Following a second extension, Bruce Norris' Downstate plays the final performance of its New York premiere Off-Broadway January 7 at Playwrights Horizons. The run began previews October 28 and opened November 15. Read reviews here.
Four men, all convicted of sex crimes, share a group home in Illinois post-incarceration. Then, a man arrives one day to confront his childhood abuser, setting in motion Norris' exploration of the boundaries of justice, retribution, compassion, and forgiveness.
Starring in the cast are Francis Guinan as Fred, K. Todd Freeman as Dee, Glenn Davis as Gio, Eddie Torres as Felix, Susanna Guzmán as Ivy, Brian Hutchison as Andy, Sally Murphy as Em, and Gabi Samels as Effie.
A frequent collaborator of Norris', director Pam MacKinnon helms the creative team featuring set designer Todd Rosenthal, costume designer Clint Ramos, lighting designer Adam Silverman, sound designer Carolyn Downing, production stage manager Laura Smith, and assistant stage manager Thomas Dieter.
The production drew attention when conservative political voices, including Texas Senator Ted Cruz, accused Washington Post theatre critic Peter Marks of "normalizing" pedophilia following his positive review of the show's nuanced exploration of a seemingly taboo story. While, Marks and Norris do not condone the actions of the characters, the social media attacks led Marks to make his Twitter account private.
Steppenwolf Theatre Company presented the world premiere of Downstate, which it commissioned, in 2018. It joins Norris' Pulitzer Prize-winning Clybourne Park, plus The Qualms and The Pain and the Itch in the roster of plays from Norris staged at Playwrights Horizons.