OVER 150 PERFORMERS AND GROUPS ARE SET FOR TNC'S 25TH LOWER EAST SIDE FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS MAY 22-24.
Coronavirus will not quench the artistic output of this fabled neighborhood.
NEW YORK -- With the roster still building, Theater for the New City has currently scheduled over 150 performing arts organizations, independent artists, poets, puppeteers and film makers for its 25th annual Lower East Side Festival of the Arts, which will be mounted virtually for the first time May 22 to 24, 2020. All events and performances will be seen on the theater's website, www.theaterforthenewcity.net.
Events will stream from 6:00 PM Friday, May 22 to 11:59 PM Sunday, May 24. Attendees will be able to select disciplines and artists from the website's online timetable and index. The hour-by-hour schedule will be posted on and after May 18.
PARTICIPATING ARTISTS AND GROUPS as of May 14
Barbara Kahn, "The End of Time" performed by Jenne Vath
13th Street Repertory Theatre, selection from "Handicapped God"
Toby Armour, "They Will Come" with Richard Quint
Susana Cook and Timo Hughes, "Are You There?"
Walter Corwin, "Curse of the Aging Fortune Teller"
Selection from "The White Blacks" by Melanie Goodreaux
"The Disputation," a play by Hyam Macoby, directed by Robert Kalfin, starring Theo Bikel
Anne Lucas, an original monologue
David McDonald in a selection from "Ella the Ungovernable"
Stephan Morrow in excerpt from "The Assassination of J. Kaisaar and the Rise of Augustus"
Eve Packer in "Ms. Martha Says," written and directed by William Electric Black
Viktoriya Papayani, an excerpt from "Clara: Confessions"
Austin Pendleton and Katharine Cullison in "Playing Sinatra" by Bernard Kops
Elizabeth Ruf in "Room with Stars"
Tabula Rasa, "Good at Heart"
Textile Theater Company in "The Messenger" by Claude Solnik
David Willinger, "House of Spirits" (a CUNY production)
"Family Meeting" by Tom Diriwachter, directed by Jonathan Weber, with Greg Mullavey.
THEATER (Other Plays)
Walter Corwin, "Little Red/Little Pink" directed by Dan Kelley.
DADAnewyork in "Eight Republicans" by Jason Sturm and Robert Hieger. Featuring Jonie Fritz Zosike, Lois Kagan Mingus, Be LaRoe and Robert Hieger.
The Drilling Company, Artistic Director: Hamilton Clancy, in "A Midsummer Night's Zoom - Shakespeare in the Zooming Lot" with Brad Frost, Kathleen Simmonds, Mary Linehan and Eddie Shieds.
The Experimentals, "Double D" by C.S. Hanson, directed by George Ferencz, with John Andrew Morrison and Jenne Vath.
Folksbiene National Yiddish Theater in "Einstein/Weinstein" by Dzigan and Schumacher.
Nuyorican Poets Café’s Rome Neal in a scene from Ishmael Reed’s "The Preacher and the Rapper"
Bina Sharif, "The Award" with Sharif and Kevin Mitchell Martin
Textile Theater Company, "The Birthday Present" by Claude Solnik
Peter Welch, "Toshiba"
Xoregos Performing Company, "Passing Fancies" by Donna Spector, with Kristin Devine and Seth Leighton Hale, directed by Shela Xoregos
Peter Zachari, "Coming In"
"Kitchenette" by Ronald Tavel (Theater of the Ridiculous)
SPECIAL LIVESTREAMED "SIT AROUND" - Saturday Evening, May 23
Individual performances at 8:00 PM, group discussion at 9:00 PM
F. Murray Abraham
William Electric Black
Epstein and Hassan
Ana-Maria Bandean with Gemma Forbes
Wise Guise, "The Zoom Meeting"
Ashley Liang Dance Company, "Flowing Colors of Charming Flowers."
Alessandra Belloni with Danielle Hartman, Francesca Silvano, Peter de Geronimo, Fabiana Eramo, Danielle Lindsay, Juliet Gentile, and the Silver Cloud Singers & Dancers, honoring the memory of Kevin T. Tarrant.
Sue Bernhard with Courtney Lopes and Elisa Schreiber.
Constellation Moving Co., "The Journey of the Birds," created and directed by Maia Ramnath, choreographed and performed by Michelle Arvin, Susana Morehouse, Susan Voyticky Zepe.
Dixon Place: selections from "Dance Quarantine"
Glitter Kitty, "Desert Roses" choreography by Emily Vetsch, with Desira Barnes, Chelsea Retzloff, Emily Vetsch.
H.T. Chen & Dancers in "South of Gold Mountain"
Wendy Osserman Dance Company, "Furious"
Rod Rodgers Dance Company
Sarazina Joy Stein and Emily La Rochelle, "Moon Map"
Thunderbird American Indian Dancers, "Returning Vets and War Trauma"
Zullo/RawMovement in "Our Garden/ How Exquisite Eternity/ The Piers"
William Electric Black
Maude Lardner Burke
Downtown Music Productions in "La Creation Du Monde" by Darius Milhaud & Dance Cuba, composed by Isabelle Gann with soprano Darcy Dunn.
Michael David Gordon and The Pocket Band in "Come Together"
Art Lillard Jazz
Luba Mason (in performance with Al Jarreau)
Ruby Lynn Reyner
Stuff We Like with Brian and Ashley Gonzales and special guest Jenay Puckett
Yip Harburg Rainbow Troupe
"American Soldier," lyrics and music by James Rado, book by James Rado & Theodore Radomski, arrangements & music production by Marteen.
"Cyberbabies," book, music and lyrics by Craig Silver, directed by Lissa Moira.
"Lady of the Castle," a chamber opera by Mira J. Spektor, directed by Lissa Moira, arias performed by Amanda Yachechak.
Cheryl Gadsden singing "The Death of Women," a scene from Theater for the New City's Street Theater: "SHAME or the Doomsday Machine," lyrics C. Field, score Joseph Vernon Banks.
Douglas McDonnell, selection from "Tom Jones"
Jonathan Fox Powers, selection from "Tom Jones"
"No Brainer or The Solution to Parasites," book & lyrics C, Field, music Joseph Vernon Banks.
CABARET (not for children-put the kids to bed)
Eric Yves Garcia
Aziza, "Left Out In The Rain"
William Electric Black, "Dance, Dance, Dance, In Your Underpants"
Peter Zachari, "The Confession"
POETRY & READINGS (curated by Lissa Moira)
Prince A. McNally
Jonathan Fox Powers
W.H. Jiggers Turner
Bread and Puppet Theater
Vit Horejš and Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre
Chinese Theatre Works (Kuan Yu Fang and Steve Kaplan)
Jane Catherine Shaw
Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre
A selection of feature-length films and shorts, curated by Eva Dorrepaal
"Don't Be Like Roy" by Julianna Schley
"Scumbag" by Mars Roberge
"Puta Libre" by Kevin Haeflin & Blaise Villars
"Ding-A-Ling-Less" by Onur Tekel
"Box of Nails" by Mark Borkowski
"Safe Harbour Amsterdam" by Jack Luceno
"Park 51" by Christopher Capelluto
"Neverland" by Erik Wegner
"Arlene's World Famous" by Jorge Torres-Torres
"Elegy" by Chad Gardella
"Final Position" by Nelson Farber
"Choke Artists," written by T.D. White, directed by Chad Gardella
"Tru Romance" by Celine Dayan-bonilla
"The Poet and the Professor" by Ariel Kavoussi
"The Lessons" by Alberto Ferreras
"Inside the Cage" by Kenichi Nakajima and Yuko Uchida
"Every End is a Beginning" by David McDonald
CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL (curated by Donna Mejia)
John Grimaldi, Juggler.
Michael Lee, Magic.
Harlem Repertory Theatre (Keith Lee Grant, Aryistic Director) and the Yip Harburg Lyrics Foundation (Deena R. Harburg, Executive & Artistic Director), "The Wizard of Oz"
Rod Rogers Dance Company Youth Program, Artistic Director: Kim Grier-Martinez
SFP Alvernian Drama Society, Director: Donna Mejia
TADA! Youth Theater, Producing Artistic Director: Janine Nina Trevens, Associate Artistic Director/Resident Choreographer: Joanna Greer.
Brooklyn Irish Dance Company, Directors: Erin O’Donnell, Stacey Cox, Mallory Silliere, Alexandra Owensby.
Thunderbird American Indian Dancers, Director: Louis Mofsie.
FunikiJam Music, Director: Brian Barrentine
COBU Kids, Director: Yako Miyamoto
Sophie Star, Choreographer: Andye J
Theater for the New City After School Cultural Arts Program, Directors: Juan Villegas and Michael-David Gordon.
Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre, City Parks Foundation, Executive Director: Heather Lubov, Executive Artistic Director: Erika Elliott.
Frances Key (great-granddaughter of Francis Scott Key, author of our national anthem)
Michael Musto (columnist)
Brad Hoylman (NY State Senator)
Carlina Rivera (NYC City Council Member)
VISUAL ART (curated by Carolyn Ratcliffe)
Works in various media by:
Barbara Jaye Wilson
Meg Boe Birns
Kathy Creutzburg Enos
On Saturday, May 23 at 8:00 PM, there will be a live concert of performances by David Amram, Charles Busch, F. Murray Abraham, Penny Arcade, Phoebe Legere, Austin Pendleton and William Electric Black. Following their performances, these major LES artists will do a virtual "sit around" and discuss Theater, Politics and the Human Condition.
This event started in 1996 as a three-day, indoor and outdoor multi-arts festival intended to demonstrate the creative explosion of the Lower East Side and the area’s importance to culture and tourism for New York City. It employed two theater spaces at TNC plus the block of East Tenth Street between First and Second Avenues. For the past 24 years, it has been organized by TNC and a coalition of civic, cultural and business leaders and presented free to an average attendance of 4,000. This year, with obligatory separation caused by Coronavirus, it is being mounted entirely on TNC's website, with the possibility of sharing it with the world for the first time.
The 2020 festival is dedicated to essential workers: the frontline professionals who preserve our daily lives. These include professionals in the healthcare sector (doctors, nurses, EMT), government services (including fire, police, sanitation, mass transit, National Guard); public utilities, post office and other delivery services; private industries including eldercare, airports, food service workers, grocery store clerks and workers in such jobs as cashiers, stock clerks, security, airport, gas station attendants, pharmacists, funeral home workers, news providers, homeless services, food pantry workers and volunteers, janitorial staff, radio and TV engineers, communications network providers and more.
The concept of the festival was developed by Crystal Field, Executive Artistic Director of TNC and Esther Cartegena (d. 2006), President of Loisaida, Inc., to portray the Lower East Side (LES) as a haven for artists and artistic creation. The region is a unique multi-ethnic community with an unusually high level of artistic vitality. Large populations with differing languages and cultures coexist there successfully and a large artistic population helps glue the neighborhood together. Its theaters are also an unprecedented source of tourism. Sam Shepard's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Buried Child," was commissioned and first produced by TNC. The committee envisioned an event that would demonstrate the region’s cultural fervor, its large artistic population and its multiplicity of ethnic influences to contradict the neighborhood's stereotype as a dangerous refuge for drug dealers and criminal activity.
The first festival, presented June 14 to 16, 1996, featured over 100 attractions, drew favorable press and attracted crowds from all around the City. Its success prompted TNC to continue the festival as an annual event.
Disciplines presented have always included theater, music, dance, poetry, puppetry, cabaret, visual art, film and kids' programming.
Festival Director Crystal Field. Assistant Director Tegan Georges. Emcees of the 2020 Festival: Crystal Field, Robert Gonzales, Alberto Minero, Sabura Rashid and Susan Hemley. Curators: Crystal Field (Theater and Dance), Lissa Moira (Poetry), Carolyn Ratcliff (Fine Arts), Donna Mejia (Kids' Performances) and Eva Dorrepaal (Film). Technical staff: David Aronson, John David West, Brian Park, Roy Chang and Alexander Bartenieff.
The LES Festival is created and organized by The LES Committee: David Aronson, Alex Bartenieff, Briana Bartenieff, Roy Chang, Robert Chin, Walter Corwin, Katherine Cullinson, Eva Dorrepaal, Myrna Duarte, Carol Dudjen, Crystal Field, Matthew Fitzgerald, Andrea Fulton, Tegan Georges, Robert Gonzales Jr., Melanie Goodreaux, Robert Greer, Alan Hanna, Susan Hemley, Barbara Kahn, Dan Kelley, Anne Lucas, Ed Malin, Donna Mejia, Lissa Moira, Stephan Morrow, Brian Park, Emily Pezzella, Richard Ploetz, Carolyn Ratcliffe, Liana Rosario, Ramiro Sandoval, Ed Shea, Jonathan Slaff, David Slone, Claude Solnik, Mackenzie Surbey, Mary Tierney, Jenne Vath, Juan Villegas, Jimmy Walker, Richard Weber, Jonathan Weber, Peter Welch, John David West, Richard West, Suki Weston & Steve Hansen.