One thing playwright Christopher Shinn's career proves is that London listens to young theatre voices earlier than America does. The 26 year old has already premiered three of his pieces in London, including Four, opening a New York production July 1 at the Tribeca Playhouse.
Four is set in and around Shinn's native Hartford, Connecticut, where four characters on "a date" weave in and out of each other's lives in several short scenes taking place on July 4, 1996. The first couple is a middle-aged black professor and a gay teenager, the second, the professor's teenaged daughter and her drug-dealing, college basketball playing boyfriend. Shinn was 23 when Four garnered rave reviews for its debut at the Royal Court Theatre. Cherry Lane Alternative performed the work in Sept., 1999. Other works by Shinn include Other People, What Didn't Happen and The Coming World.
Worth Street Theater Company's Jeff Cohen (Isn't it Romantic?, Uncle Jack, Whoa-Jack!) directs. The cast features Vinessa Antoine, Keith Nobbs (The Lion in Winter), Armando Riesco and Isiah Whitlock Jr. (The Iceman Cometh, Up Against the Wind).
Designing Four are Lauren Helpern (sets), Traci Klainer (lighting), Veronica Worts (costumes) and Paul Adams (sound). Guitarist Steve Bargonetti and Diane Gioia will compose the original score.
Tickets are $35-$15. The Tribeca Playhouse is located at 111 Reade Street at West Broadway. For reservations, call (212) 206-1515. — By Christine Ehren