Survivor of Central Park Beating Is Focus of Beyond Recognition, a World Premiere Off-Bway Oct. 17 | Playbill

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News Survivor of Central Park Beating Is Focus of Beyond Recognition, a World Premiere Off-Bway Oct. 17 Off-Broadway's Abingdon Theatre Company presents the world premiere of Beyond Recognition, by journalist John Petrick, as its first Mainstage production of the 2003-2004 season.

Performances begin Oct. 17, prior to an official opening Oct. 23.

Kate Bushmann, who directed Petrick's Appearance of Impropriety, stages Beyond Recognition, which "follows the journey of a therapist as he suddenly recalls the circumstances of his brutal and notorious Central Park beating. Though New Yorkers and his lover cheer on his miraculous survival, the memory of the violent event now threatens everything — including his own sense of self."

The cast includes Chris Burns (Stones in His Pockets, opposite Bronson Pinchot, in London and on U.S. tour), Michael Goduti, David Valcin and Grant James Varjas.

Performance continue to Nov. 23 at the mainstage of the Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex, 312 W. 36th Street, first floor. Tickets range $19-$40.

* The 11th season of Off-Broadway's Abingdon Theatre Company includes a world premiere, a New York premiere and the dedication of a space called The June Havoc Theatre in fall 2003.

At a Nov. 3 gala, Abingdon will honor legendary writer director-actress June Havoc with a theatre in her name at the company's complex on West 36th Street.

The not-for-profit troupe, run by artistic directors Jan Buttram and Pamela Paul and managing director Samuel J. Bellinger, will present five new plays in 2003-04, including the New York premiere of Ann Noble's award winning The Pagans.

On Stage II, Margaret Hunt's The Maginot Line, artistic director Jan Buttram's Texas Homos and a developing play to be announced will be staged.

Founded in 1993, New York City's Abingdon Theatre Company develops and produces new plays by American writers. For more information, visit

Abingdon's 2003-2004 season includes:

  • Beyond Recognition by John Petrick, directed by Kate Bushmann (Mainstage Oct. 17-Nov. 23). From the award-winning author of Abingdon's sold-out newspaper drama, The Appearance of Impropriety.
  • The Pagans by Ann Noble, directed by Stephen Hollis (Mainstage Feb. 27-April 4, 2004). "The eldest son's return to County Clare, Ireland, with his sleek American wife throws the Riordan family into turmoil. Resentments and rivalries surface." Winner of Chicago's Jefferson Award for New Work, Ann Noble "tackles faith, loyalty and trust with a strong sense of humor, introducing us to eight colorful, headstrong personalities."
  • The Maginot Line by Margaret Hunt (Stage II Sept. 19-28). "Join an aristocratic lawyer, her pregnant daughter, a flamboyant caterer and a crime reporter for Christmas Eve gone awry in Albany, New York. When police find Mack McGrath's partner mysteriously dead in a local hotel, the search for her killer unwraps more than the usual holiday surprises — one sexy detective, pounds of panettone and years of betrayal."
  • Texas Homos by Jan Buttram (Stage II Jan. 23- Feb. 1, 2004). From the award-winning writer of The Parker Family Circus. "In the hilarious aftermath of a police sting operation in a public restroom, three men face the music as the morning paper announces their arrests. A prominent doctor, a Methodist preacher and a young wannabe-superstar dispute the true details of their encounters as their lawyer prepares for Monday's arraignment."
  • A new play to be announced (Stage II May 14-23, 2004). "For a third season, Abingdon and the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry team up to offer one of New York's emerging playwrights the opportunity to develop a new American play. Past shows include John Yearley's Bruno Hauptmann Kissed My Forehead and Ryan Michael Teller's Sucker Fish Messiah. For tickets and information, call (212) 868-4444.

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