A Seasonal Press Calendar
Publicity photos for most shows are available for free download.
productions have been removed from this list.
If you need info or photos for a production which has closed, please email us.
DECEMBER 5 TO JANUARY 18
NEW STAGE PERFORMANCE SPACE, 36 WEST 106TH STREET
"NEAR TO THE WILD HEART"
Ildiko Nemeth, Artistic Director of New Stage Theatre Company, is bringing her signature blend of multimedia, inventive choreography and striking visual design to the first English-language stage adaptation of "Near to the Wild Heart," the modernist masterpiece by Clarice Lispector (1920-1977). This Brazilian-Jewish novelist is now the object of a long-overdue surge of worldwide literary popularity. "Near to the Wild Heart" (1943) is her sensational debut novel. Rather than a conventional plot, it offers us a woman's inner life that is as clear and lustrous as any in world literature. Nemeth adapts "Near to the Wild Heart" into a multimedia theatre piece that evokes a rich, expansive female interior as it dramatizes the life and passions of the book's heroine. Her playscript employs verbatim excerpts of Alison Entrekin's faithful translation to reflect--as much as possible--the novel's unique voice and literary effect.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/Lispector.htm
UKRAINIAN MUSEUM, 222 E. 6TH STREET
YARA ARTS GROUP IN "KOLIADA AND MUSIC FROM THE CARPATHIANS"
Yara Arts Group, under the direction of Virlana Tkacz, will stage a concert-theater event, “Koliada and Music from the Carpathians" at the Ukrainian Museum, 222 E 6th Street . The Koliadnyky, an ensemble of winter song singers from the Carpathians, will sing traditional winter songs and perform brilliant troista instrumental music from the villages of Kryvorivnia and Verkhovyna. The evening will include a musical performance by special guest bandurist Julian Kytasty. The evening celebrates Koliada, a winter ritual that now coincides with Christmas but is much older in origin and symbolism. Its oldest songs are preserved in villages high in the Carpathian Mountains, where the ritual is considered to be the most important event of the year. Some people believe that spring and the harvest will not come to the village unless the songs are sung in every household. Its songs are incantations that assume the magical power of words: "what is said, will be so." The evening will feature a variety of unique instruments played by musicians of the Koliadnyky who are expert in this genre.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/Yara_Ukr_Mus2019.htm
CHURCH OF ST. LUKE IN THE FIELDS, 487 HUDSON STREET
WESTERN WIND VOCAL SEXTET IN "HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS--FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT"
The Grammy-nominated Western Wind Vocal Sextet will present "Home For The Holidays - from Darkness to Light" on Sunday, December 8 at 7:00 PM Church of St. Luke in the Fields, 487 Hudson Street, NYC (West Village). The concert celebrates Christmas and Chanukah with a rich assortment of holiday music. It is the first NYC mainstage event for the sextet's "new" ensemble, which includes three new members. Organized by themes such as "The Coming of Light," "Miracles," "Holiday Messages" and "Food & Fun," the program explores the deeper meaning of the stories, rituals and festivities of these two winter holidays.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/WW.htm
DECEMBER 19 TO JANUARY 5
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
CZECHOSLOVAK-AMERICAN MARIONETTE THEATRE IN
"A CHRISTMAS CAROL, OY! HANUKKAH, MERRY KWANZAA"
This show is an adaptation of Dickens' classic with Old World accents and New World inclusiveness. Adapted, directed and reinvented by Vit Horejs, it features over 30 puppets by Milos Kasal and holiday songs in Czech, English, Hebrew & Swahili. This toy-puppet theater extravaganza is a new take on Charles Dickens' classic with a few twists and digressions. Into the familiar story is woven a surprising and delightful blend of English, Jewish, African, American and Czech winter rituals, customs and holiday songs, all performed by over three dozen marionettes ranging in size from four to twenty-four inches as well as found objects and toys. Mr. Horejs operates the whole cast of puppets, backed up by a live chorus: Czech, English, Hebrew & Swahili songs are performed by a two-person "a capella monumentale" choir. The piece is still set in Old London, but with Czech accents. Imagine that the familiar tale was told to you not by an English serial novelist, but by your Czech grandmother.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/Vit_Xmas_2019.htm
DECEMBER 19, 20 & 22
LA MAMA E.T.C.
YARA ARTS GROUP IN "OPERA GAZ"
"Opera GAZ" was created in Kyiv by director Virlana Tkacz, who heads Yara Arts Group in New York, and the composers Roman Grygoriv and Illia Razumeiko from Nova Opera in Kyiv. Piece combines live performances and traditional instruments with electronic music to present the story of an explosion at a futuristic gas factory that produced all the energy for the industrial world. The visually striking production is sung in English, Ukrainian and German but is universally accessible.
"Opera GAZ” is inspired by Les Kurbas’s 1923 theatre production at the Berezil Artistic Association in Kyiv of the German expressionist drama by Georg Kaiser about the industrial future. At the center is a prepared piano, which is the control center of the GAZ works. As performers transform into the characters, their journey reveals a struggle between their mass and individual consciousness. Eventually enraged, they explode against the very machines that once fed them. The opera asks us to experience the looming disaster created by our old ways and to imagine an alternative. Set and costumes are inspired by 1920s designs that were meant to invoke the next century. The story seems straight out of today’s headlines with an eye set on our future.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/OperaGAZ.htm
LA MAMA E.T.C.
YARA ARTS GROUP IN "WINTER SONGS ON MARS"
La MaMa will present Yara Arts Group in a concert-theater event celebrating Koliada, a winter ritual of the Carpathian Mountains. There will be two performances: at Noon and 7:00 PM, in La MaMa's Ellen Stewart Theater, 66 East Fourth Street. The program, directed by Virlana Tkacz, will include the traditional Hutsul koliada, an 18th century Ukrainian Nativity play. Performers will include actors of Yara Arts Group and members of Nova Opera from Kyiv. Yara Arts Group is presenting its 30th Season at La MaMa.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/Winter_Songs_on_Mars.htm
JANUARY 23 TO FEBRUARY 2
"THE TRANSFIGURATION OF BENJAMIN BANNEKER" BY THEODORA SKIPITARES
This multi-disciplinary spectacle celebrates the life of Benjamin Banneker, a free black man living in Maryland from 1731 to 1806, who taught himself mathematics and astronomy, and struggled to achieve recognition for his groundbreaking scientific discoveries. Banneker's successors continue that struggle into the 21st century. The play features dance, live music, the Soul Tigers Marching Band, puppetry, and a multi-generational cast. Music by LaFrae Sci, choreography by Edisa Weeks.
Theodora Skipitares has created 26 of her puppet epics to-date. Her work includes productions on such subjects as physicists, surgeons, miners, eugenicists, renaissance artists and women in prison, all created with giant and tiny puppets, documentary material and assembled texts. She is a resident director at La MaMa and her work has been exhibited widely in the U.S., Europe and Asia, and recently at the Whitney Museum.
JANUARY 24 TO FEBRUARY 2
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
THUNDERBIRD AMERICAN INDIAN DANCERS' 44th ANNUAL DANCE CONCERT AND POW-WOW
The 45th 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.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/Pow-Wow.htm
2019 PRODUCTION PHOTOS: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ebLLGRPPQVHjJsxt8
RECENT YEARS' PHOTOS: https://goo.gl/photos/tcrxbtPYtF2hdvhV6 and https://goo.gl/photos/SLr4PXEHJrsq34j9A
HISTORICAL PHOTOS: https://goo.gl/photos/wUcenp6ZcPDcBCYD7
FEBRUARY 3-25, 2020
FRANKLIN 820 (CROWN HEIGHTS), RUSTIK TAVERN (BED-STUY), PLAYERS CLUB (GRAMERCY PARK)
BROOKLYN TAVERN THEATER PRESENTS "YBOR CITY"
"Ybor City" by by Dan Furman and Anita Gonzalez is a musical about the rise of unionism and the healing of racial divides within an American community. In 1918 Tampa Florida, Rafael comes to town to read newspapers for the factory workers. He falls for Teresa, the sister of union organizer Catalino. Romance blossoms, tensions rise, and when Catalino stands up for worker rights, violence erupts. The community struggles to unite against an abusive factory owner and collectively form a multi-racial union.
Tavern Theater presents original musicals in taverns and institutions that
are open to the public, but only (at this point) on slow days for the drinking
crowd--Mondays, Tuesdays and some Wednesdays. Admission is free to these Equity
FEBRUARY 5 TO 29
THEATER 80 ST. MARKS
NEGRO ENSEMBLE COMPANY IN "LOVERS IN MOTION: A PHOTOGRAPH" BY NTOZAKE SHANGE, REIMAGINED BY IFA BAYEZA
Ntozake Shange’s 1978 drama centers on the relationship between a dancer and a photographer and explores the role of both art forms in the documentation, celebration and interrogation of black life. Production directed by Ifa Bayeza will use photography and dance, image and movement, to underscore the drama and Ntozake’s transcendent language.
FEBRUARY 6 TO 22
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
AUGUST STRINDBERG REP PERFORMS STRINDBERG'S "THE PELICAN" AND "ISLE OF THE DEAD"
Strindberg wrote "The Pelican" for his Intimate Theater in 1907 and penned "Isle of the Dead" (Toten-Insel) immediately after as a prologue. The latter was unpublished until 1918 and rediscovered in the early 60s, when it was found and dismissed as a fragment. The two plays were finallly reunited by Ingmar Bergman as a radio play in 2003. This production is the world premiere staging of the two works together as they were written and intended by their author. Thanks go out to Magnus Florin, former chief dramaturg of the Royal Theater in Stockholm (who produced Bergman's radio production). He tipped off Robert Greer, director and translator of both plays, to the opportunity in Strindberg's enormous oevre for this true world premiere.
In "Isle of the Dead," a middle-school teacher who has died in his sleep wakes up to find an enlightened spirit sitting next to him. This spirit tries without success to explain to the teacher that he no longer need concern himself with such mundane matters as grading papers before class. Finally he instructs the teacher to watch a play. It is " The Pelican."
In "The Pelican," a vivacious young widow has eyes for her newly-married son-in-law. The moral turpitude of it is driving her son to drink. Throughout her children's lives, the widow denied them food and firewood, unwilling to "squander" money that she is actually stealing for herself. The son finds a letter from his late father recounting her cruelty -- how will he avenge her betrayal? The play's title comes from an erroneous myth of nature: the mother pelican feeds her chicks ground-up fish from her beak, but in earlier times, this was taken to be her own blood, making the bird a mistaken example of charity and sacrifice. In a wicked note of irony, the mother was honored with verses about the pelican's sacrifice at her daughter's wedding.
"LOVE AND COURAGE" BENEFIT FOR THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
A Benefit For Theater For The New City’s Emerging Playwrights Program, honoring James Rado (co-author of "Hair"), hosted by Phoebe Legere and Matt Morillo, with performances by stars from the Downtown theater scene. Betsy Von Furstenberg called the event "A Valentine Gala, especially for the young writers that make Theater For The New City one of the most important theaters in the country."
THEATER 80 ST. MARKS
NEGRO ENSEMBLE IN " GRANDMA'S QUILT," WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY KAREN BROWN
A one-character play set against the challenging political/social milieu of African American women from the 1930’s to present day. Three generations of a specific family are all portrayed by one actor.
APRIL 23 TO MAY 10
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
"AUNT SUSAN AND HER TENNESSEE WALTZ" BY TOBY ARMOUR, DIRECTED BY GEORGE FERENCZ
Susan B. Anthony spent a lifetime fighting for a woman’s right to vote. She never saw the end of the struggle, dying in 1906, but she never doubted. "Failure is impossible" were her famous words. The struggle continued under her successor, Carrie Chapman Catt. In 1920, the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote came before the Tennessee legislature. The vote was crucial. If Tennessee, the 36th state, ratified it would become law of the land. Campaigning took place during the hot days of summer in Nashville. The opposition, Southern belles and corporate lobbyists, was powerful. Double dealing, threats, bribery and slander were all part of the action. Carrie Chapman Catt, exhausted by the heat, beset by migraines, doubts and bad news, was fighting the battle of her life. It all came down to one vote. This is Susan and Carrie’s story.
EXTENDED THROUGH JUNE 20, 2020
HARLEM REPERTORY THEATRE
TATO LAVIERA THEATRE, 240 E. 123RD STREET
"THE WIZARD OF OZ: A JAZZ MUSICAL FOR ALL AGES "
Harlem Repertory Theatre stages "The Wizard of Oz: a Jazz Musical for All Ages," co-produced by the Yip Harburg Lyrics 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."
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/oz.htm
Slaff & Associates
55 Perry Street, Ste. #1M, New York, NY 10014