A Seasonal Press Calendar
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"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 Book."
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
AUGUST 1 TO SEPTEMBER 13
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY STREET THEATER
"LIBERTY OR JUST US: A CITY PARK STORY"
Since outdoor performance permits are not being given at this time, Theater for the New City has adapted its 2020 Street Theater tour to the virtual space. The theater is live streaming its new production, "Liberty or Just Us: a City Park Story," an oratorio written and directed by Crystal Field and composed by Joseph Vernon Banks. Its playing schedule is Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 PM. Each performance pays tribute to the park, playground or neighborhood street it was originally scheduled for. The production honors New York City parks for being sites of activism for many 20th and 21st century progressive causes, from the Triangle Shirtwaist protests to Occupy Wall Street. It revisits these movements through the eyes of a contemporary Parks Manager in songs featuring him and the multi-ethnic, multi-abled ensemble. The audience is invited to sing along, both in new songs and in new lyrics for old tunes.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/STTH-2020.htm
HISTORICAL PHOTOS: https://picasaweb.google.com/115459090905543846120/Street_Theater_History?noredirect=1
SEPTEMBER 21 & 28 AT 7:00 PM
NEW FEDERAL THEATRE VIRTUAL EVENT
"2020 POETRY JAM"
Woodie King, Jr.'s New Federal Theatre will present its 2020 Poetry Jam, "She Speaks, He Speaks, We Speak, Generations Speak." On both nights, three generations of outstanding African-American poets will accompany the audience on a spoken word journey. The lineup includes Mahogany L. Browne, Yusef Komunyakaa, Haki Madhabuti, jessica Care moore, Abiodun Oyewale, Sonia Sanchez, Shadenia Sivad, Quincy Troupe, Camryn Bruno, Renée McRae and Nathaniel Isiah Swanson. The program is designed to honor powerful voices, from revolutionary trailblazers to torch-bearing young artists, who invigorate today's Black verse.
The evenings will be emceed and curated by Rev. Rhonda "Akanké" McLean-Nur and will also feature her along with other special guests. Director is Petronia Paley, an award winning actor, playwright and director.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/New_Federal_Poetry_Jam.htm
OCTOBER 2 TO 30
NEW FEDERAL THEATRE
"OCTOBERFEST: A RETROSPECTIVE READINGS SERIES"
On Fridays from October 2 to 20, New Federal Theatre (NFT) will present "Octoberfest," a retrospective readings series in which five rarely-done yet noteworthy plays, all previously produced by NFT, will be recreated by accomplished actors. These plays raise topics, issues and personal stories that are newly relevant in these times of pandemic and social inequality. The series is dedicated to the late Chadwick Boseman, whose acting career was launched at NFT, who served on NFT’s Board of Directors and was a lifelong supporter of NFT. The plays are: "Do Lord Remember Me" by Jim De Jongh, directed by Regge Life; "Dr. Du Bois and Miss Ovington" by Clare Coss, directed by Gabrielle Kurlander; "From the Mississippi Delta" by Endesha Ida Mae Holland, directed by Ed Smith; "Medal of Honor Rag" by Tom Cole, directed by A.. Dean Irby and "Stories of the Old Days" by Bill Harris, directed by La Tanya Richardson Jackson.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/octoberfest.htm
A VIRTUAL EVENT PRESENTED BY THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
VILLAGE HALLOWEEN COSTUME BALL
Theater for the New City has presented its Village Halloween Costume Ball since 1976 and is unwilling to break the tradition during the pandemic. So the organization will present the celebration again this year for the 44th time, but virtually. An evening of Halloween cabaret theater is planned, with six hours of performance to be broadcast Saturday, October 31 from 6:00 PM to Midnight on the theater's website (www.theaterforthenewcity.net) and its Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/theaterforthenewcity). Interested performers of all disciplines are invited to apply by email to email@example.com for a spot in the evening, which will feature a mix of pre-recorded and live-streamed material. Everything to be presented will be new work.
COMPLETE INFO: www.jsnyc.com/season/halwn44.htm
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