Next Door at NYTW provides a home for companies and artists who are producing their own work. Meeting the artists where they are in their process, this initiative provides each project with subsidized resources and space for development and performance in the newly renovated Fourth Street Theatre. As part of an ongoing effort to expand support for artists at every stage of their careers, this series will serve nearly 100 additional artists in the first year alone.

De Novo


Good Neighbor Program Directions Accessibility

Houses on the Moon presents De Novo
Directed by Jeffrey Solomon


December 1, 2017—December 22, 2017

Good Neighbor Program Directions Accessibility
Read Synopsis

Houses on the Moon is presenting its acclaimed production of DE NOVO, which tells the true story of a teenaged boy from Guatemala who faced deportation after fleeing to the U.S. to escape gang life.

The gang MS13 was the only family Edgar Chocoy had ever known, but he dreamed of a better life. At fourteen, he fled Guatemala City and traveled over 3,000 miles, across the borders of three countries in search of his mother, who left him when he was a baby to find work in the United States. Detained by the Department of Homeland Security, he pleaded with a Colorado judge not to deport him to Guatemala, where the gang he left had sentenced him to death.

This documentary play is crafted entirely from immigration court transcripts, letters, and extensive interviews conducted by Houses on the Moon company members in Los Angeles, Colorado and Arizona at Southwest Key, the largest facility for detained immigrant minors in the United States. DE NOVO is augmented with projected images from Donna DeCesare, an award-winning photojournalist who is widely known for her groundbreaking coverage of the spread of Los Angeles gangs in Central America.

DE NOVO originally premiered Off Broadway at 59e59 St. Theatres in 2010 and was hailed as "Riveting" by Show Business Weekly, "with superb acting and directing...A well-crafted, intimate production." Since 2010, DE NOVO has widely toured NYC, the country, and internationally as far as El Salvador (with an all-Spanish production). Houses on the Moon is thrilled to be presenting this piece through Next Door at NYTW.

DE NOVO provides a rare glimpse into the life of an "unaccompanied alien minor," thousands of whom make the dangerous journey across the border and through the U.S. justice system each year. Though there are thousands of foreign-born minors in U.S. custody; barriers of language, age, class, culture, and law conspire to make this population invisible to many. Their stories of migration are poignant, heroic and painful. They deserve to be heard.

Starring Camilo Almonacid, Sean Carvajal, Zuleyma Guevara and Emily Joy Weiner


  • Camilo Almonacid

    Camilo Almonacid (Santiago Sanchez, Byron Vasquez, Scott Johns and Ensemble) is a New York based playwright and actor. Born in Bogota, Colombia he was raised in the U.S. His most recent play, The Assignment, commissioned by Houses on the Moon Theatre Company, was produced Off-Broadway at the A.R.T/New York Theatres in April 2017. His other plays include Wepa! (Fuerza Fest) Westpine Myopes (Rita Goldberg Award), Checkin In (Irv Zarkower Award), For the Flies (HERE Arts), Church Of Why Not (Theatre 167), After the Crowds (Queen’s Museum, NY times Critics Pick) and Shithole (HERE Arts). He continues to work on new projects and collaborations that explore the pluralistic voices of American society. He holds a BFA in Acting from Rutgers University (2008) and an MFA in Playwriting from Hunter College (2014).

  • Sean Carvajal

    Recent credits: De Novo (Houses on the Moon Theater Company); Ghetto Babylon (59E59); Lissabon (La MaMa); Holy Land (HERE Arts Center); Seven Spots on The Sun (Cincinnati Playhouse);  Dominica, That Fat Ugly Ho (LAByrinth Intensive Ensemble); Between Riverside and Crazy (Studio Theatre); Water By The Spoonful (Premiere Stages); Tell Hector I Miss Him (Atlantic Theater); Seven Spots On The Sun (Rattle Stick Theater). 

  • Emily Joy Weiner

    Emily Joy Weiner is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Houses on the Moon. She most recently co-developed and directed The Assignment at the A.R.T./New York Jeffrey and Paula Gural Theatre. With Houses on the Moon, she has been creating, developing, producing and directing new works that address the complex and sensitive issues of our time in partnership with community organizations and a talented company of artists. NY theater credits include Othello (West End Theater), Coming Through (American Place Theatre), Tara’s Crossing  (Tenement Theater, the Lucille Lortel), Finding the Words (the Lucille Lortel), Henry V (Bank Street Theater), An Epidog (Mabou Mines), and De Novo (59E59th St.). Regionally she has been seen in The Crucible (Madison Repertory Theatre),Fefu and Her Friends and The Threepenny Opera (Williamstown Theater Festival). As a teaching artist Emily works with teenagers who are currently going through the criminal justice system.

  • Zuleyma Guevara

    Zuleyma Guevara is excited to be working on De Novo again, especially at a time when our country needs to engage in the dialogue inspired by this piece. She recently performed in the world premiere of Uncommon Sense (Tectonic Theatre Project).  Prior to that she performed in the New Jersey premiere of Water by the Spoonful (directed by Kel Haney, Kean University). Previous credits include: La Paloma Prisoner and The Hour of The Star (Columbia Stages). the world premiere of Seven Spots on the Sun (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park) and La Ruta (Working Theatre).  Other New York stage credits include: Quail (Ohio Theatre for Clubbed Thumb); Animus (Intars New Plays festival at Playwrights Horizon) and Shi*hole (DUTF). Previous film/TV credits include “Sonia’s Choice” for the #imhere campaign, “Rope Art,” “Legend of the 13 Suns” for Kraft as well as “Law and Order.”  She has appeared on the CBS pilot “Limitless” and most recently worked on “Gotham-The Red Queen.”

Jeffrey Solomon / Playwright/Director

is the co-founder of Houses on the Moon Theater Company. His previous works include Tara’s Crossing (world premiere at Tenement Theater, NY), Building Houses on the Moon (Lucille Lortel, NY), MotherSON (HERE Arts Center, Queens Theatre in the Park, Penguin Rep, Theatreworks in Melbourne, Australia and on London’s Off West End at both the New End and Oval House Theatre) and Santa Claus Is Coming Out (Kirk Theatre, NY). De Novo ran at 59E59 Theaters in the Americas Off-Broadway Festival and toured El Salvador in a full Spanish translation. Solomon wrote the teleplay for CityKids (Jim Henson Productions), which received an Emmy nomination for Best Children’s Special and won an Ollie Award for Excellence in Children’s Programming and was the staff writer for the series of the same name.  He was also a writer on “Tribeca” (Fox/Tri-Star), “Davis Rules” (Carsey Werner/ABC) and “Gullah-Gullah Island” (Nickelodeon).

Donna De Cesare / Projected Images

An award-winning photojournalist with extensive experience covering Latin America, De Cesare is widely known for her coverage of the spread of Los Angeles gangs in Central America. She is currently the associate professor of photojournalism at the University of Texas at Austin, a member of the advisory board of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas and serves on the executive committee of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma.  De Cesare was recently awarded journalism’s oldest award, the Maria Moors Cabot Prize. Her newly published book Unsettled/Desasosiego: Children in a World of Gangs is both a memoir and a visual history of her experiences in Central America and Los Angeles.