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.
FEBRUARY 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.
FEBRUARY 8 TO MARCH 4
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.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/Harriet.htm
FEBRUARY 8 TO 25
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
JOSH: THE BLACK BABE RUTH
"Josh: 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.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/josh.htm
FEBRUARY 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.
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)
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/soldiers_play2.htm
THERE ARE TWO ALBUMS OF PHOTOS:
Gene Frankel Theatre production: https://photos.app.goo.gl/AIcWhytQz8EOLuNE2
Theatre 80 production and historic photos: https://goo.gl/photos/qjGuE7xXoBuiGXSA9
FEBRUARY 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 "Having 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. With Carol Carter and Edythe Jason.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/having_our_say.htm
FEBRUARY 22 TO MARCH 18
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
"SUBWAY STORY (A SHOOTING)"
A troubled, abused African-American high school student named Chevonn combs the subways, seeking to obtain a gun in order to shoot her abusive mother. Her quest is narrated in a fantastical mashup of literary images that are part Lewis Carroll and part queasy reality and reveal issues affecting inner city children including alienation, discrimination, bullying and the easy availability of firearms. Chevonn's tale strongly illuminates the hopelessness that many inner city kids face and how this can make them lash out with guns or turn them on themselves. Post-play discussions will deal with issues like: how do we get our kids not to use guns to resolve conflicts? We are prompted to ask ourselves: are we desensitized or numb to the pressures our children endure, like people who stand passively by while tragedies incubate in plain sight around them?
"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.
A series of talkbacks with experts in various fields on three Sundays following the show aim to elucidate the pressures driving gun violence in young people.
MORE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/subway_story.htm
FEBRUARY 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.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/three_on_match.htm
LA MAMA E.T.C.
"EXTREME WHETHER" 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.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/extreme_whether_2018.htm
MARCH 9 TO 26
NORTH OF HISTORY, 445 COLUMBUS AVE (81-82 STREET)
"GABRIEL: A POLEMIC"
The Drilling Company performs "Gabriel: A Polemic" by C. Denby Swanson. Four tightly-bonded conservative women, confounded by issues of abortion and free will, are divided unexpectedly by a crisis of faith at their weekly dinner. At these potluck gatherings, Susan, Jennifer, and Brenda are as likely to exchange recitations of scripture as they are casual insults over what exactly is in the "potato thing" that Brenda brings regularly. Their snappy humor barely conceals a dark question underlying their shared experience: what does it mean that their bodies won't bear them children? Failed experiences with pregnancy unite them even as it limits their understanding of what's driving their convictions on reproductive rights. A flashpoint is encountered when Susan, the hostess of the gathering, asks: when the Angel Gabriel appeared, did Mary have a choice, or could she have said no to bearing Jesus? Swanson's timely play poses intractable questions: Do women have free will? Do they want it? Do they want it for each other? The piece raises serious issues, but its proceedings are laced with the wit and flare for comedy that Swanson displayed in "The Norwegians," The Drilling Company's best-known hit show, which it presented from 2013-14 in the troupe's former home at 236 West 78th Street. Hamilton Clancy directs.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/gabriel.htm
EXTENDED THROUGH JUNE 16, 2018
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 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
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