Casting is complete for the New York premiere of Bruce Norris' Downstate. The previously announced Off-Broadway production will run at Playwrights Horizons October 28-December 11, with opening night set for November 15.
Pam MacKinnon, who frequently collaborates with Norris, will direct the work about four men convicted of sex crimes post-incarceration, and the boundaries of justice, retribution, compassion, and forgiveness. Starring in the cast will be Francis Guinan as Fred, K. Todd Freeman as Dee, Glenn Davis as Gio, Eddie Torres as Felix, Susanna Guzmán as Ivy, Tim Hopper as Andy, Sally Murphy as Em, and Gabi Samels as Effie.
The creative team is comprised of set designer Todd Rosenthal, costume designer Clint Ramos, lighting designer Adam Silverman, sound designer Carolyn Downing, production stage manager Laura Smith, and assistant stage manager Thomas Dieter.
“A depiction of something is not an endorsement," Norris commented in a statement. "But, I do think that witnessing the lives of characters on stage encourages identification, and if you spend two hours in the company of a group of sex offenders, do you emerge from the experience with your certainty about them momentarily disrupted? The goal is not to forgive, but rather to complicate an easy and casually cruel response.”
MacKinnon added, “Bruce Norris' plays often focus on the interruptions, both tragic and comedic, to sincere attempts at bridging experiences. His characters competitively try to get their point of view on the record. There is something mysterious and gentle and ultimately deeply sad about his writing in Downstate.”
Steppenwolf Theatre Company presented the world premiere of Downstate, which it commissioned, in 2018. It joins Norris' Pulitzer Prize-winning Clybourne Park, plus The Qualms and The Pain and the Itch in the roster of plays from Norris staged at Playwrights Horizons.