Now that they've proven they can raise Goose-Pimples with an established playwright and filmmaker, The New Group have turned to a novice dramatist for their current show, Hazelwood Jr. High.
Based on a real 1992 incident, Hazelwood shows what ugly things happen when an outsider tries to become pals with a group of teenage girls. All six members of the cast are between 14 and 22, with Chloe Sevigny, of the films Kids and Gummo, starring. Margaret Burkwit, Stephanie Gatschet, Heather Gottlieb, Brooke Sunny Moriber and Amy Whitehouse co-star.
As a special promotion in conjunction with the show, the New Group has initiated the two-evening "Remy Martin Talk Series." The first, March 9 (titled "Crossing Over"), asks artists about having careers in both theatre and film. On hand will be actress Sevigny, Hazelwood director Elliott, whose first feature film will be the upcoming, A Map of the World); director Joe Mantello (Mizlansky/Zilinsky, Proposals and the film and stage productions of Terrence McNally's Love! Valour! Compassion!); playwright/screenwriter Jon Robin Baitz (The Substance of Fire); and and actor/playwright Eric Bogosian (subUrbia, Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll; Griller).
The March 16 topic will be "Crime As Muse," looking at real-life crime and its influence on "a writer's creative process." Kurt Andersen, of the New Yorker, will moderate a panel consisting of Hazelwood dramatist Rob Urbinati and Newsweek writer Jonathan Alter.
Hazelwood, Urbinati's first play, is performed at an actual school: Intermediate School 70 on West 17th St. Between Eighth & Ninth Aves in Manhattan). Performances began Feb. 20 for a March 5 opening. The two seminars are also at the school. Directing is artistic director Scott Elliott, who helmed the New Group's current hit, Goose-Pimples, recently transferred to INTAR for a run through March 1. Elliott's other New Group credits include Ecstasy and Curtains, while his Broadway assignments have included Three Sisters and Present Laughter.
Designing the show are Derek McLane (sets), Mattie Ullrich (costumes), Brian MacDevitt (lighting) and Kurt B. Kellenberger (sound).
For tickets ($15-$30) and information on Hazelwood Jr. High call (212) 279-4200.
-- By David Lefkowitz