31 TO APRIL 30
NEW STAGE PERFORMANCE SPACE, 36 W. 106th STREET, MANHATTAN
New Stage Theatre Company will open its new permanent home, The New
Stage Performance Space, with the debut production of "Rules,"
a work of movement-and-image based theater adapted and directed by
The piece is primarily
based on "The Rules" by Charles L. Mee, a play from his
(re)making project. It is an of-the-moment performance work channeling
the anxiety of our time. Faithful to Mee's Collage Theater approach
to drama, it brings together voices of the marginalized, objectified,
and simply horrified to form an urgent chorus that implores, "What
rules inform our new reality? Who is writing them? And what will it
mean to fight for cohesion and unity?"
Charles L. Mee
is known for his work with SITI Company, for which he wrote "Orestes,"
"bobrauschenbergamerica," "Hotel Cassiopeia,"
"Under Construction" and "soot and spit (the musical)."
He was Signature Theater's Playwright-in-Residence in 2007-2008.
5 TO 22
THEATRE 80 ST. MARKS
NEGRO ENSEMBLE COMPANY IN "ROSALIE PRITCHETT" AND "THE
Negro Ensemble Company continues the celebration of its 50th Anniversary
season in which it is remounting NEC Classic Plays. The company will
present two companion pieces, "Rosalie
Pritchett" by Barbara and Carlton Molette and "The
Perry's Mission" by Clarence Young III. Both plays
were produced originally in 1971 at St. Marks Playhouse, a half block
from Theatre 80 St. Marks where this production will be staged.
|Left: Arthur French (rear), L-R front: Clarice
Taylor, Esther Rolle, Francis Foster in debut production of "Rosalee
Pritchett." Right: Win Wilford, Katherine McGrath and Charles
Grant Green in debut production of "Perry's Mission."
Photos by Bert Andrews, 1971.
"Rosalee Pritchett" portrays the women of
an upper-class black wives' bridge club, one of whom is raped by lower-class
white National Guard troops, in a devastating indictment of the black
bourgeoisie. In "The Perry's Mission," a male black militant
challenges various people in a bar about their black identities and
their conversation grows into fatal conflict. The language and mood
of both plays reflect the tautness and alienation of the period in
which they debuted.
|Thomas R. Gordon as George (L) and Alexander
Kafarakis as Lennie (R). Photo by Jonathan Slaff.
7 TO 29
GENE FRANKEL THEATRE, 24 BOND STREET
"OF MICE AND MEN"
The Onomatopoeia Theatre Company, a resident company of Gene Frankel
Theatre, presents John Steinbeck's "Of
Mice and Men." Director Thomas R. Gordon plans a
faithful adaptation of Steinbeck's classic story about George Milton
and Lennie Small, migrant ranch workers living rough in northern California,
who yearn for home and stability during the Great Depression.
Unlike other down-and-out
men, who tended to be loners, this pair are deeply bonded. Lennie
is big, dull-witted and incapable of taking care of himself. George,
small and quick-witted, has appointed himself the big man's protector
and guardian. They are a heart-rendering example of empathy and brotherhood
among the powerless. In our present time, this American classic achieves
currency and brilliance as an example of understanding and support
toward for those who perceive, think, remember and learn differently.
|Sarah Shah and Kaylin
Reed as students who precipitate a lockdown and take refuge in
the faculty room. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.
13 TO 30
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
"THE FACULTY ROOM"
Baby Boomers had nuclear air raid drills in school that stamped their
souls with the realization that death is always close by. Their children
now have lockdown drills, rehearsing what to do when a shooter is
on the loose in the school. A nuclear attack never materialized (at
least, not yet), but the present generation has Sandy Hook, Columbine,
Virginia Tech and a host of other massacres to remind them of their
own mortality. The hard lockdown--when an imminent danger is known--is
an unforgettable rite of passage for many people, and it is the setting
Faculty Room," the newest play by William Electric
Black that is the fourth in his GUNPLAYS series. Directed by the author.
STUDIO THEATRE, THEATER ROW
Fusion Theatre performs Jean Anouilh's "Antigone," translated
by Lewis Galantiere. A ground breaking adaptation merges the worlds
of classical theatre and opera, obliterating preconceived boundaries
between theses two great theatrical worlds. Fusion Theatre draws its
cast from a tiny pool of classically trained actors who are also renowned
opera singers. Directed by award winning actress Eilin O'Dea. Features
operatic arias as well as the fusion of both the classical play Antigone
with the chorus line from the opera Antigone.
|Michelle Shay, Barbara Montgomery, Olivia Williams
and Frances Foster. Photo by Bert Andrews, 1979.
TO JUNE 10
THEATRE 80 ST. MARKS
NEGRO ENSEMBLE COMPANY IN
"DAUGHTERS OF THE MOCK"
The 50th season of Negro Ensemble Company, a year-long retrospective
of some of the troupe's signature works, continues with "Daughters
of the Mock" by Judi Ann Mason (original production March 3,
1976), directed by Denise Dowse. Three generations of black women
from Louisiana battle over tradition and modernity and the grandmother
imposes her will through a "mock" (curse) involving an elaborate,
writhing Voodoun ritual.
WORKSHOP THEATER, 312 W. 36th STREET
In this six-character play by Scott C. Sickles, an ill-timed college
production leads to a modern-day star-crossed romance between two
men whose past tragedies suddenly encroach upon the present.
A year after an
on-campus unrequited love murder-suicide, Fletcher Driscoll, 48, returns
to his hometown alma mater to direct "Romeo and Juliet,"
the play selected to commemorate the tragedy. As he attempts to helm
a tasteful production, he begins a casual fling with Jeff Landry,
52, a recently out and divorced administrator. Meanwhile, Fletcher
encounters a high school acquaintance with whom he shares a disturbing
history, while Jeff attempts to maintain a friendship with his ex-wife
as they mourn the loss of her brother. Long-held feelings and secrets
come to light bringing Fletcher and Jeff closer while threatening
to tear them asunder as opening night approaches. It's a romantic
drama about the resonance of loss.
received two 2016 New York Innovative Theatre Awards for Outstanding
Director (Emmy Award winner Fritz Brekeller) and Outstanding Original
Full-Length Script. Playwright Scott C. Sickles just received his
fifth Emmy Nomination. Directed by Fritz Brekeller, who won Outstanding
Director at the New York Innovative Theatre Awards for The Workshop
Theater's developmental production of "Composure." He won
an Emmy as part of the directing team of "One Life to Live."
|Chien-Lun Lee in U.S. premiere of "Behind the Mask-a Play" by Chinese authors Feng BaiMing and Huang WeiRuo, directed by Chongren
Fan for Yangtze Rep in 2015. Photo by Maia Sacca-Schaeffer.
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
YANGTZE REPERTORY THEATRE OF AMERICAN IN "410[GONE]"
" 410[GONE]" by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig is a play about love
and loss. Seventeen, a Chinese American boy, who has committed suicide
wanders into the Chinese Land of the Dead, a dominion ruled by the
Chinese Goddess of Mercy and the Monkey King. The time is suspended,
and an arcade dance console holds the key to transmigration. His elder
sister, Twenty-One, has been reliving the night of the suicide in
order to find Seventeen. After a series of hilarious events between
the land of the live and the dead, Twenty-One finally meets Seventeen
again only to realize she has to set him free. Directed by Chongren
Fan, cast of five. In English with Chinese subtitles.
THE CAPITOL STEPS
In these trying political times, Dad needs a good laugh, right? For
Father's Day, take him to Symphony Space for The
political-musical-satire troupe will offer a brand-new vaudeville-like
comedy show with a mix of song and standup, lampooning our modern
political leaders and taking on the major issues of the day. The show
will include excerpts of the troupe's newest album, "Orange is
the New Barak."
This is the group
that puts the "MOCK" in Democracy! Originally
made up of congressional staffers, the past decade has seen the "Steps"
harvest the talent of finely-tuned musical-theatre professionals from
around the country.
They've been featured
on NBC, CBS, ABC, and PBS, and can be heard twice a year on National
Public Radio stations nationwide during their Politics Takes a Holiday
| L-R: Dexter Thomas-Payne (Lion), Derrick Montalvado (Scarecrow),
Ben Harburg (Tin Man), Taylor-Rey Rivera (Dorothy). Photo
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. The schedule
is all Saturday matinees for the convenience of family audiences.
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."
"BENGHAZI - BERGEN-BELSEN"
An epic romance retrieves from oblivion the lost story of the Holocaust
of Libyan Jews in "Benghazi
Bergen-Belsen," a play by Lahav Timor that is inspired
by the Brenner Prize-winning 2016 novel of the same name by Yossi
Sucary, the first book about Jews in World War II Libya. The play
is translated from Hebrew by Inbal Timor and directed by Michal Gamily.
La MaMa Theatre is presenting its world premiere run in its Downstairs
Theater, 66 East Fourth Street.
| L: Veracity Butcher (below) as Silvana
Hajaj, an ambitious young Jewish feminist from Benghazi,
Libya, and Lily Leah Azrielant (above) as Rebecca, a young Dutch
Jew whom she bonds with in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
R: Mohammad Bakri, Mouna R'Miki, Ayelet Kaznelson, Giacomo Rocchini,
Vincent Santwoord. Photos by Jonathan Slaff.
has a contemporary approach. By citing the marginalized racial politics
of the Holocaust, it urges a reconsidering of both historical and
contemporary religious, cultural, and racial oppression and violence.
Its multicultural cast is led by Mohammad Bakri, who plays Silvana's
father--the head of a Jewish family. Bakri is an Arab/Palestinian
actor from Israel who is also known for his starring role on HBO's
"The Night Of." The original score is by Avi Belleli, composer
of HBO's "In Treatment." Lighting design is by Avi Yona
Bueno ("Bambi"), one of Israel's most prominent lighting
designers, who is renowned for his work with Batsheva Dance Company.
Costume design is by Angela Wendt (of Broadway's "Rent").
Annalisa Loeffler as Petra, Zohra Benzerga as Olympia
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
"DEAD MAN'S DINNER"
|Kate Garfield as Petra's lover, Jackie.
Productions, a resident company of Theater for the New City, in the
world premiere of
"Dead Manís Dinner" by W.M. Akers.
When the chips are down, are we men or beasts? That's the question
of this new tragicomedy, to be directed by Kathryn McConnell.
The piece is
an absurdist adventure story set in a dystopian future. New York has
been under siege for ten years and three women are struggling to survive
in a frigid, rent-stabilized apartment on the Upper West Side. Olympia
and her daughter Petra have spent years surviving any way they can.
When Petra falls in love with Jackie, an injured soldier, their food
supplies are stretched to the limit. Death creeps closer and each
woman is torn between love and hunger. Hunger always wins.
GENE FRANKEL THEATRE, 24 BOND STREET
"MARTY'S SHADOW" BY STIG DAGERMAN (SWEDEN) AND "JOURNEY
IN LIGHT AND SHADOW" BY STIG DALAGER (DENMARK)
JOURNEY IN LIGHT
AND SHADOW -- Carol Carter, Lauren Smith, Fergus Scully.
Rep presents two
mystery plays by modern Scandinavian playwrights. Stig
Dagerman, the acclaimed Swedish playwright, poet, novelist and journalist,
was first in Paris after the liberation and the first in Berlin after
the fall of the Third Reich. His play, "Marty's Shadow,"
is a tale of the aftermath of the resistance and is based on actual
characters he met in Paris. Translated by Nancy Pick with Lo Dagerman
and directed by Whitney Gail Aronson. "Journey in Light and Shadow"
by Danish dramatist Stig Dalager is a play-within-a-play with three
actors. Are they rehearsing, are they performing or are they not actors
at all? Is it the present, the past, or in the future? The piece is
something of an examination of playwriting process, with strains of
Strindberg and Pirandello sewn in. Adapted by Natalie Menna from the
Danish ttranslation by Robert Greer, directed by Mr. Greer.
-- Ivette Dumeng, Jackie Maruschak and Jimi Stanton
WORKSHOP THEATER, 312 W 36TH ST.
"THROUGH THE DARKNESS"
the Darkness" by Alan C. Breindel recounts the unimaginable
journeys and true stories of four courageous men and women who left
everything behind, including their loved ones, so that they might
stay one step ahead of the Holocaust. They are composite characters
that playwright Breindel built from interviews with Holocaust survivors.
Three of the four characters managed to avoid the horrors of the concentration
camps and remained free, even if freedom was no more than the right
to die on their own terms. Chaos was inescapable, freedom was motion,
and the only safe place was any place other than where they were.
Each of the characters repeatedly come face to face with seemingly
insurmountable obstacles to daily survival and show us that when life
is vastly different, life is still livable.
|L-R: Alex Dmitriev, Jed Dickson, Emily Zacharias,
Tracy Newirth, Robert Meksin. Photo by Gerry Goodstein.
Photo by Lee Wexler/Images
TERRA DEI FUOCHI / LAND OF FIRES
dei Fuochi / Land of Fires" is an environmental performance
project blending modern dance, music and documentary theatre to tell
the story of Campania Felix, an area in Italy north of Naples that
suffered devastating loss of life due to a toxic waste disaster and
scandal. Accompanying the performance will be panel discussions with
local environmentalists regarding land and water contamination issues
facing our global community. Accompanying the performance, a lobby
display provides information about the toxic waste afflicting Campania
Felix and how this situation can be compared to others around the
world. The aim is to provide further education in the increasing land
and water contamination issues facing our global community. Directed
and Choreographed by Bianca Falco (Napoli, Campania- NYC, USA); composed
by Alberto Falco (Napoli, Campania). World Premiere.
|Left: Laura Orfanelli, Bianca Delli Priscoli,
Bianca Falco. Photo by Lee Wexler/Images for Innovation R: Lobby
SKIPPER CELEBRATES E.Y. "YIP" HARBURG
Richard Skipper will be joined by Karen Oberlin, Leslie
Orofino, Maureen Kelley Stewart and a very special celebrity Mystery
Guest to celebrate Yip
Harburg's 121st birthday on Saturday, April 8 at 1:00
PM at The Laurie Beechman Theatre’s West Bank Cafe. It's
a 1:00 PM "Bottomless Brunch" show--with 90 minutes of Yip's
| Wynn Handman
(right), with APT co-founder Sidney Lanier (center), receiving
the Margo Jones award at City Hall in 1966 from Mayor John Lindsay
FILM, "IT TAKES A LUNATIC," WILL SPOTLIGHT WYNN HANDMAN
Wynn Handman, now a young 94, is teaching
actors at his usual pace and continues to run The American Place Theatre's Literature
to Life program, which has merged with Young Audiences New York. His
assistant and long-time student, Billy Lyons, together with a few
collaborators, is crowdfunding to complete a feature length documentary
film about Mr. Handman his American Place Theatre titled "It
Takes a Lunatic." Sources for the film include numerous
hours of footage of Handman in his acting studio, at The American
Place Theatre and elsewhere, plus interviews with former students,
playwrights and friends including Norman Lear, Sydney Pollack, Michael
Douglas, Olympia Dukakis, Tony Roberts, James Cann, Allison Janney,
Richard Schiff, Tom Strelich, Sidney Lanier and Sam Shepard.
The current fundraising
campaign is dedicated to completing nearly two dozen remaining interviews,
logging and transcribing numerous hours of footage, and hiring the
most talented editing team. Contributions are tax-deductible
through the film's fiscal sponsor, Film Forum, NY's leading non-profit
cinema. To learn more and view the trailer, please visit
the IndieGoGo page.
Professional Actor's Handbook (Rowman & Littlefield)
has been published by Julio Agustin, who directed the groundbreaking
Latino version of "Sweet Charity" that was presented at
Aaron Davis Hall by New Haarlem Arts Theatre in 2012. Agustin is now
Assistant Professor of Theater and Dance at James Madison University.
He has performed in Broadway's Chicago and Fosse and runs a monthly
audition studio in New York City, the Transition Workshop. Co-author
is Kathleen Potts, an academic, dramaturge, and award-winning playwright
on faculty at CUNY. Pre-order here.
Stars of stage and screen will gather Monday, April 3 at 5:00 pm at
the American Airlines Theatre to celebrate the life and legacy of
Sir Peter Shaffer, much-beloved English playwright and screenwriter
known for such iconic works as Equus, Amadeus, and Lettice and Lovage.
Shaffer, a Manhattan resident for his last 40 years, died last May
at 90, leaving behind loving family and friends, and a body of work
that has shaped and influenced the theater scene for decades.
tickets are just $10. All proceeds will be used to defray the
cost of the event, with any remaining funds going to The Peter Shaffer
Award fund, a yearly award started with Sir Peter’s blessing,
given to a promising, young international playwright. More
STRAUSFELD MOUNTS A CHEKHOV CELEBRATION
annual Chekhov Celebration will be held Saturday, April 8 at 8:00
PM at Actors Temple Theater, 339 West 47th Street. It's produced by
Chekhov fanatic Laura Strausfeld, who adapted Chekhov’s early,
funny stories for the event. This year's celebration is billed as
a “Chekhov vs. Trump” and will celebrate Chekhov’s
subversive politics. Appearing will be Lauren Pritchard and cast members
from the Off-Broadway musical "Songbird" (based on Chekhov's
"The Seagull"). The Chekhov Celebration began in 2010 for
the author's 150th birthday. Columbia University’s Harriman
Institute, where Strausfeld is a Visiting Scholar, began sponsoring
the event in 2015. Last year, Margo Jefferson wrote, "Wear black
if you must. But come, commiserate and celebrate.”
TO GMAIL USERS
sure you receive emails from Jonathan Slaff & Associates by dragging
and dropping this email into your PRIMARY tab or by starring the email.