27 TO SEPTEMBER 17
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
DREAM UP FESTIVAL
Theater for the New City (TNC), under the direction of Crystal Field,
Artistic Director, will present its eighth
Dream Up Festival, a feast of adventurous theater featuring
new works from across the country and abroad. Helmed by the theater's
Literary Manager, Michael Scott-Price, the festival offers over 25
plays, of which twelve are world premieres, four are American premieres
and two are New York premieres. There are four full-blown musicals,
four shows on LGBTQ themes, five solo shows, a clown show, two on
themes of race in America and one based on visual art. One play is
an English language premiere from Iceland.
Ellis-Einhorn in I.M. LOST!
by Susan Tammany that is basis for "In the Attic," one
of the plays in "The Voire Dire Project 1.5"
of "Sword of the Unicorn"
27 TO OCTOBER 8 (CHANGED FROM AUGUST 30 TO SEPTEMBER 17)
THEATRE 80 ST. MARKS
NEGRO ENSEMBLE COMPANY IN "A SOLDIER'S PLAY"
The 50th season of Negro Ensemble Company,
a year-long retrospective of some of the troupe's signature works,
culminates with "A
Soldier's Play" by Charles Fuller (original production
November 20, 1981), directed by Charles Weldon. The play, evocative
of Melville's "Billy Budd," uses a murder mystery in a Black
U.S. Army base during World War II to expose angers and resentments
among African Americans that curiously mimic white racist attitudes.
The play won the Pulitzer Prize, an Outer Critics Circle Award for
Best Off-Broadway Play, a New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for
Best American Play and an Obie Award for Distinguished Ensemble Performance.
Soldier's Play," 1981. L-R: (back row) Eugene Lee, Samuel
L. Jackson; (middle row) Brent Jennings, Denzel Washington,
Larry Riley; (Front row) Adolph Caesar, Reyno Shine. Photo by
5 TO 28
THE WORKSHOP THEATER, 312 WEST 36th STREET
Based on actual events, "Mesquite, NV" by Leegrid Stevens
follows a contentious mayoral campaign in the retirement community
of Mesquite, Nevada. The election turns nasty as accusations of illegal
activity surrounding a $90 travel voucher are leaked to the local
press. The accusations quickly divide the town and lead to a complete
political upheaval in this dark comedy about power and politics in
the USA. Directed by Thomas Cote.
|Ivette Dumeng as the wife. Photo by Jonathan
5 TO 17
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY'S DREAM UP FESTIVAL
Iceland in the 19th Century was not exactly an idyll; it was an island
nation of farming and fishing communities, pretty much cut off from
the much of the rest of the world. Crime was rare and capital crimes
rarer still. So the country's criminal cases have become the stuff
of legend, including the child rape case in Rifsaedasel of 1837, which
is as infamous to Icelanders as The Manson Family is to Americans.
Contemporary Icelandic playwright Hrafnhildur Hagalín revisits
this infamous case with "Guilty"
(2014), a verse play that gracefully and provocatively examines issues
of obsession and mercy which cling to it to this day. Robert Greer,
Artistic Director of New York's August Strindberg Rep, discovered
the piece, translated by Salka Gudmundsdottir, at a staged reading
in Denmark in 2015 and resolved to bring the play to American audiences.
Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival has made this possible,
presenting the work September 5 to 17 as part of its eighth annual
festival of edgy new works.
Palagi. Photo by Johannes Oberman.
11 TO 31
ST. MAZIE BAR AND SUPPER CLUB, 345 GRAND STREET, BROOKLYN (WILLIAMSBURG)
"THE COOPING THEORY:
WHO KILLED EDGAR ALLAN POE?"
Poseidon Theatre Company, an emerging theater company, is mounting
an original, immersive site-specific show: "The
Cooping Theory: Who Killed Edgar Allan Poe?," an
intimate theatre event for only 30 guests per night featuring craft
cocktails, food (full dinner menu available) and a paranormal experience,
all framed by the great words of the master of the macabre Edgar Allan
Poe. This is a mystery play in the genre of "Then She Fell"
and "Sleep No More," with one significant difference: unlike
most immersive shows, which are dance-driven, this one is text-based.
It is presented in the former basement speakeasy of St. Mazie Bar
and Supper Club, 345 Grand Street, Williamsburg Brooklyn (between
Havemeyer and Marcy). Production went on hiatus June 28 and resumes
with a Halloween Edition.
18 TO NOVEMBER 10
PANGEA RESTAURANT & SUPPER CLUB
LINDA GLICK IN "TEACH ME TONIGHT"
Linda Glick, a sassy and seasoned redheaded chanteuse, will unveil
her newest cabaret show, "Teach
Me Tonight." The evening features an eclectic program
with new works written collaboratively by Glick and Musical Director
Ian Herman plus classics and signature songs by Charles Aznavour,
Alberto Manzanero and others. Glick has been described as "full
of grace and dignity, leavened by a touch of continental cynicism"
by Backstage (Eric Haagensen).
Alphonse Nicholson in "Freight: The Five Incarnations of
19 TO NOVEMBER 26
NEW FEDERAL THEATRE PRESENTS
"FREIGHT: THE FIVE INCARNATIONS OF ABEL GREEN" BY HOWARD
CASTILLO THEATRE, 543 WEST 42ND STREET
This is the story of an African American male named Abel Greene who
exists in five different dimensions in the same universe at a different
point in American history. In each incarnation he works as a minstrel,
performer, a cult leader, an FBI informant, a struggling actor and
an out-of-work mortgage broker. In each incarnation, Abel finds himself
stuck somewhere between the American Dream and the American Nightmare.
The character in the play's journey parallels the migration of African-Americans
out of the South to the North. Performed by J. Alphonse Nicholson,
directed by Joseph Megel. Presented by Woodie King, Jr.'s New
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
VILLAGE HALLOWEEN COSTUME BALL
Nonstop theater, a costume competition and ballroom dancing will bewitch
the East Village in Theater for the New City's 41st annual Village
Halloween Costume Ball on Tuesday, October 31 at TNC,
155 First Avenue. This unique festival continues as a grand coming-together
for real witches, everyday New Yorkers and artists alike. An explosive
fall tradition, the event is held annually on the actual night of
Halloween and celebrates artistic creation and fertilization. The
one-night fiesta takes over all four of TNC's theater spaces, plus
its lobby and the block of East Tenth Street between First and Second
Avenues. Customarily over 1,500 wildly-clad celebrants gather for
dancing, dining, showing off costumes and viewing acts from the cutting-edge
of Cabaret and Theater. Admission is $20; costume or formal wear is
required. Once inside, everything is free except food and drink, which
are graveyard dirt-cheap.
revelers behold aerial performance by Suspended Cirque in 2015
Village Halloween Costume Ball. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.
Trudeau stands before projections of Chavela Vargas and Jose Alfredo
Jimenez. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.
2, 9, 16
PANGEA RESTAURANT & SUPPER CLUB, 178 SECOND AVE.
STEPHANIE TRUDEAU IN "CHAVELA: THINK OF ME"
Think Of Me," written and performed by Stephanie
Trudeau, is more than just a musical cabaret based on the songs of
legendary Mexican singer Chavela Vargas. It is also a documentary
theater project that traces the famed ranchera singer's artistic evolution
and the key relationships of her life, including those with her musical
mentor, Jose Alfredo Jimenez (the world's greatest composer of ranchera
songs), the painters Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, the great Cuban
courtesan Macorina, and the producers, notably Pedro Almodovar, who
enabled her comeback at age 74 after a 15 year battle with alcoholism.
The show is an homage to the arts of Mexico at a time when our southern
neighbor is the focus of stereotyping and right-wing disrespect in
America today. Trudeau introduced the piece at Pangea last Spring.
November 2 is a Mexican holiday, Day of the Dead, and Ms. Trudeau
is planning special visuals to celebrate.
9 TO 26
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
"PRAGUE 1912: THE SAVOY CAFÉ YIDDISH THEATRE"
"Prague, 1912: the Savoy Café Yiddish Theatre" by
Lu Hauser is a comedy based on a historic chapter of the Yiddish Theater.
A vagabond troupe comes to Prague: it's Jak Lowy and his leading lady,
Mme. Trassik. He's an old actor who has put stars in her eyes and
they are lovers. Their ragtag theater subsists more by selling baked
sweet potatoes than by selling tickets. Along comes a young struggling
writer named Gregor Samsa, who passionately offers to write plays
for them. Gregor's got some serious father issues and his relationship
with these theatricals is not a source of pride for his forceful
and pragmatic dad. "If you sleep with dogs, you wake up with
fleas!," the old man admonishes. Gregor is chewing on a story
about a hunger artist. The three-character play--about this writer
and the two actors--is a backstage comedy of everyone's love for the
This world premiere
is directed by George Ferencz, who guided playwright Lu Hauser in
the evolution of the play, which was written between 2009 and her
death in 2011. It was the successor (and antithesis) to Hauser's play
on Kafka, "Kafka's Quest," which TNC premiered in 2015.
Jenne Vath plays Mme. Trassik, John Barilla plays Lowy and Jason Howard
plays Kafka. Director George Ferencz is best known for his stagings
of landmark plays by Sam Shepard. His TNC productions include "Lincoln
on Hester Street," "Fear Itself," "Piecework,"
"Delicate Feelings," two musicals by Toby Armour, and "The
Space Show," the first TNC production at 155 First Avenue. At
La MaMa, where he was a resident director for over 30 years, he staged
over 30 productions.
19 TO DECEMBER 16
GENE FRANKEL THEATRE, 24 BOND STREET
"THE BLACK GLOVE" BY AUGUST STRINDBERG
In August Strindberg's version of "A Christmas Carol," a
lost black glove found in the entryway to a large apartment building
the day before Christmas Eve mystically passes through the hands of
many of its residents as it bestows a Christmas spirit. Presented
by August Strindberg Rep.
Newly translated by Robert Greer (Artistic Director), directed by
|Photo by David Michael Friend
2 TO 19
LA MAMA E.T.C.
CZECHOSLOVAK-AMERICAN MARIONETTE THEATRE IN
"THE LIFE AND TIMES OF LEE HARVEY OSWALD"
In the era of alternative truth, it is timely to revisit three 1960s
national traumas which are shrouded in dense cobwebs of multiple conspiracy
theories: the assassinations of President Kennedy, Robert Kennedy
and Rev. Martin Luther King. To elucidate them with puppet theater
wisdom, Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre revisits these tragedies
Life and Times of Lee Harvey Oswald," conceived,
written, and directed by Vít Horejš and co-directed by
Matthew Cahoon. The piece represents the main protagonists as a peculiar
cross between Greek tragic figures and stock characters from traditional
puppet murder mysteries.
2017 --L-R: Julian Gabourel, Carlos Ponce, Alan Brown, Kitty Gabourel.2017.
Photo by Remy.
2 TO 11
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
THUNDERBIRD AMERICAN INDIAN DANCERS' 43rd ANNUAL DANCE CONCERT AND
The 43rd annual Thunderbird
American Dancers Dance Concert and Pow Wow will offer
dances, stories and traditional music from the Iroquois and Native
Peoples of the Northeast, Southwest and Great Plains regions. The
event has become a treasured New York tradition for celebrating our
diversity by honoring the culture of our first Americans. A Pow-Wow
is more than just a spectator event: it is a joyous reunion for native
peoples nationwide and an opportunity for the non-Indian community
to voyage into the philosophy and beauty of Native culture. Highlights
will include storytelling, a Hoop Dance, a Grass Dance and Jingle
Dress Dance (from the Northern Plains people), a Stomp Dance (from
the Southeastern tribes), a Shawl Dance (from the Oklahoma tribes),
a Deer Dance (from the Yaqui Tribes of Southern Arizona), a Fancy
Dance (from the Oklahoma tribes) and a Robin Dance and Smoke Dance
(from the Iroquois). As the audience enters the theater, they will
be serenaded by the Heyna Second Son Singers (various tribes). In
the final section of the program, the audience will be invited to
join in the Round Dance/Friendship Dance (in evening shows) and a
Contest Dance (in matinees). After the program, the dancers stay for
photographs and to meet the audience.
8 TO MARCH 11
NEW FEDERAL THEATRE PRESENTS "HARRIET'S RETURN"
CASTILLO THEATRE, 543 WEST 42ND STREET
At a time when the USA is deciding to honor Harriet Tubman with her
image on the 20 dollar bill, Woodie King, Jr.'s New
Federal Theatre presents a 20th anniversary restaging of "Harriet's
Return," a bioplay on Harriet Tubman written and performed by
Karen Jones Meadows. The production takes audiences on a deeply personal,
high energy journey into the private and public life of this famed
Underground Railroad conductor, spiritual icon, revolutionary, and
entrepreneur, whose life spanned nine decades and still influences
the consciousness of people throughout the world.
Black Boys Die," 2015, second play in the GUNPLAYS series.
22 TO MARCH 18
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
"SUBWAY STORY (A SHOOTING)"
"Subway Story (A Shooting) will be the fifth play in the GUNPLAYS
series written and directed by William
Electric Black. The entire series has been presented by Theater
for the New City. In 2014, Black launched the series with "Welcome
Home Sonny T," a drama that spotlighted two significant forces
driving the current epidemic of gun violence: the social impact of
alienation and unemployment on young black males and the declining
influence of black ministers as a force of stability in affected neighborhoods.
The second play in the series, "When Black Boys Die" (2015),
premiered in 2015. The third, presented for 2016 Gun Awareness Month,
was "Death of a Black Man (A Walk By)," a play with hip
hop verse, chanting, songs and poetry. The fourth play, "The
Faculty Room" (2017), was an immersive drama set in a high school
that is in a hard lockdown because an argument between two students
has escalated to armed conflict because of the prevalence of guns
in the school.
CHANCE -- CLOSES AUGUST 12
SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARKING LOT
LA PLAZA@THE CLEMENTE PARKING LOT, 114 NORFOLK STREET
"HENRY VI PART 3
Skyler Gallun as King Henry the Sixth. Right (foreground): Bryce
Dutton as Soldier in an attack by the House of Lancaster, Photos
by Jonathan Slaff.
We can gain
insight into our current polarized politics from Shakespeare's plays
on the Wars of the Roses. That's why Shakespeare in the Parking Lot,
presented by The Drilling Company, will present "Henry
VI Part 3" from July 27 to August 12. The play,
which is seldom done, lays bare the passions of the Medieval English
war between York and Lancaster. In doing so, it illuminates the animosity
between today's Republicans and Democrats on one hand and the tenacity
of irreconcilable conflicts, including current civil and sectarian
wars, on the other. Hamilton Clancy directs.
entreat the Statue of Liberty. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.
CITY STREETS, PARKS & PLAYGROUNDS
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY STREET THEATER TOUR, "CHECKS AND BALANCES,
OR BOTTOMS UP!"
Theater for the New City's award-winning Street Theater Company began
its 41st annual tour August 5 with "Checks
and Balances, or Bottoms Up!," a rip-roaring musical
in which a teacher, a subway conductor and a neighborhood school girl
lead community activists in the fight against the monster of apple
pie fascism and threats of planetary death from the pumpkin head of
state. Free performances will tour City streets, parks and playgrounds
throughout the five boroughs through September 17. Book, lyrics and
direction are by Crystal Field; the musical score is composed and
arranged by Joseph Vernon Banks.
Dexter Thomas-Payne (Lion), Derrick Montalvado (Scarecrow),
Ben Harburg (Tin Man), Taylor-Rey Rivera (Dorothy). Photo
THROUGH DECEMBER 16
HARLEM REPERTORY THEATRE
TATO LAVIERA THEATRE, 240 E. 123RD ST.
"THE WIZARD OF OZ"
Harlem Repertory Theatre presents "The
Wizard of Oz," co-produced by the Yip Harburg Foundation,
for young (and young-at-heart) audiences. This production of the classic
musical has a multi-racial cast, a jazzy underscore and authoritative
dramaturgy by representatives of the Yip Harburg Foundation. Director/choreographer
is Keith Lee Grant, Artistic Director of Harlem Rep, who is in the
midst of a four-year project of presenting four classic musicals that
have lyrics by E.Y. "Yip" Harburg, who was known in his
lifetime as the "social conscience of Broadway."
|Louis Mofie emcees 2016 Pow-Wow at Theater for
the New City. Photo by Farnaz Taherimotlagh.
FOR HEAD OF THUNDERBIRD AMERICAN INDIAN DANCERS
On September 7, American
Dance Guild will honor Louis Mofsie, Director of Thunderbird American
Indian Dancers, with a lifetime achievment award for his work in sustaining
the legacy of indigenous American Indian dances for the past 54 years.
It's part of an evening of awards for three American dance
masters. The other recipients are Garth Fagan, the African-American
choreographer of Lion King fame and reformer of the American dance
tradition, and Martha Myers, the dance educator, dance medicine pioneer
and Dean of the American Dance Festival.
American Indian Dancers will hold its 43rd annual Pow-Wow at Theater
for the New City February 2-11, 2018. TNC has been
presenting the troupe's Pow-Wows annually as a two-week event since
1976, with all box office receipts donated to scholarships for Native
ENSEMBLE COMPANY WILL CELEBRATE 50 YEARS
Director/actor Michelle Shay and actor Brandon Dirden will
host Negro Ensemble Company's Golden Celebtration September 11 from
6:00 to 10:00 PM at CCNY's Aaron Davis Hall (Theatre B), 160 Convent
Ave (betw. W. 133 and 135th Streets). There will be a photo exhibit
by Carmen de Jesus curated by Debra Vanderberg Spencer and a screening
of "A Soldier's Play and Beyond," produced and directed
by Susan Watson-Turner. Lighting designer Shirley Prendergast will
be honored. General admission is $150; seniors/seniors/groups $100.
|Original cast of "A Soldier's Play"
by Charles Fuller, presented by Negro Ensemble Company at Theatre
Four, 1981. L-R: Brent Jennings, Steven Jones, Eugene Lee, Denzel
Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Jame Pickens and Reyno Shine. Photo
by Bert Andrews.
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