Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Abraham and More Featured in May's LES Festival of the Arts


The 11th Annual Lower East Side (LES) Festival of the Arts will bring together 100 performing arts organizations, local and international celebrities, independent artists, poets, puppeteers, film makers and many others -- all of whom reside, work or have their roots in the culturally diverse Lower East Side -- from Friday, May 26 through Sunday, May 28, at Theater for the New City (155 1st Avenue, between E. 9th and 10th Streets) in Manhattan.

The 3-day, indoor and outdoor festival of the arts is organized by Theater for the New City and a coalition of civic, cultural and business leaders, and is free to all New Yorkers and visitors. The LES Festival of the Arts was founded in 1996 to demonstrate the creative explosion of Manhattan's Lower East Side and the area's importance to the culture and tourism of New York City. Last year, more than 3,000 people attended.

This year's participants range from Academy Award-winning actor F. Murray Abraham and legendary talk show host Joe Franklin, to performance artists Reno and Penny Arcade, to theatre and dance companies such as The Living Theater, Bangladesh Theatre of America, Rod Rodgers Dance Company, Thunderbird American Indian Dancers, La MaMa ETC, WOW Café and many others.

Other confirmed participants include Arthur Abrams, Katherine Adamenko, All Out Arts/New Village Productions, David Amram, Jack Agueros, Audiofiction, Baba, Jeanne Beauvais, Mariana, Bekerman Dance Company, Black Box Entertainment, Louisa Bradshaw, Judith Andrea Caporale, The CAVE Gallery, Shami Chaiken, Ira Cohen, Janet Coleman, Susana Cook, Sara Cooper, Gary Corbin, DaDa New York, Hope DeBates, Ehran Elisha & the Teen Percs, Flavah, Mario Fratti, Gary Goodrow, Alison Gordy, Judy Gorman, John Grimaldi & the New York Lyric Circus, Gary Heidt, Steve Ben Israel, a film by Jim Jarmusch, Barbara Kahn, an excerpt from The Art of Love by Robert Kornfeld, Hilly Kristal, Kryptonite Hearts, The Living Theater, The Love Show, Karen Ludwig, Lillian Lux, an excerpt from The Liberation of Little Lulu by Eugenia Macer-Story, Nancy Magarill, Mark Marcante, Maria Micheles, Mira, Jerry & Friends, Lissa Moira, Larry Myers, Rome Neal, Jerry Neu & Black-Eyed Susan, Nuyorican Poets Café, Lorcan Otway, David Peel, an excerpt from Allende by Rodolfo Quebleen, The Red Bastard, Gene Ruffini, Norman Savitt, Bina Sharif, Margo Lee Sherman, Silver Cloud Singers and Drummers, Kinding Sindaw, Frank Silvera Writer's Workshop, Ukulele Brigade, Robert Urban, Jonathan Weber, Richard West, Wise Guise, Yangtze Repertory Theater Company, Zero Boy, Lei Zhou, and Marx in Soho by Howard Zinn.

The LES Festival of the Arts and Theater for the New City will also present an award to Ellen Stewart of La MaMa ETC, recognizing Stewart's 45-year commitment to adding to the cultural life of the Lower East Side.

Events are free, open to all, and will take place within two theater spaces at Theatre for the New City (155 1st Avenue, between E. 9th and 10th Streets) and along East 10th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues. On Saturday, May 27, The LES Festival of the Arts offers a day-long block party featuring performances and a community arts fair with food and crafts vendors. Attractions on Saturday afternoon will emphasize performances with and by children. Additional attractions throughout the 3-day event include a film festival, a poetry slam with 28 poets, puppeteers, dancers, musicians, readings, theater pieces that reflect the LES life, and an art installation representing over 30 fine artists, plus the music of George and Ira Gershwin, Yip Harburg and others.

The complete lineup and schedule will be posted online on or after May 18.

"Theater for the New City (TNC) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning community cultural center known for its high artistic standards and widespread community service. One of New York's most prolific theatrical organizations, TNC produces 30-40 premieres of new American plays per year, at least 10 of which are by emerging and young playwrights. Many influential theater artists of the last quarter century have found TNC's Resident Theater Program instrumental to their careers, among them: Sam Shepard, Moises Kaufman, Richard Foreman, Charles Busch, Maria Irene Fornes, Miguel Piñero and Academy Award-winners Tim Robbins and Adrien Brody. TNC productions have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and over 40 OBIE Awards for excellence in every theatrical discipline. TNC is also the only Theatrical Organization to have won the Mayor's Stop the Violence Award," state press notes.

For additional information and full performance schedule, please call 212-254-1109 or visit

Related Articles

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You