Reed Birney Will Return to Roundabout Underground for Burning Boy; Cast Announced

News   Reed Birney Will Return to Roundabout Underground for Burning Boy; Cast Announced
Roundabout Underground's winter-spring production of David West Read's new play, The Dream of the Burning Boy, about a high school tragedy, will feature Reed Birney, Josh Caras, Matt Dellapina, Jake O'Connor, Jessica Rothenberg, Kristie Dale Sanders and Alexandra Socha.

Reed Birney
Reed Birney Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Evan Cabnet (Oohrah! by Atlantic Theatre Company) will direct the production, part of Roundabout's initiative to nurture new plays by emerging writers. Performances start Feb. 25 at the 62-seat Black Box Theatre underneath the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre. Opening night is March 23.

According to Roundabout, "In The Dream of the Burning Boy the sudden death of a high school overachiever exposes a secret that could destroy those left behind, or bring them closer together. A bittersweet story of choices made, opportunities lost, and finding the strength to move on."

This marks the first time a two-production season has been produced at Roundabout Underground since the program premiered in 2007. The Dream of the Burning Boy follows the critically acclaimed and sold-out hit Tigers Be Still (which featured Reed Birney, acclaimed for Off-Broadway's Blasted and Circle Mirror Transformation) from fall 2010. Prior Underground productions include Speech & Debate (2007), The Language of Trees (2008), Ordinary Days (2009) and Tigers Be Still (2010).

This will be a limited engagement through May 8. All tickets for Roundabout Underground productions are $20.

The creative team for The Dream of the Burning Boy includes Lee Savage (sets), Jessica Wegener Shay (costumes), Ben Stanton (lighting) and Jill BC DuBoff (sound). Playwright David West Read, a native of Toronto, is currently a Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellow at The Juilliard School, and a recent graduate of the MFA program in Dramatic Writing at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. The Dream of the Burning Boy was developed at the 2010 National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. His work has been featured in the Pacific Playwrights Festival at South Coast Repertory, the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival, NYU's Festival of New Works, the Toronto Fringe, and the SummerWorks Festival, and he is currently working on a commission for South Coast Repertory. Selected honors include the Robertson Davies Playwriting Award, the Alta Lind Cook Prize for Drama, and NYU's John Golden Prize for Graduate Playwriting.

The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre is at 111 W. 46th Street in Manhattan. The Dream of the Burning Boy will play Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8 PM with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:30 PM & Sunday evening at 7 PM.

Tickets are available by calling Roundabout Ticket Services at (212) 719-1300, online at All tickets for The Dream of the Burning Boy will be issued as General Admission passes for first-come, first-served seating on the show date.


Roundabout Underground is an initiative to showcase new plays that will either allow an experienced director to go back to his/her creative roots or give a debut production to an emerging writer or director. Robyn Goodman (artistic consultant to the Roundabout), who has significant artistic development experience, is curating the initiative that continues to be a creative breeding ground for nurturing new talent.

The 62-seat Black Box Theatre, below the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, allows Roundabout to take artistic risks that are better suited for a more intimate space.

The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre reflects Roundabout's commitment to produce new works by established and emerging writers as well as revivals of classic plays. This state-of-the-art off-Broadway theatre and education complex is made possible by a major gift from The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. The Trust was created in 1986 by Harold Steinberg to promote and advance American Theatre as a vital part of our culture by supporting playwrights, encouraging the development and production of new work, and providing financial assistance to theatre companies across the country. Since its inception, the Trust has awarded over $45 million to more than 100 not-for-profit theatre organizations.

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