Columbia Stages

The Poor of New York
by Dion Boucicault


Directed by Tyne Rafaeli (MFA Directing Candidate, 2013)

Bitingly relevant and radically entertaining, this lost American classic powerfully dramatizes the world’s first global financial crisis, the New York Panic of 1857. The play follows the banker Gideon Bloodgood and the intertwining fates of the families he imperils, casting an uncompromising eye on characters in every strata of society, from Park Avenue privilege to Dickensian squalor.

Mixing riotous humor, visceral emotion and political potency, this production reinvigorates the vibrant, but neglected, tradition of American melodrama. This is a New York story with global resonance that speaks to the most pressing concerns of our age.

Featuring: Dana Berger, Matthew Bovee, Salty Brine, Tucker Bryan, Quincy Ellis, Tristan Farmer, Ben Fisher, David J. Goldberg*, Brian Hastert*, Arden Kelly*, Jarret Kerr, Drew Madland*, Erin McGuff, Vayu O’Donnell*, Angel Joel Ortiz, Justin Perez, Kati Schwartz, Ariana Seigel, Andrina Smith, Hanley Smith*, Natalie Smith*, Adriana Spencer, Macy Sullivan, Christopher Tocco*

Musicians: Blake Allen (viola), Alex Mallett (banjo), Susan D. Mandel (cello), Chris Nolan (drums), Mike Perdue (percussion), David Personne (guitar), Joe Wallace (bass), Helen Yee (violin)

Director Tyne Rafaeli
Producer Michael Csar
Production Stage Manager Alexandra Hall*
Set & Lighting Designer Jiyoun Chang
Composer & Music Director Stephanie Johnstone
Costume Designer Andrea Hood
Sound Supervisor Jon Bremner
Movement Director Rachel Garis
Dramaturgy Christina Hurtado-Pierson
Props Designer Katie Fleming
Assistant Stage Manager Jenny Ainsworth
Associate Music Director Chris Nolan
Assistant Music Director Jaye Hunt
Company Manager Christina Boursiquot

*Appears Courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association

Post-show talkbacks and events

Thursday, April 25 -
Economic inequalities in New York, past and present. What do we do? - Make art, take to the streets, or curl up in a ball and cry? Join the creative team of the production in conversation with artists, activists and social change makers.

Saturday, April 27 following the 2pm matinee -
The rise and fall of melodrama - a lost  genre on stage today, or is it? Director Tyne Rafaeli and Dramaturg Christina Hurtado-Pierson will engage in a discussion with Professor Martin Meisel (Columbia University) and Professor Amy E. Hughes (Brooklyn College).

"Panics come and Panics go, but the theatre goes on forever"

Tuesday, April 30 at 6.15-8pm
Heyman Center, Board Room. Columbia University Campus, 74 Morningside Drive

Join us for a discussion on the historic context of The Poor of New York, in collaboration with The Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University and the Barnard-Columbia Urban Studies Program. Professor David Weiman and Professor Gergely Baics will offer a brief introduction to the Panic of 1857 and the social history of poverty in New York City, before engaging in a discussion with the audience and the creative team on the play's central question: How do we live together in this city, past and present, and navigate the extreme living conditions that urban life imposes in times of social crisis? Please RSVP at

‘The Poor of New York’ is made possible in part with public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.


The Connelly Theater
220 East 4th Street

April 24-27, 2013

$15 General Admission/$5 Seniors
Free with student ID - use code 'student'

All performances are now sold out.
To get your name on the waitlist please email


4/24 Wednesday @ 8:00pm
4/25 Thursday @ 8:00pm
4/26 Friday @ 8:00pm
4/27 Saturday @ 2:00pm
4/27 Saturday @ 8:00pm





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Sakharam Binder The Golem of Havana The Poor of New York New Plays Now 2013

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