. Morrow's collaboration with Norman Mailer began with his performance as Rod, a stuntman, in "Strawhead - A memory play of Marilyn" at The Actor's Studio. Morrow can be seen in Mailer's cult classic, "Tough Guys Don't Dance," playing the character Stoodie. As Artistic Director and founder of The Great American Play Series, he has resurrected neglected American classics in 'performances on book' with Rebecca DeMornay and Mark Rydell, Barry Primus, Lyle Kessler and Sally Kirkland, Barry Primus, Lyle Kessler, Paul Mazursky, Judith Light, Betsy Von Furstenberg, Peter Riegert and Rosie Perez. Arthur Miller gave his approval for Stephen to work on "Incident at Vichy" in a three-year mission to get it to a major venue. Morrow staged four 'performances on book' with casts that included F. Murray Abraham, Richard Dreyfuss, Fritz Weaver, Peter Weller and Fisher Stevens among others. Recently he put together and hosted a playwrights' symposium, "Are small theaters from Off to Off Off Broadway Becoming an Endangered Species in N.Y.?," at 45 Bleecker which included Israel Horovitz, Murray Schisgal, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Mario Fratti, Diane De Mateo, Richard Vetere and Quincy Long. That symposium turned out to be all too prophetic when 45 Bleecker St. Theater shut down less than four months later.

"The Fourth State of Matter" (world premiere) written by Joseph Vitale, directed by Robert Angelini. Cino Theater - Sunday, August 21 at 2:00PM; Monday, August 22 at 9:00PM; Monday, August 29 at 9:00PM; Saturday, September 3 at 5:00PM; Sunday, September 4 at 5:00PM. Running Time: 90 minutes | Tickets: $12 -

Based on the shootings at the University of Iowa in 1991, "The Fourth State of Matter" explores the incidents and forces that drove a gifted Chinese astrophysics student to murder his dissertation advisor and several other students. The presentation, played by a large cast, ponders an unlikely killer’s motive and makes us think about who, the why and the how.

Joseph Vitale received his B.A. in English Literature from Rutgers University, where he graduated magna cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. While at Rutgers, he received the Alpha Psi Omega Award for playwriting for his first play, "The 49th Cup," which was produced at the Rutgers-Newark Theater Workshop. He has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and a master's degree in Liberal Studies from the New School for Social Research. He spent fifteen years in journalism, working as a reporter for the Bergen Record newspaper and as an editor for United Features Syndicate and Channels magazine. He joined New Jersey Monthly in 1987, eventually serving as the magazine's executive editor. He has been published in The Boston Herald, the San Francisco Review of Books, and several magazines. He was a theater critic for the New York Arts Weekly. He is currently the Executive Director of College Advancement and Planning and Vice President of the County College of Morris Foundation. In addition to his work at Rutgers, he studied playwriting at HB Studios in New York, working with playwrights Dick Longchamps and William Packard. He is currently a member of the Theater Project Writers Group in New Jersey. Vitale is the author of six plays: "The 49th Cup," "A Reasonable Facsimile," "The Company," "Murrow" (which was optioned by David Susskind in 1985), "The Interpreter," and "The Fourth State of Matter." Vitale also wrote a novel, "Image." He is currently working on his seventh play.

Robert Angelini is making his acting and directorial premiere in New York City with this production of Joe Vitale's "The Fourth State of Matter." Bob began directing with the West Park Players of Ocean Township High School in New Jersey in the spring of 1996. In his tenure at the school, Bob has directed over 30 musical and dramatic productions including "A Chorus Line," "Into the Woods," "Curtains," "Ah, Wilderness!," "The Miracle Worker" and "Our Town." He was awarded the Best Director Award for his work in "The Laramie Project," "Cats" and "Les Misérables" by the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, NJ. Angelini's credits include: Film: "Project Nim" (Lab Tech), James Marsh, Dir.; Regional: "The Full Monty" (Reg) ReVision Theater, NJ; Cabaret: "Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens" (Walter), Cabaret For Life; Community: "To Whom It May Concern" (Homeless Man), "Picnic" (Alan), Atlantic Stage Company. Angelini has also appeared in various New Jersey college, community and civic theater productions over the last 30 years. His career as veteran police officer of 26 years informs his theatrical life.

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