FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Erik Rodriguez
January 16, 2018 firstname.lastname@example.org
Miami New Drama presents Kristoffer Diaz’s The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity
Pulitzer Prize finalist opens Jan. 25 at the Colony Theatre, Lincoln Road
(Miami Beach, January 16, 2018) Miami New Drama continues its groundbreaking season with Kristoffer Diaz’s potent political satire The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, a body-slamming take on racism, stereotypes and a battle for the American soul set in the flamboyant world of pro wrestling. Presented in partnership with Sarasota’s Asolo Rep, one of the premiere regional theaters in the country, this Pulitzer Prize finalist in drama previews January 25 thru 26 and runs January 27 to February 18 at the Colony Theatre on Lincoln Road, Miami Beach. The theatre will be transformed into a full-scale wrestling arena complete with two ringside seating sections to bring audiences even closer to the action.
Miami New Drama presents a powerful, prescient comedy for our fraught political moment. Chad Deity premiered in 2009, going on to garner enthusiastic reviews and multiple honors, including an Obie Award for Best New American Play and a New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award. But today the play’s themes of racial stereotypes, cultural manipulation, and the blurring boundary between politics and entertainment are more relevant than ever. “This is a play for today’s America, and this is the moment to bring it back into the conversation,” says Miami New Drama Artistic Director Michel Hausmann. “It’s a rollicking, chilling parable for the era of politics-as-reality-show.”
Chad Deity centers on New York-raised Puerto Rican wrestler “Mace” Guerra, paid to perpetually lose to the title character, the flamboyant African-American star of a rigged WWE-style wrestling franchise. When Mace enlists a cocky Indian-American teen to help him finally fulfill his wrestling dreams, the manipulative promoter forces them to play a border-busting Mexican immigrant and a Muslim terrorist – racist, crowd-pleasing caricatures which force them to confront what they’ll do to win.
An acclaimed playwright and educator whose work has been produced at numerous major theaters and festivals across the country, including The Public Theater, the Geffen Playhouse, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Brooklyn-raised Diaz has loved wrestling since he was a child, and is a writer on the popular Netflix series GLOW, about the rise of women’s wrestling.
Director Jen Wineman, also a choreographer and longtime wrestling fan, stages Chad Deity with all the visceral physicality of a real TV wrestling match, complete with flips to the mat and flying dives off the ropes. The Colony Theatre will be transformed into a sports arena, with the audience sitting ringside and encouraged to cheer, boo and take sides.
The cast includes Pierre Jean Gonzalez (Usnavi, In the Heights) as Mace and South Florida radio personality and Carbonell Award winner Todd Allen Durkin as EKO.
What: The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity
Presented by Miami New Drama and Asolo Repertory Theatre
When: Jan. 25 to Feb. 18
Thursday – Saturday | 8:00 p.m.
Sunday | 3:00 p.m.
Where: Colony Theatre
1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach FL 33139
Tickets: $30 to $59; Opening Night $100
www.colony.org or 1-800-211-1414
About Miami New Drama
Founded by playwright and director Michel Hausmann and National Medal of the Arts winner Moises Kaufman, Miami New Drama is a producing and presenting organization committed to artistic excellence and groundbreaking work unique to this diverse and extraordinary city with a vision of theatre as a powerful form of social engagement. The troupe’s first show of its debut 2017-2018 season, a culturally mixed, multilingual version of Thornton Wilder’s classic Our Town, was critically-acclaimed as “glorious, emotionally potent” and “inventive and touching…superb!” Past productions include the American premiere of Ferdinand von Schirach’s Terror directed by Tony Award winner Gregory Mosher and The Golem of Havana, an original musical written and directed by Michel Hausmann. Miami New Drama is the resident company and operator of the City of Miami Beach’s historic Colony Theatre on Lincoln Road.
About The Colony Theatre
The Colony Theatre is a historically-designated Art Deco jewel located in the heart of South Beach on pedestrian Lincoln Road. First opened on January 25, 1935 as an upscale Paramount Pictures movie house. In 2006, it underwent a three-year, $6.5 million renovation to restore it to its original Art Deco grandeur while updating its technical capabilities as a live performance venue. Today, the theatre is a 417-seat state-of-the art venue proudly managed by Miami New Drama. The theatre hosts an exciting array of events including music, dance, film, and theater performances. As the resident theater company, Miami New Drama produces original and critically-acclaimed plays created exclusively for the Colony. For more information, visit www.colony.org.
About Asolo Repertory Theatre
Now in its 58th season, Asolo Repertory Theatre is recognized as one of the premier professional theatres in America and one of the largest in the Southeastern United States. One of the few theatres in the nation that performs in true rotating repertory, Asolo Rep’s highly skilled acting company and extensive craftsmanship allow audiences to see multiple shows in the span of a few days. Asolo Rep presents up to 15 productions each season, including contemporary and classic works and provocative musical theatre experiences. Asolo Rep is committed to expanding its reach into the community, furthering its collaboration with the best theatre artists working in the industry today and cultivating new artists through its affiliation with the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. Led by Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards and Managing Director Linda DiGabriele, Asolo Rep’s ambitious theatrical offerings and groundbreaking education and outreach programming engage audiences and ensure its lasting legacy for future generations. www.asolorep.org.
KRISTOFFER DIAZ is a New Dramatists resident playwright, speaker, and educator living and working in Brooklyn. His play The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama, and has gone on to more than twenty-five productions nationwide. Other full-length titles include Welcome to Arroyo’s, #therevolution, The Upstairs Concierge, and The Unfortunates. His work has been produced, commissioned, and developed at The Public Theater, Dallas Theater Center, Geffen Playhouse, Center Theatre Group, The Goodman, Second Stage, Victory Gardens, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, American Theater Company, The Atlantic, InterAct, Mixed Blood, The Orchard Project, Hip-Hop Theater Festival, The Lark, Summer Play Festival, Donmar Warehouse, and South Coast Repertory, among many others. Awards include the Guggenheim, Jerome, Van Lier, NYFA, and Gail Merrifield Papp Fellowships; New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award; Lucille Lortel, Equity Jeff, and OBIE Awards; and the Future Aesthetics Artist Regrant, among others. As a screenwriter, he has developed original television pilots for HBO and FX. Kristoffer holds a BA from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, an MFA from NYU’s Department of Dramatic Writing, and an MFA from Brooklyn College’s Performing Arts Management program. He teaches playwriting at New York University.
JEN WINEMAN is a director/choreographer based in NYC, and the co-founder and former co-artistic director of Studio 42, a New York City-based company that from 2001 to 2015 produced “unproducible” plays by emerging playwrights. Off Broadway: F#%king Up Everything. New York: Fable (New York Musical Festival), The King’s Whore (Walkerspace), Estrella Cruz [The Junkyard Queen] (Ars Nova). Touring Productions: Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Asolo Rep New Stages). Regional: Sweeney Todd (Playmakers Rep); Lysistrata (Connecticut Repertory Theatre); The 39 Steps, Shipwrecked (Triad Stage); The Hunchback of Seville (Washington Ensemble Theatre); Bubble Boy (American Theater Group); Aloha Say the Pretty Girls (Theatre Vertigo). B.A. Vassar College, M.F.A. Yale School of Drama.
RAJI AHSAN* (Vigneshwar Paduar) is a New York-based actor who received his BFA from NYU/Tisch in 2013, where he studied under Alec Baldwin (30 Rock, SNL), Bryce Pinkham (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder), and many others. Raji’s talk show, “Making Brews and Paying Dues,” is on YouTube. Instagram/twitter: @rajiahsan
GABRIEL BONILLA (Cameraman) is a “Roxy Kid” and has worked with several South Florida theater companies including The Roxy Theatre Group, Miami Acting Company, What If Works, GableStage and New Theatre. He was most recently seen in New Theater’s world premier of ROOF! and Miami New Drama’s productions of Our Town, Terror and Golem of Havana.
TODD ALLEN DURKIN (Everett K. Olson) As well as an actor Todd is an ON-Air Personality on 102.7 The Beach here in Miami. Past screen credits include Doug Feehan on “Magic City”, Bessie, “Ballers”, Walter on ABC’s “Nashville”, “Drop Dead Diva”, USA Network’s “Burn Notice”, “Bloodline”, “Graceland” and A&E’s “The Glades”. Just wrapped on “Trial By Fire” and the CW’s “Valor”. Favorite stage work includes: Dial M For Murder at The Maltz Jupiter Theatre, All New People, Bug, Blasted, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Reasons To Be Pretty, Captiva, Six Years, Death of a Salesman, The Seafarer, Moon For The Misbegotten (James Tyrone), The Zoo Story (Jerry), the title role in Hamlet, and as Lenny Bruce in Lenny. Todd was twice awarded the Best Supporting Actor Carbonell Award and four times named Best Actor by Miami New Times.
PIERRE JEAN GONZALEZ (Macedonio “Mace” Guerra) TV/Film: Gotham, Mysteries of Laura, Elementary, The Detour. New York: Usnavi, In the Heights; Cassio, Othello; Javier, The House of Ramon Iglesia. Oberon/Theseus, The Globe’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. BFA in Acting from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.
JAMIN OLIVENCIA (The Bad Guy/Billy Heartland/Old Glory) is a poet, professional wrestler, personal development coach and spiritual public speaker making his fourth appearance in The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, which he performed at Asolo Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville and Dallas Theater Center. A professional wrestler with 14 years experience in North America, Europe and Australia, Jamin has appeared on Ohio Valley Wrestling, WWE Raw, and WWE SmackDown. See more at www.JaminOlivencia.com and the Jamin Olivencia Channel on Youtube.
GARRETT TURNER* (Chad Deity,) is a native of Florence, Alabama. Recent
credits include Benny in In the Heights (Aurora Theatre/Theatrical Outfit), Jimmy Early
in Dreamgirls (Atlanta Lyric Theatre), Mr. Franklin/Mr. Venus in Passing Strange (Playhouse on Park), Will in The Dove (York Theatre Company), and Acappella the Musical (New York Musical Festival). Garrett received his B.A. in Music and Creative Writing from Emory University and M.A. in Music Theatre from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London on a Marshall Scholarship. Instagram: @digandbedug