The world premiere of Cusi Cram's Novenas for a Lost Hospital, a communal theatrical experience celebrating the life and legacy of the now-closed St. Vincent's Hospital, begins performances Off-Broadway September 5. The traveling production, created by playwright Cusi Cram and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater Artistic Director Daniella Topol, takes a 60-person audience on a journey from an enclosed West Village garden to Rattlestick’s intimate theatre and the NYC AIDS Memorial Park.
Tony nominee Kathleen Chalfant leads the cast as Elizabeth Seton of the Sisters of Charity (reprising her performance from last year's workshop production).
Completing the cast are Ken Barnett, Goussy Celestin, Justin Genna, Steven Jeltsch, Alvin Keith, Shayne Lebron-Acevedo, Kelly McAndrew, Noriko Omichi, Rafael Sánchez, Laura Vogels, and Natalie Woolams-Torres.
Novenas runs through October 13 with an opening night set for September 19.
The show pays tribute to and celebrates St. Vincent’s Hospital, the 161-year-old Catholic institution and West Village landmark that treated victims of AIDS, as well as calamities from the sinking of the Titanic to September 11.
Novenas is presented in partnership with Village Preservation, The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Community Center, NYC AIDS Memorial Board, NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing, St. John’s in the Village, and Visual AIDS. Guy Lancaster is the dramaturg, Lannyl Stephens is attached as creative partner, and Edisa Weeks is the show's choreographer.