David Cromer to Star in U.S. Premiere of The Animal Kingdom Off-Broadway | Playbill

Off-Broadway News David Cromer to Star in U.S. Premiere of The Animal Kingdom Off-Broadway

The production will mark the American debut of playwright Ruby Thomas.

David Cromer Angela Pettigrew

The Animal Kingdom, a new play from British playwright Ruby Thomas, will make its U.S. premiere at the Connelly Theater Upstairs in 2024. Running January 25-February 10, 2024, the 16-performance limited engagement will play to just 50 people nightly. Opening night is January 30.

David Cromer (Uncle VanyaThe Waverly Gallery) is set to star alongside Tasha Lawrence (A Doll's House), Lily McInerny (Camp Siegfried), Uly Schlesinger (This Beautiful Future), and Calvin Leon Smith (Fat Ham).

The work follows a struggling family that finds themselves trapped in an inpatient clinic for family therapy, forced to find new ways to communicate. The play made its world premiere in 2022 at London's Hampstead Theatre. The upcoming run will mark Thomas' American debut.

"In writing this play, it occurred to me that therapy and theatre have lots in common; both are driven by drama and conflict, both are about trying to piece together a narrative, both are arguably exercises in empathy, and both are live—we are all effectively trapped in that room for an hour, facing something," says Thomas in a statement. "It’s my hope that audiences walk away feeling a little bit more open to the idea that although we are all fundamentally different ‘animals’—and sometimes it can feel impossible to listen or communicate across that divide—it is always a worthwhile act to try."

Jack Serio will direct the production, reuniting with Cromer after their collaboration earlier this year on Uncle Vanya, which was also staged in small spaces with extremely limited audience numbers. Serio's creative team includes scenic designer Wilson Chin, costume designer Ricky Reynoso, lighting designer Stacey Derosier, and sound designer Christopher Darbassie. Frederick Krepps will be production stage manager, and Christian Rene Palomares will be general manager.

"Since first seeing Ruby’s play in London almost two years ago, I have been on a mission to bring it to New York," says Serio in press notes. "Rarely have I ever felt so seen by a piece of writing. The play speaks with refreshing honesty to issues of mental health, queerness, and how hard it can be to communicate with people who love you. The Connelly Theater Upstairs' intimate and immersive environment is the perfect home for this production, where audience members will feel like flies on the wall. I’m thrilled to explore this piece with our remarkable American company and introduce New York audiences to the singular talent that is Ruby Thomas.”

Visit AnimalKingdomPlay.com.

Check Out Production Photos of OHenry Productions' Uncle Vanya

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