|Justin Foster and Alicia Foxworth. Photo by Jonathan
1 TO 18
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
Drop" by Andrea J. Fulton, inspired
by her actual family history, is a family
drama with music that brings to life the politics of a young mixed-race
man's "passing" for white in post-Civil War Louisiana. The
ten-character play illustrates the risks taken by those not afraid
to love despite bigotry, telling of a family torn apart by racism
but ultimately reunited. It elucidates for the audience the stakes
of pursuing love across lines of race and class during Reconstruction.
The piece debuted in Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival
in 2010. Directed by Sabura Rashid.
|POW-WOW 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 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.
|Foreground: Curry Whitmire. Behind: Krystle Adams,
Betty Hudson. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.
2 TO 25
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
"OR CURRENT RESIDENT"
Part of our shared experience as Americans today is how we strain
under the weight of the tech sector. Millionaires are made overnight
and we endure the distortions of social media while gentrification
pushes us out of our homes. When that happens, it rips us away from
our history as if we never mattered. That's the idea behind "Or
Current Resident," a new play by Joan Bigwood, which
will be performed by Squeaky Bicycle Productions. It's 2013 and three
generations of the Finch family live in a bungalow in the rapidly-changing
community at the heart of Silicon Valley. They have weathered the
neighborhood's rapid changes through the years, but nothing has prepared
them Facebook's impact on the family's teens and the aggressive real
estate market that is throwing them out of their home. Playwright
Joan Bigwood is a former Silicon Valley resident and her family drama
throws the covers off a cozy little universe that has survived on
distortions and self-deception; a universe that now lies shivering
in the cold glare of unexpected, untenable revelations. Brandi Varnell,
Artistic Director of Squeaky Bicycle, directs.
8 TO MARCH 11
NEW FEDERAL THEATRE PRESENTS "HARRIET'S RETURN"
CASTILLO THEATRE, 543 WEST 42ND STREET
At a time when the USA is waffling on its commitment to honor Harriet
Tubman with her image on the 20 dollar bill, Woodie King, Jr.'s New
Federal Theatre will present "Harriet's
Return: Based Upon the Legendary Life of 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.
Clinton Turner Davis directs.
Karen Jones Meadows
as Harriet Tubman. Photos by Ron Ross.
|Dave Roberts as Josh Gibson, Daphne Danielle
as his wife, Hattie. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.
8 TO 25
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
"JOSH: THE BLACK BABE RUTH"
The Black Babe Ruth," written by Michael A. Jones
and directed by Bette Howard, dramatizes the life, loves and ultimately
the tragic decline of Josh Gibson, who was perhaps the greatest slugger
of the Negro leagues and who, some say, died of a broken heart in
1947. The play, based on real events, shows Gibson struggling heroically
to make it into the Big Leagues with emotional support from his good
friend, the legendary pitcher Satchel Paige, and from the two women
who are rivals for his heart--his common law wife and his mistress.
Despite his majestic on-field performance, there are immovable obstacles,
including resistance to Black players by Major League club owners
and Gibson's own personal demons, which suffocate his chances.
14 TO MARCH 4
GENE FRANKEL THEATRE, 24 BOND STREET
NEGRO ENSEMBLE COMPANY IN "A SOLDIER'S PLAY"
As part of its 50th season, Negro Ensemble Company, Inc.(NEC) revived
its most famous and successful production, "A
Soldier's Play" by Charles Fuller, from September
27 to October 8, 2017 at Theatre 80 St. Marks. To share this much-praised
revival with a wider audience, the company will re-mount it for Black
History Month at Gene Frankel Theatre, 24 Bond Street. Director is
NEC's Artistic Director, Charles Weldon, who staged this fall's revival.
|Left: Sgt. Williams (Gil Tucker)
accuses Pvt. C.J. Memphis (Jimmy Gary, Jr.) of a murder. Photo
by Jonathan Slaff. Right: Buck Hinkle and Chaz Reuben. Photo by
The play uses
a murder mystery in a segregated U.S. Army base during World War II
to expose angers and resentments among African Americans that curiously
mimic white racist attitudes. The original production ran for two
years at Theatre Four, earned unanimous praise and launched the careers
of many current stars including Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson,
Adolph Caesar and James Pickens, Jr. It 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 three Obie
Awards before being brought to the big screen as "A Soldier's
Story." This fall's production was deemed "gripping and
powerfully performed" (TheaterScene.net), "masterful and
stimulating play...the actors are incredible" (Times Square Chronicle)
and "we need 'A Soldier’s Play' [today] more than ever."
(NY Theatre Wire).
|L-R: Carol Carter as Sadie and Edythe Jason as
Bessie in "Having Our Say." Photo by Edgar Chisholm.
16 TO MARCH 5
NORTH OF HISTORY, 445 COLUMBUS AVE (81-82 STREET)
"HAVING OUR SAY: THE DELANY SISTERS' FIRST 100 YEARS"
The Morningside Players will present Carol Carter and Edythe Jason
Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years" by
Emily Mann, adapted from the book by Sarah H. Delany and A. Elizabeth
Delany with Amy Hill Hearth. It will be the inaugural theater production
at North of History, a new performance/gallery space founded by Gene
Kaufman that is located at 445 Columbus Ave. (between 81st and 82nd
Street). Edgar Chisholm directs.
The play is a
tour-de-force for two black actresses. We enter the home of two centenarian
sisters: Sadie Delany, a retired teacher, age 103 and her kid sister,
Bessie Delany, a retired dentist, age 101. Like molasses and vinegar,
these daughters of a former slave were always temperamental opposites,
but together they grew up in the Jim Crow South, lived in Harlem during
its renaissance and had professional careers. While making dinner
to remember their father’s birthday, the two sisters tell us
of the last century as they lived it – through stories of racial
injustice and personal strife, unified by faith, family, and time.
22 TO MARCH 18
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
"SUBWAY STORY (A SHOOTING)"
Innumerable American children and teens are exposed to gun violence
at home, in school, in their communities and in the media. In "Subway
Story (A Shooting)," playwright/director William
Electric Black means to elucidate the pressures that drive the epidemic
in young people. The piece is the final installment of his five-play
GUNPLAYS Series, which has dramatized the epidemic of gun violence
using differing approaches and theatrical styles.
|Sarah Q. Shah (foreground) and cast of "Subway
Story (A Shooting)." Photo by Jonathan Slaff.
The play is the
unfolding of an essay by an African-American teenage girl named Chevonn,
which she must complete to pass junior English. It is supposed to
be nonfiction but instead turns out surprisingly literary in style.
In her composition, a troubled, abused high school student combs the
subways, seeking to obtain a gun in order to shoot her mother. Her
quest is narrated in a fantastical mashup of literary images that
are part Lewis Carroll and part queasy reality, revealing issues affecting
our children including alienation, discrimination, bullying and the
easy availability of firearms. Chevonn's autobiographical tale strongly
suggests how society needs to perceive the hopelessness that kids
face and how this can make them lash out with guns or turn them on
|Clockwise from left: Angus Hepburn, Rosa Rodríguez,
Elisa De la Roche and Sean Phillips. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.
23 TO MARCH 17
IATI THEATER, 64 E. FOURTH STREET
"THREE ON A MATCH"
The 50th Anniversary production of IATI Theater Toto Vanguardia will
be the world premiere of "Three
on a Match" by Rhett Martinez, directed by Eric
Parness. Somewhere in mythic South America, in a decaying hotel, live
three unlikely guests. Linked by trauma, they must face up to a global
oppressor in a play of magical realism. The drama examines, absurdly
and gravely, the terrifying plague of "disappearances" during
Argentina's "Dirty War" of 1974-83 and similar experiences
of countries across South America in ensuing decades.
a non-profit performing arts organization founded in 1968 by Venezuelan
director Abdón Villamizar and a group of Latino writers and
actors, is committed to adventurous new works. IATI artists address
contemporary issues of broad human interest and frame them in an appropriate
cultural context of powerful social impact to provoke introspection
and social awareness. In its 50th season, it will mount two mainstage
shows, workshop productions, musical and dance concerts, free touring
workshops and touring children's productions to schools and libraries
|George Bartenieff as 'Uncle' in "Extreme
Whether" at Theater for the New City, 2014. Photo by Beatriz
LA MAMA E.T.C.
"EXTREME WHETHER," WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY KAREN MALPEDE
A new production of the post-Paris version of "Extreme
Whether," written and directed by Karen Malpede.
This "Cli-Fi" play juxtaposes psychological and magical
realism in a tale of a courageous climate researcher who is defamed
by special interests, including his own family. Obie-winner Rocco
Sisto heads a cast of six.
Set during the
record-hot summers of 2004 and 2012, the play pits a scientist named
John Bjornson (Rocco Sisto) against his younger sister, Jeanne (Dee
Pelletier), in a no-holds barred struggle over land ownership and
the future use of their family's wilderness estate. The sister is
an energy spokeswoman and is married to a climate-skeptic lobbyist
(Khris Lewin), who helps strategize her actions. The siblings' dispute
reveals the fault lines in America today over land usage, global warming
and climate denial. Supporting John's struggle for the land are three
people. One is the caretaker of the estate, an oracular, Thoreau-like
man named Uncle (Obie-winner George Bartenieff). The others are John's
precocious 13-year old daughter (Emma Rose Kraus) and a young ice
scientist with an important new theory (Clea Straus Rivera). The characters
and plot of this play are informed by the books, lives and experiences
of several contemporary scientists including Dr. James Hansen, who
told Congress in 1988 that Global Warming had begun and whose science
was censored by the Bush administration.
| L-R: Dexter Thomas-Payne
(Lion), Derrick Montalvado (Scarecrow), Ben Harburg (Tin
Man), Taylor-Rey Rivera (Dorothy). Photo by Remy.S.
THROUGH JUNE 16, 2018
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."
OPENING NIGHT EVENT FOR "ONE DROP"
BENEFITS THE AUDELCO ORGANIZATION
On opening night February 3 of "One
Drop" by Andrea J. Fulton at Theater for the New
City, the production will team up with Rome Neal's Banana Puddin'
Jazz for "A Night To Remember" at which,
for $50, VIP theatergoers can attend the show at 8:00 PM at TNC and
then be transported to Nuyorican Poets Cafe, 236 E. 3rd St., for live
be-bop music by the Richard Clemens Trio, a soul food buffet, open
mic festivities, special treats and a complimentary glass of wine.
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the AUDELCO organization.
Tickets are 718/288-8048 and 718/812-4252.
BASEBALL HISTORIANS JOIN PANEL AT "JOSH: THE BLACK BABE
"Josh: The Black Babe Ruth,"
a drama about famed Negro Leagues slugger Josh Gibson, presented by
Theater for the New City February 8 to 15, will include a panel discussion
with the playwright and three baseball historians following the 3:00
pm matinée performance on February 11. Historians Lee Lowenfish,
Philip Ross and Ralph Carhart will join playwright Michael A. Jones
to explore the history of the Negro Leagues as it relates to modern
day baseball. There will be open discussion with participation and
questions from audience members. MORE
ART BENEFIT RAISES FUNDS FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING AWARENESS PLAY
Painters and photographers have joined forces with Mirage Theatre
Company to raise funds in support of the development of a new theater
production, "Broken Dolls," that addresses the immorality
of human trafficking. A benefit will be held at the Chinatown Soup
Gallery at 16 Orchard Street, New York on Friday, February 16, 2018
from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Chinatown Soup is a curated space that
features the work of underserved artists of all backgrounds. Mirage
Theatre is working with playwright Melisa Tien, a NY Foundation of
the Arts Fellow and member of New Dramatists, to create a play that
gives voice to victims and survivors of human trafficking. Tien's
script and the resulting production will confront the ordeals faced
by the most vulnerable members of our society who live in a form of
modern slavery that exists throughout the United States and globally.
Works for sale will be offered by Amy Kaslow, Nancy Mendez, Margaret
Reid Boyer, Tatiana Rhinevault and others. COMPLETE
PLAY STAND UP COMEDY SHOW
On February 27 at Paris Blues, 2021 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd.
(at 121st St.), The Negro Ensemble Company, Inc. will hold a comedy
benefit to support its production of "A
Soldier's Play." Benefit features cast members of
the play who are also comedians. Hosted by Horace Glasper (BET, Li'l
JJ's Almost Famous). With Gil T (HBO Def Comedy, Showtime, BET), Derek
Dean & Special Guest. There will be a 50/50 raffle where the winner
gets half the pot. Cash bar. $25 tickets include one free drink and
finger food. Festivities start at 8:00 PM. Tickets: Ovation
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