Article by Jen Bush
David Z. Gutierrez is the playwright for Retraction. He has vast experience in theater both from behind the scenes and on the stage. For Retraction he put down the legal briefs and wrote a compelling script. “I am a lawyer from Houston, Texas., I do have theatre experience as a director, assistant director, assistant stage manager, production assistant, actor, and playwright”.
RETRACTION by David Gutierrez
May 5 @ 8:00 p.m.; May 7 & 8 @ 3;00 p.m.; May 10 @ 7:00 p.m.;
May 11 & 13 @ 8:00 p.m. at Theatre Four on Theatre Row
410 W 42nd St, New York City
A celebrated journalist travels to Carolina Atlantic University to begin writing a story about sexual assault for the pop culture magazine Heart Rhythm. There she meets an undergrad who says that, two years earlier, she was gang raped at a fraternity party. Moved by the story, the journalist uses the student’s story as the center of her expose on campus sexual assault. The article sends shockwaves throughout the university and college campuses across the country. But questionable reporting methods and inconsistencies are found in the article. And when another reporter digs deeper, he finds out something that will rock the university, the student, the reporter, and the entire movement against rape and sexual assault. Adapted from a true story, Retraction uses the hot-button topic of sexual assault to show how careless journalistic failure can ruin people’s lives, damage a movement, and destroy careers.
Rolling Stone Magazine was the inspiration behind the popular movie Almost Famous dealing with journalism. It was also the inspiration for this much heavier piece also about journalism. “Retraction is an adaptation of the real-life journalism scandal involving Rolling Stone magazine that began in 2014.”
Research and feedback drive Mr. Gutierrez’s creative process. “I spent a lot of time researching the play and then got lots of feedback from a large number of people. I received a lot of great feedback about the play overall, but also the dialogue, character development, and overall structure.”
Mr. Gutierrez recognizes that there is an added sense of responsibility when undertaking a piece of work that contains serious or topically charged subject matter. “Because this play deals with rape and sexual assault, it was important to me to get lots of feedback and viewpoints from a variety of people of different backgrounds.”
Since the pandemic, the usage of Zoom has increased exponentially in all businesses including theater. It has been a tremendous help to show business. “Because of the pandemic, this play was developed and revised through a large number of Zoom readings. Zoom is a very useful technology that has allowed playwrights to do readings and develop their play with others in different parts of the country and world.”
For future productions, Mr. Gutierrez would like to see Retraction brought to bigger audiences both in and out of New York City. “The goal is to move Retraction to an Off Broadway theatre and into Regional Theatre across the country.”
The production is part of the CreateTheater New Works Festival, produced
in association with Prism Stage Company. Executive Producer: Cate Cammarata
CreateTheater has been helping writers develop and produce their work since the company was launched in 2016 by Cate Cammarata, an Off-Broadway producer, director and dramaturg. During the shutdown of 2020-2022 CreateTheater developed and/or produced more than 70 shows with online readings, workshops and dramaturgical guidance. For this work Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) has honored her with the TRU Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2022.
ABOUT PRISM STAGE COMPANY
Prism Stage Company was created to promote the work of theater artists over forty. Developing both new and classic works, PSC’s abiding principle is that talent has no expiration date. https://www.prismstagecompany.com/
ABOUT THE NEW WORKS FESTIVAL
In 2020 CreateTheater created a resident company, The Expert’s Theater Company, to work with a smaller group of writers to develop their scripts and then to guide them through to production.
The New Works Festival is a collaborative series produced by CreateTheater, in association with Prism Stage Company, with CreateTheater ETC members whose shows are ready for their first developmental production in NYC. www.CreateTheater.com , www.NewWorksFest.org