JULY 8 TO 30
"THE GOLDEN RECORD"
"The Golden Record," a new play by Micah Kosstrin-Greenberg,
pioneers the use of virtual theater for science fiction. It brings a futuristic
cosmic fantasy to life on Zoom using virtual backgrounds, digital makeup,
audience participation and techniques of immersive theater. Unlike the
Zoom readings and plays which have now become familiar, there is no fourth
wall. The audience watches a drama of digital characters as if they are
accompanying them through space. They also converse with the actors and
guide the plot development interactively. The play's title is a reference
to a NASA time capsule program, "The Golden Record," in which
Voyagers 1 and 2--robotic interstellar probes--carry a twelve-inch gold-plated
copper disk containing sounds and images selected to portray the diversity
of life and culture on Earth.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/golden_record.htm
JULY 15-17 PARKING LOT OF THE CLEMENTE
JULY 19-21 BRYANT PARK
JULY 28-30 PARKING LOT OF THE CLEMENTE
SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARKING LOT PERFORMS
"TWO NOBLE KINSMEN"
The Drilling Company will return with Shakespeare in the Parking Lot July
15 to 30, offering a portable three-week run of "Two Noble Kinsmen,"
a rarely-produced curiosity of the Shakespearean canon. Performances will
begin in the parking Lot of The Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street; move to
Bryant Park, and return to The Clemente. Director Hamilton Clancy is re-envisioning
the story of Thebes and Athens into a modern spy caper complete with two
Russian spies, a corporate magnate and an Interpol spycatcher.
"The Two Noble Kinsmen" is a play by John Fletcher and William
Shakespeare that was reprinted in a second folio edition of Beaumont and
Fletcher's plays in 1679. Its story is taken from "The Knight's Tale"
by Chaucer. It is generally accepted to be The Bard's final play before
he retired to Stratford-Upon-Avon and died three years later--a collaboration
of an older playwright with one whose career had only begun. The play
is a tragicomedy in the manner of Fletcher. It was most famously adapted
to the restoration stage by Sir William Davenant as "The Rivals"
in 1664. Shakespeare in the Parking Lot frequently adapts its productions
to modern dress and in this instance, it was resolved by Director Hamilton
Clancy and Assistant Director Karla Hendrick to couch the play's circumstances
in the modern world so as to reflect the tensions of our time. On the
heels of the Biden-Putin Summit, the play is being re-envisioned as modern
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/SITPL2021.htm
"HOWLROUND FOR INDIA"
Fourteen prominent American writer/directors are part of a worldwide roster
of over 100 global theater artists lending their voices July 20, 2021
to "HowlRound for India," a 24-hour online marathon of live
readings and talks honoring the Indian theater community for its efforts
in facing Covid-19. The event will call loudly and urgently for India
and the rest of the world to find better political solutions to prevent
such disasters. This free virtual event, carried live on HowlRound Theatre
Commons (https://howlround.com), is organized by Frank Hentschker, Director
of CUNY's Segal Theatre Center; Abhishek Majumdar, a playwright/director
from Bangalore, India; and Tanvi Shah, a director/producer based
in Mumbai. The aim is to help mobilize a worldwide outpouring that can
reach the ears of government and business leaders in India, where responses
to the pandemic were initially successful but later foundered horribly.
It is not a fundraiser.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/HowlRound4India.htm
JULY 31 TO SEPTEMBER 12
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY STREET THEATER
"CRITICAL CARE, OR REHEARSALS FOR A NURSE"
Theater for the New City's award-winning Street Theater Company will return
to plying live audiences this year, opening its 2021 tour July 31 with
"Critical Care, or Rehearsals for a Nurse," a rip-roaring musical
which tells the story of a young person studying to be nurse who, in order
to pay for tuition and books, takes a job in a nursing home. Free performances
will tour parks, playgrounds and closed-off streets throughout the five
boroughs through September 12.
TNC's street theater productions typically provide a bouncy joyride through
the undulations of the body politic with astute commentary couched in
satire, song and slapstick. Their scores are a mix of music from Bossa
Nova to Hip Hop to Musical Comedy to classic Cantata. They are delightfully
suited for family audiences, since complex social issues are often presented
through children's allegories, with children and neighborhood people as
the heroes. A brand new work has been presented annually since 1976. Book,
lyrics and direction by Crystal Field; musical score composed and arranged
by Joseph Vernon Banks.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/STTH2021.htm
SEPTEMBER 3, 4, 10 & 11
THE PLAYERS, 16 GRAMERCY PARK SOUTH
SIX ONE ACTS BY HAROLD DEAN JAMES
Six diabolical short comedies (TBA) written and directed by Harold
Dean James, whose plays have mostly been presented by La MaMa since he
made his New York debut there in 1993 with "X Train." These
playlets deal with themes of secrecy, charity, the power of art, greed,
seduction and afterlife. The performance on September 3 will be an opening
night gala benefit for We Three Productions. Ensemble includes Jesse N.
Holmes, Paul Albe and Maja Wampuszyc; costumes are by Ramona Ponce.
LATER THIS SEASON (POSTPONED FROM JUNE 3-20, 2021)
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
"OCCASIONALLY NOTHING" BY NATALIE MENNA
The near future. The world is nearing its end. In a bizarre bomb
shelter, Harry, Clay and Luella cope by taunting each other with warped
games of verbal wordplay and by blurring each other's realities while
losing touch with their own. It's a bleak glimpse at life in the dystopic
wake of a failed revolution where war abounds, words have lost their meaning
and people have lost their way. "Occasionally Nothing" premiered
in Theater for the New City’s DreamUp Festival 2018.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/Occasionally_Nothing.htm
BEGINS SEPTEMBER 24
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
"HEDGING THE TORAH: THE WAYWARD DAUGHTER OF JUDAH THE PRINCE"
(WORKING TITLE) BY DOUGLAS LACKEY
Philosophy professor and playwright Douglas Lacky, author of "Kaddish
in East Jerusalem," "Daylight Precision," "Arendt-Heidegger:
A Love Story" and "Ludwig and Bertie," dramatizes the conflicts
of Judaism, Gnosticism and early Christianity with a fictional play that
is partly inspired by the lives and teachings of Judah ha-Nasi (a key
leader of the Jewish community during the Roman occupation of Judea and
chief compiler of the Mishna) and Hypatia (the Hellenistic Neoplatonist
philosopher, astronomer and mathematician). Directed by Alexander Harrington.
THEATER 80 ST. MARKS
NEGRO ENSEMBLE COMPANY PRESENTS "GRANDMA'S QUILT"
Run resumes for the Nego Ensemble Company's production of "Grandma's
Quilt" that was suspended when theaters went dark in March, 2020.
In this solo play by Karen A. Brown, an elderly poor, unpretentious Black
woman in rural Arkansas is sewing a quilt as the final act of her life.
Each scrap of material is a prism into a chapter of her family's past.
As she reflects on each period, she transforms into younger versions of
herself to lead us through the history that she intends to pass on to
her granddaughter. Grandma’s strength is her humanity and ability
to survive; to hope, to love, and to just carry on. Her quilt is significant,
her story universal and her message inspirational. One actress portrays
the old woman at six points in her life as well as the granddaughter.
Performed by the author, who is is Executive Artistic Director of The
Negro Ensemble Company, Inc. Directed by Anthony J. Hamilton.
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
VILLAGE HALLOWEEN COSTUME BALL
Nonstop theater, a costume competition and ballroom dancing will bewitch
the East Village October 31 in the 45th Village Halloween Costume Ball,
which is presented annually by Theater for the New City (TNC), 155 First
Avenue. The one-night fiesta customarily takes over all four of TNC's
theater spaces, plus its lobby and the block of East Tenth Street between
First and Second Avenues. Typically, over 1,500 wildly-clad celebrants
gather for big-band dancing, dining, showing off costumes and viewing
acts from the cutting-edge of Cabaret and Theater. Outdoor entertainment,
free to the public, starts at 4:00 PM. Once inside, everything is free
except food and drink, which are graveyard dirt-cheap. Doors open at 7:30
PM and indoor entertainment begins at 8:00 PM. Two continuously-running
cabarets offer theater all evening. Big Band dance orchestras begin at
9:00 PM. Costume competition with celebrity judges begins at midnight.
Admission is $20; costume or formal wear is required. With Covid safeguards
to observe, the event may be somewhat modified, but its magic will be
NOVEMBER 4 TO 28, 2021
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
"THE DARK OUTSIDE" BY BERNARD KOPS
Austin Pendleton and Katherine Cullison head a cast of five. Playwright
Bernard Kops is one of Europe's best-known and most admired playwrights.
He was born in the East End of London of Dutch-Jewish working class parents
in 1926. He achieved recognition with his first play, "The Hamlet
of Stepney Green," which was performed all over the world. He has
written more than forty plays for stage and radio, nine novels and six
volumes of poetry. He lives in London. Only four of Kops' plays have been
produced in America, the most recent being "Paying Sinatra"
at TNC in 2013.
"The Dark Outside" is his latest play. Kops deals with the
conflicts and struggles of a family trying to keep together while the
world outside is ever increasingly chaotic and desperate. Although the
play appears to be a domestic drama, it is set against the visual metaphor
of an ancient 400-year-old mulberry tree protecting a family in their
garden. The ancient tree is a symbol of longevity and hope, often known
as the Tree of Life, reminding us of the mystical healing power of Mother
BEGINS DECEMBER 23, 2021
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
"THE SLAVE WHO LOVED CAVIAR" BY ISHMAEL REED, DIRECTED BY ROME
Renowned playwright, poet and satirist Ishmael Reed takes aim
at the New York City art world with this new play about the life and career
of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Reed examines the racism directed at Basquiat
and the ways that Andy Warhol, the art establishment and the fashion industry
exploited and profited from Basquiat's artistry. Why was racism toward
Basquiat allowed to masquerade as "art criticism"? How does
this implicate the New York City art world? Directed by Rome neal, Artistic
Director of Nuyorican Poets Cafe.
FEBRUARY 21 TO MARCH 13, 2022
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
"DANCE OF DEATH" PARTS ONE AND TWO BY AUGUST STRINDBERG
This two-part play, written in 1900, is is being presented together for
the first time in North America by August Strindberg Rep. It is labeled
by some critics, not without justice, as Strindberg's greatest work. In
an isolated fort Edgar, a captain of artillery, and Alice, his wife, have
lived for 25 years, hating each other with a deadly venom and each wishing
the other's death. Their home becomes peopled with devils. When Kurt,
Edgar's friend, comes to stay in it, he is caught up in the atmosphere
of evil. He falls in love with Alice and becomes her associate in a plot
designed to destroy her husband. During a stroke, Edgar suddenly gains
a new vision of life, realizing his own errors and pleading for reconciliation.
Thus ends the first part of the drama.
The second shows the final triumph of the wife. Remorselessly, she drives
Edgar to his death--although in the very process of doing so, a bitter
doubt enters her mind. The play's legacy can be seen in a number of contemporary
plays. In "Play Strindberg," Friedrich Dürrenmatt condensed
the two parts into a terse, brutal series of boxing rounds. The claustrophobic
atmosphere and treatment of marital dysunction in Strindberg's masterpiece
reverberate through Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,"
Harry Kondoleon's "The Houseguests" and even John Guare's "The
House of Blue Leaves."
FEBRUARY 3 TO 20, 2022
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
"WHO MURDERED LOVE?"
"Who Murdered Love" by Lissa Moira and Richard West
is set in 1924 New York City and in a Paris dreamscape. The story follows
WWI veteran & private eye, "Sleepy" Sam Speed, Gail Friday
& Everett Greene as they attempt to unravel the disappearance and
possible murder of DaDa Love, at the behest of their client, the stunning
heiress Honey Potts. DaDa Love is at the center of the world of DaDa artists,
at the time when the Surrealists are vying for artistic supremacy. Their
quest leads the trio through a mad adventure sparked by artistic and sexual
jealously as they find themselves inside an Absinthe dream, peopled by
outrageous artists of every stripe – some very predatory.
THE NEGRO ENSEMBLE COMPANY, INC. (VENUE TBA)
"LAMBS TO SLAUGHTER" BY KHALIL KAIN
During the Covid-19 quarantine, The Negro Ensemble Company, Inc. has been
developing "Lambs to Slaughter" by Khalil Kain, a new play with
poetry and music, under the direction of Reginald L. Douglas. Kalil Kain
is an urban icon who is renowned for his performances in the 1992 crime
thriller "Juice," the UPN/CW sitcom "Girlfriends"
(2001-2008) and the title role in the film "Tiger Woods." Reginald
L. Douglas is a distinguished developer of new works and advocate for
new voices. Off-Broadway opening is projected for April, 2022. Venue is
TBA as of this writing.
The play is a drama of a single mother who has lost her older son to
gun violence and must navigate the mourning process with the help of an
upstairs neighbor and an ex-lover. She fears failing her younger son,
who wrestles with his own demons and guilt. The piece will be Kain's first
produced play. It blends compelling realistic dialogue with verse that
is crafted for call-and-response. Instrumental underscore is provided
by Keith Edward Johnson. The verse, seamlessly woven into the story, provides
an emotional release for the characters, exploding with heightened truth
and pulsating through an incendiary look at the current state of America.
Kain will portray the ex-lover, a former convict who has turned his life
around and seeks to save the single mother who is the play's tragic heroine.
APRIL 25 TO MAY 15, 2022
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
"COMMITTED" BY NATALIE MENNA
A work of historical fiction about the last two days of Dutch
filmmaker Theo Van Gogh's life. When his highly controversial and vulgar
documentary causes a tremendous uproar in Amsterdam and abroad, Theo spirals
downward. The play explores the collision of an artist's radical temperament
and unyielding vision with modern political realities and the inevitable
tragedy when uncompromising values clash. Can friendship, family, or love
save Theo from his biggest threat - himself?
THE NEGRO ENSEMBLE COMPANY, INC.
"THE ROOTWOMAN" BY MICHAEL BRADFORD
For June, 2022, The Negro Ensemble Company Inc. is preparing to mount
"The Rootwoman," a contemporary play by Michael Bradford with
accompanying music and vocals. In a small rural community on the outskirts
of New Orleans, Cleveland Temple hasn’t been able to keep a morsel of
food in his stomach for weeks. His wife, Wanda Temple, is finally pregnant.
His best friend, Lucias Steady can’t seem to shake a twenty year old dream.
His former mistress, Cecelia Shacklefoot, is drowning in the river flowing
in her own back and Ms. Janie, the Rootwoman, has a secret for which even
she cannot find the cure. At the end of the day, it is the whistle of
a coming train that sounds the final blue note of this syncopation. This
is a play about the seduction of love, the bitter taste of regret and
the necessity of redemption.
VIDEO ON DEMAND
"USED AND BORROWED TIME" BY SOPHIA ROMMA
"Used and Borrowed Time," written and directed by
Sophia Romma, is now available on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Roku and the
Vyre Network. This experimental avant-garde film, a psychological drama
phantasma, has amassed over 45 festival awards and 26 festival film selections.
An interracial couple's idyllic love rises above the hatred of a vengeful
white supremacist family in segregationist Alabama during the 1960s. The
film pays homage to the French New Wave films of Goddard, Truffaut and
Agnès Varda. It has been translated from its original English into
Greek, Spanish and Italian.
COMPLETE INFO: www.usedandborrowedtime.com
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY & NEW YIDDISH REP PRODUCTION
OF "THE DYBBUK"
"The Dybbuk" is arguably the most well-known play in the Yiddish
theater lexicon. It was premiered on December 9, 1920 by the Vilna Troupe
at the Eizeum theater in Warsaw. Its success catapulted that company onto
the International stage. It has since been translated into 27 languages
and performed worldwide. From December 9-13, New Yiddish Rep celebrated
the play's 100th birthday with a live performance streamed from Theater
For The New City. A recording of the production has now been released
for the general public to view on Vimeo.
MORE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/Dybbuk.htm
"FEATHERS OF FIRE--THE MOVIE"
CINEMA VERSION OF AWARD-WINNING ANIMATION SHADOW PLAY, "FEATHERS OF
Fictionville Studio has completed "Feathers of Fire--The Movie,"
a cinema version of its live animation shadow play, "Feathers of Fire."
This ingenious production of theater-on-film, conceived and directed by
Hamid Rahmanian, is readying for a multi-platform release.
"Feathers of Fire" is the most elaborate shadow theater experience
ever created, and this recording, captured on an actual theater stage,
transforms it into a video-on-demand production for all ages. The story
is adapted from Shahnameh (the Persian Book of Kings) and tells the action-packed
tale of two star-crossed lovers of old Persia. Zaul, an outcast albino
boy, is brought up by a bird-goddess and grows up into a wise ruler. He
enters into a forbidden love with Rudabeh, a princess who is the granddaughter
of the dreaded Serpent King. Their young, impetuous romance survives many
precarious adventures before they finally receive blessings for their
union. When they ultimately have a child, it is Rostam, "the Hercules
of Iran." Aspects of the story are reminiscent of "Romeo and
Juliet," "Rapunzel," "The Firebird" and "Jungle
The piece is created and directed by Hamid Rahmanian, a 2014 Guggenheim
fellowship-winning filmmaker/visual artist living in Brooklyn. It is endorsed
by Francis Ford Coppola, who called the production "Fantastic! One
of the greatest epics of all time and my favorite Shahnameh brought to
life in a spectacular fashion by Hamid Rahmanian with shadow puppets design
and cinematic wizardry."
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/feathers.htm