TO THE BONE, JUAREZ and More Set for 2014 THEATER:VILLAGE Festival, Running 9/4-10/5
The OBIE Award-winning Theater:Village festival, which is presented by Axis Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, New Ohio Theatre, and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, returns for its second year, September 4 - October 5. Following last year's The Hill Town Plays, which presented five works by the playwright Lucy Thurber, this year's festival, titled E Pluribus, will feature four new plays celebrating the diversity of America, including:
- The world premiere of Randy Sharp's Solitary Light, a musical about the turmoil surrounding the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, presented by Axis Theatre.
- Cherry Lane Theatre presents TO THE BONE, a new play by Lisa Ramirez (Exit Cuckoo) about female immigrant poultry plant workers.
- New Ohio Theatre presents I Like To Be Here: Jackson Heights Revisited, or, This Is A Mango, a new multi-writer play from Theatre 167 (The Jackson Heights Trilogy) set in the most diverse neighborhood in the world.
- Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre presents JUÁREZ: A Documentary Mythology, a new work by Theater Mitu that explores the ever complicated landscape of the US/Mexico border.
Theater:Village presents annually a series of new plays in several prominent West Village theaters, based around one playwright or common theme. The goal is to involve the collaboration of many producing partners, deepening community engagements and audience experiences. Theater:Village signifies a major shift in the ways theaters work. It challenges the assumptions that we must cut back and compete more fiercely with each other in order to survive as nonprofit arts institutions, and promotes collaboration and community-conscious programming to expose emerging audiences to essential new work they would not otherwise be able to see.
More information about each play is below. Individual show ticket prices vary. Four-show passes are available for $95. For more information, visit www.theatervillage.com.
2nd Annual Theater:Village Festival
Axis Theatre (One Sheridan Square, NYC)
September 10 - October 4
Wednesday through Saturday at 8pm; Additional performance on Monday, September 15 at 8pm
$40 ($30 students/seniors)
On March 25, 1911 the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory on Greene Street was engulfed in flames. On the 8th and 9th floors all the doors were locked form the outside to prevent employees from discussing unionism in the hallways, to discourage suspected theft and to ensure a full days work from the essentially enslaved seamstresses. 146 people died in this disaster. Some stood at windows begging to be saved. Some tried to climb down the fire escape that immediately collapsed because no one had wanted to pay for its repair. Some tried the elevator that was valiantly operated until it could no longer rise because of the weight on its roof of girls who had jumped into the shaft.
In the new musical Solitary Light Randy Sharp and Paul Carbonara tell this story through the eyes of those who witnessed it. Using historical documents and newspaper accounts they recreate the lives of two young politically minded immigrant workers in love, the financially strapped owners and the incredibly rich families of 1911 New York who had little concept of the horrors of the working class experience.
The streets of lower Manhattan in the early 20th century and the fascinating stories that happened there are carefully recreated in a manner that will bring this turning point in history to life on stage. How did a disaster like this happen? How is it possible that it still occurs in factories all over the world?
The production includes lighting design by David Zeffren, choreography by Lynn Mancinelli, costume design by Karl Ruckdeschel, sound design by Steve Fontaine, set design by Chad Yarborough and vocal coaching by Andrew Byrne. Paul Carbonara (guitar) and Andy Burton (piano) will perform the music.
Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street, NYC)
September 9 - October 4
Monday through Friday at 7pm; Saturday at 2pm & 7pm
$40 ($25 for 30 years and under, $20 rush, $10 student)
New York City actor and playwright Lisa Ramirez, who wrote and performed in the critically acclaimed play Exit Cuckoo (nanny in motherland), about the often complicated relationship between mothers and nannies, has made the Latina female immigrant poultry plant workers the stars of her next play. TO THE BONE is a contemporary American drama written in the tradition of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, that gives the audience a close up look into the lives of the invisible work force that puts food on our tables. The play was inspired by interviews conducted over a six-month period in New York's Sullivan County.
Featuring Liza Fernandez, Annie Henk, Paola Lázaro-Muñoz, José Joaquin Perez, Lisa Ramirez, Gerardo Rodriguez, Xochitl Romero, and Haynes Thigpen. The production includes scenic design by Rachel Hauck, costume design by Theresa Squire, lighting design by Russell H. Champa, sound design by Jill Du Boff and dramaturgy by Morgan Jenness. Kat Glaudini will serve as prop master, Amy Stoller as dialect designer, Kate Murray as casting director and Megan Schwarz Dickert as stage manager. TO THE BONEwas originally commissioned by Working Theater, Mark Plesent, Producing Artistic Director.
I Like To Be Here: Jackson Heights Revisited, or, This Is A Mango (World Premiere)
Presented by New Ohio Theatre and Theatre 167
By Camilo Almonacid, Jenny Lyn Bader, J.Stephen Brantley, Ed Cardona Jr., Les Hunter, Melisa Tien, and Joy Tomasko
Conceived and Directed by Ari Laura Kreith
New Ohio Theatre (154 Christopher Street, NYC)
September 6 - 27
Sundays at 7pm (except September 21st, which is at 2pm); all other performances at 8pm
$18 ($16 students/seniors)
Theatre 167's Jackson Heights Trilogy -- collaboratively written by 18 playwrights -- featured 37 actors in 93 roles speaking 14 languages. I Like To Be Here is the newest, edgiest piece from this multilingual, multicultural company. In the span of one very late night, new faces encounter existing characters and re-imagined scenes from the Trilogy. An elderly Irish woman fights to keep her home. A Bangaladeshi cab driver working the night shift yearns for a woman who rises at dawn to bake bread but does not speak her language. A closeted Long Island cop comes into town for a date, and a dosa chef inadvertently heals a customer's heart. Drag queens, car dispatchers, under-slept parents, gamblers, insomniacs, and dreamers find one another on the streets of Jackson Heights.
Featuring Farah Bala, Cynthia Bastidas, Rajesh Bose, J.Stephen Brantley, Arlene Chico-Lugo, Nick Fehlinger, Marcelino Feliciano, Todd Flaherty, Andrew Guilarte, Nina Mehta, Sergey Nagorny, Indika Senanayake, Lipica Shah, and Nela Wagman.
JUÁREZ: A Documentary Mythology
Presented by Rattlestick Playwrights Theater
Co-Production with Theater Mitu
Conceived and created by Theater Mitu
Directed by Rubén Polendo
Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (244 Waverly Place, NYC)
September 4 - October 5
Sunday through Tuesday at 7pm; Thursday through Friday at 8pm; Saturday at 3pm & 8pm
$25 ($10 theater artists/under 30, $5 students, $30 premium seating)
More than two years in development. Over 200 hours of interview footage. Hundreds of conversations. Theater Mitu creates an artful portrait of a community in crisis and transformation. Gangs, cartels, corruption, NAFTA, femicide, the War on Drugs, fear, familial honor, mythology and hope all appear in stories collected from parents, politicians, artists, activists, factory workers, journalists, professors and more.
About Axis Theatre Company - Axis Company (Artistic Director, Randy Sharp) was formed with a mission to present aggressive surrealism, classic vaudeville turns and vanguard adaptation. Past productions include Beckett's Play, Benjamin Baker's 1848 vaudeville A Glance at New York (Edinburgh & NYC), Last Man Club (2013 Drama Desk nomination) and the U.S. premiere of Sarah Kane's Crave, starring Deborah Harry. Axis has also produced the premiere of Edgar Oliver's East 10th Street (New York Times Critic Pick; Fringe First Award: Edinburgh; Spoleto USA 2011) and In The Park.
About Cherry Lane Theatre - Now celebrating its 90th Anniversary season, Cherry Lane's mission is to cultivate an urban artist colony, hone its groundbreaking history, and engage audiences in creating theater that illuminates contemporary issues, and at its best, transforms the spirit. Situated in a landmark building in Greenwich Village, Cherry Lane Theatre serves as a vital lab for the development of new American works and a home for groundbreaking productions of both new and classic theater of the highest caliber. As New York's longest running Off-Broadway theater, Cherry Lane has helped to define American drama, fostering fresh, daring, and relevant theater since 1924.
About New Ohio Theatre - New Ohio Theatre is a two-time OBIE Award-winning presenting venue that serves Manhattan's most adventurous theatre audiences by developing and presenting the boldest, most innovative work of today's vast independent theatre community. They believe the best of this community, the small artist-driven ensembles and the daring producing companies who operate without a permanent theatrical home, are actively expanding the boundaries of where American theatre is right now and where it's going. New Ohio Theatre nurtures, strengthens, and promotes this community; as we reestablish the West Village as a destination for mature, ridiculous, engaged, irreverent, gut-wrenching, frivolous, sophisticated, foolish, and profound theatrical endeavors. For more info visit NewOhioTheatre.org.
About Rattlestick Playwrights Theater - "If you want to support a writer, produce the first five plays he writes." - August Wilson. The mission of Rattlestick Playwrights Theater is to provide a positive, nurturing experience for emerging playwrights, to present diverse and challenging plays that otherwise might not be produced and to foster the future voices of American theater. Although there are other companies that showcase new playwrights, there are very few who can match Rattlestick's focus, achievement and continuing support from a play's inception to its final production.
About Theater Mitu - Theater Mitu is a permanent group of collaborators committed to expanding the definition of theater through methodical experimentation with its form. Driven by a theory we call WHOLE THEATER, the company investigates global performance as a source for our training, work, and methodologies. Founded in 1997 and led by Founding Artistic Director Rubén Polendo, Theater Mitu researches a wide variety of performance traditions, exploring theatrical form and supporting the growth of its members through company training. Its considerable body of work includes development with some of the world's leading theatrical innovators; productions in conjunction with universities and conservatories; engagement with non-theatrical communities; and international research and training with its company members. Most recent research and training initiatives have led the company to travel to Egypt, Yemen, Chile, Sudan, Nepal, India, Jordan, Mongolia, Peru, Japan, Bali, Mexico, the UAE and more. This has led to intensive training sessions and collaborations with some of these cultures' most important performance masters. Mitu's work has been developed and presented at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco; the McCarter Theater in Princeton, NJ; the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles; The Alliance Theater in Atlanta, GA; The Ensemble Theater of Cincinnati; Patravadi Theater in Bangkok, Thailand; UNAM/CUT in Mexico City; Fundación Grupo Imperial in Cd. Juárez, Mexico; Black Box Theater in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; Mansion in Beirut, Lebanon; The Perseverance Theater in Alaska; The Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival; Lincoln Center Theater's Director's Lab; INTAR; The Juilliard School; New York University; NYU Abu Dhabi; NAATCO; The Skirball Center for the Performing Arts; and New York Theatre Workshop.
About Theatre 167 - Theatre 167 is a multicultural, multilingual ensemble dedicated to creating imaginative, deeply collaborative plays that investigate our cultural complexities. Named for the 167 languages spoken in Jackson Heights, the most culturally diverse neighborhood in the world, Theatre 167 experiments with form and process to develop theatrical productions that celebrate a multiplicity of voices. Theatre 167 created and produced The Jackson Heights Trilogy-167 Tongues, You Are Now The Owner Of This Suitcase and Jackson Heights 3AM--three full-length plays collaboratively written by 18 playwrights, featuring 37 actors in 93 roles in 14 languages, which were presented individually at multiple venues Queens from 2010 - 2012, in Manhattan in rotating repertory and as a six-hour epic in 2013, and as an immersive installation at Queens Museum in 2014. Also in 2013, Theatre 167 produced the world premiere of J. Stephen Brantley's Pirira both in Queens and Off-Broadway at Manhattan's West End Theatre. Now a resident company at the West End, they are currently developing a new, multi-writer piece, The Church of Why Not, for production there in November.