19 TO 29
Wislawa Szymborska (1923-2012) was a Polish poet, essayist, translator and recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature. Her body of work (only 325 pieces) often employs the literary devices of ironic precision, paradox, contradiction and understatement to illuminate philosophical themes and obsessions. She explored humanity’s relationship with nature, the irony of existence and the existential questioning of our place within the universe. This theater piece uses her poetry to relight the aura of routine, day-to-day life for our self-obsessed times. In Szymborska’s view, no matter how horrific the world may be we can still stand in awe, be amazed and remember what came before us.
26 TO OCTOBER 13
Russell is heterosexual, hedonistic and agnostic; Wittgenstein is puritanical, gay and Jewish. Russell is an imprisoned pacifist; Wittgenstein a decorated combat soldier. Wittgenstein is intensely religious; Russell mocks religion from first to last. Wittgenstein regards Russell as his "mental father," but their relationship has elements of rivalry. In Lackey’s telling, Wittgenstein's thinking kindles the demolition of facts in our post-truth world while Russell's inspires the National Science Foundation. This play will show you how.
The piece is a successor to TNC's production last season of "Arendt-Heidegger: A Love Story" by Lackey, which dramatized the troubling, lifelong affair between Zionist Hannah Arendt and Nazi sympathizing philosopher Martin Heidegger, which was also directed by Harrington.
26 TO OCTOBER 13
Ms. Reyner was
a star of Vaccarro's Playhouse of the Ridiculous, appearing in "Conquest
of the Universe," "Heaven Grand In Amber Orbit" and
"Trilby in La Bohemia" (Drama Desk Award for Acting), among
others and starting her well-known band, Ruby and the Rednecks, with
musicians she worked with in the Playhouse.
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
"THE WHITES (A STORY ABOUT BLACK PEOPLE, PLAYED BY WHITE PEOPLE)" BY WILLIAM ELECTRRIC BLACK
The cast is all White but the characters are Black in William Electric Black's timely new story. We are hurled into a society that has turned upside down. Imagine if Blacks had enslaved White people. If prisons were filled with White people. If White communities were plagued by gun violence, overt police brutality and an abundance of health issues. What if White people had to sit in the back of the bus, face numerous lynchings and job discrimination? What if the United States were run by Black people and Whites were considered the minority? A daring, haunting, powerful play about race in America. (NOTE: This show replaces "Betty and the Belrays: A Girl Group Story," which had initially been announced for this time slot.)
William Electric Black won seven Emmys as a writer for "Sesame Street" between 1992 and 2002. He is also known for his socially-conscious, high-impact dramas. His five-play GUNPLAYS Series, all produced by Theater for the New City between 2013 and 2018, dramatized the epidemic of gun violence using differing approaches and theatrical styles. In 2009, he directed Theater for the New City's sensational and serious "Lonely Soldier Monologues: Women at War in Iraq," a staged series of monologues based on a book by Helen Benedict. The play earned widespread notice and significantly helped the issues of America's female soldiers to be widely recognized for the first time.
THROUGH SEPTEMBER 15
Theater for the New City's 2019 Street Theater production is "No
Brainer or the Solution to Parasites," a rip-roaring
musical which portrays our road to national madness as a bad trip
to Hades. Free performances tour parks, playgrounds and closed-off
streets throughout the five boroughs through September 15. Book, lyrics
and direction are by Crystal Field; the musical score is composed
and arranged by Joseph Vernon Banks.
THROUGH SEPTEMBER 15
Theater for the New City, Crystal Field, Artistic Director, is presenting its tenth Dream Up Festival, a feast of adventurous theater featuring new works from across the country. Helmed by the theater's Literary Manager, Michael Scott-Price, the festival offers 25 plays, mixing world premieres and New York premieres. It's an ultimate new work festival dedicated to the joy of discovering new authors and edgy, innovative performances.
WORD INDEPENDENT COMMUNITY BOOKSTORE, 126 FRANKLIN STREET GREENPOINT, BROOKLYN
"EMBODYING THE POETRY OF WISLAWA SZYMBORSKA"
"Embodying the Poetry of Wislawa Szymborska," a discussion of the poetry of Wislawa Szymborska, the late Polish Nobel Prize-winner, will be held at WORD Independent Community Bookstore, 126 Franklin St., Greenpoint Brooklyn, Sept. 12 at 7:00 PM. This discussion will be led by Polish poet-in-exile and Slavic scholar Anna Frajlich.
Szymborska's poetry is brought to the stage in "This Is Why We Live" (La MaMa, Sept. 19-29), a Lecoq-based performance in which her verses are rendered with physical theater. Excerpts of the play will be presented at this Brooklyn bookstore event.
READING FOR "DELIKATESSEN" BY RICHARD ATKINS, DIRECTED BY
MATTHEW PENN WITH DRAMATURGY BY MARK MEDOFF
Directed by Matthew Penn with dramaturgy by Mark Medoff. "DeliKateSSen" was a finalist for Abingdon Theatre's Christopher Brian Wolk playwriting award and has been produced in Albuquerque, NM, Greenville, SC and Rhinebeck, NY. This reading is being held to introduce the play to the NYC producing community at a time when the play's themes seem especially urgent and timely. Complete info
THE 80TH BIRTHDAY WEEK OF "THE WIZARD OF OZ"
This production of the classic musical has a multi-racial cast, a jazzy underscore and authoritative dramaturgy by representatives of the Yip Harburg Lyrics Foundation. Director/choreographer is Keith Lee Grant, Founding 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."
MUHAMMED IS BACK IN LOUISVILLE...FOR NOW
Muhammed's New York debut, "Looking for Leroy," was presented by Woodie King, Jr.'s New Federal Theatre, directed by Petronia Paley, last March at Castillo Theatre on West 42nd Street. The two-character play imagines five encounters between Leroi Jones/Amiri Baraka, a literary lion now in his 60s, and an intern in his 20s who idolizes him, challenges him and aims to be like him. This summer, the play became one of the outstanding offerings of the National Black Theatre Festival. Michael Hewlett, writing in the Winston-Salem Journal, called it "a deeply felt appreciation for black theater" that "ably captures the essence of Baraka's sometimes maddeningly complex persona."
Muhammad's other current projects include "Vote For Me and I'll Set You Free," a play about voter suppression, which he hopes to present at Kentucky Black Repertory Theatre by next summer, and "Sweet Evening Breeze," a musical in which a famous drag queen goes undercover to trap a gay predator who is blackmailing college athletes into throwing games. The latter will be co-produced by Kentucky Black Repertory Theatre, where Muhammad is producing director, and Pandora Productions in February, 2020 at Henry Clay Theater in downtown Louisville.
THAT MASKED MAN?
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Slaff & Associates