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At a registered address in downstate Illinois, four men convicted of sex crimes share a group home where they live out their days post-incarceration. When a man shows up to confront his childhood abuser, it becomes hard to locate the line between justice and retribution. This gripping, provocative new play from Pulitzer Prize winner Bruce Norris zeroes in on the limits of compassion and forgiveness.
Downstate was co-commissioned and its world premiere was presented by Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Anna Shapiro, Artistic Director; David Schmitz, Executive Director) and The National Theatre, London (Rufus Norris, Artistic Director; Lisa Burger, Executive Director).
This production has received generous support from the Roy Cockrum Foundation and the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation.
Photos by Michael Brosilow of the Steppenwolf Theater Company's production of Downstate.
Pulitzer Prize winner Bruce Norris's newest play, Downstate, makes its New York premiere at Playwrights Horizons this fall. Get Downstate tickets now.
The Downstate play is about four men — Fred, Dee, Felix, and Gio — living in a group home for formerly incarcerated sex offenders. One of their victims, Andy, arrives at the home one day to confront his abuser and finally get closure. Or perhaps he's actually seeking retribution. Downstate explores the line between justice and revenge and at what point, if any, one's punishment is enough for their crimes.
Playwrights Horizons hosts Downstate off Broadway, but the play premiered in 2018 at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago to acclaim. Pam MacKinnon directed that production, and she returns to direct Downstate in New York. She's collaborated with Norris before, having directed his Pulitzer-winning play Clybourne Park on and off Broadway.
Clybourne Park, a companion play to Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, is perhaps Norris's best-known work. It is the only play of his to appear on Broadway, though Norris previously performed in three other Broadway shows between 1985 and 2000. He has also performed in nearly a dozen Off-Broadway productions and had seven plays off Broadway, including Downstate.
Get Downstate tickets on TodayTix.
2 hrs 25 mins (with 15 minute intermission)
October 28th, 2022
December 11th, 2022
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