DOWNTOWN URBAN ARTS FESTIVAL Celebrates Its Sweet 16
This year marks the Season Sweet 16 for the powerful Downtown Urban Arts Festival (DUAF).
The five-week art & culture showcase supplying audiences with live stage works, independent film, cutting-edge music and envelope-pushing poetry, will take up residence in some of lower Manhattan's most thrilling and celebrated spaces.
Running from April 7 through May 12, artists with their finger on the pulse of what the city is thinking will present their works at Theatre 80 St. Marks, Tribeca Film Center, New York Live Arts, Joe's Public at The Public Theater, and Nuyorican Poets Café.
The original theater series (Downtown Urban Theater Festival) was founded in 2001 for the purpose to build a repertoire of new American theater that echoes the true spirit of urban life and speaks to a new generation whose lives defy categorizing along conventional lines. That purpose has since been realized in more than 200 plays created and refined for the stage by more than 170 writers from America's burgeoning multicultural landscape. The addition of film and culture has made DUAF a marriage of the original Fringe Festival and Cannes.
DUAF is produced by Creative Ammo Inc. (CA), a nonprofit community development organization for artists focused on building stronger communities founded in 1998. CA has created solid programs to strengthen communities, foster creativity and celebrate life through art. Artists are an important leverage point in its work. Its mission is to cultivate vibrant communities by connecting artists with the skills and services they need to develop their talent into a marketable skill to pursue a career in the arts. Its programs are inclusive, open and embrace diverse ideas and art forms, and target communities of color and other underrepresented multicultural, women and LGBTQ populations.
DUAF's film series features the finest works from a search that yielded more than 1,400 submissions for around the world.
And finally, this year's poetry season, called WORDS MATTER, will be a community poetry slam and forum on current social issues. Local poets and audience members can recite their best poems and compete for a cash prize. 2016 Nuyorican Grand Slam Champion Jaime Lee Lewis is the host and special guests have included Lifetime Achievement American Book Award winner, Miguel Algarin.
PERFORMANCE SCEHDULE FOR LIVE THEATER, FILM, POETRY, AND MUSIC
Joe's Pub @ THE PUBLIC
425 LAFAYETTE ST, NEW YORK CITY
SATURDAY, APRIL 7
7:00 PM (TICKETS: $30)
Wé McDonald - NBC TV's "The Voice" finalist, Wé McDonald, brings her jazz & pop artistry to this much-anticipated, one-night-only performance. Opening Season 11 of The Voice with a four-chair turn, Wé went on to represent Alicia Keys in the finals and finished third for the season.
NEW YORK LIVE ARTS
219 W 19TH STREET, NEW YORK CITY
FRIDAY, APRIL 13 @ 7:00 PM
THE VAST MYSTERY OF WHO YOU ARE BY Kim Yaged
An irreverent, hard-hitting exploration of love via sex parties and philosophical sparring about the nature of relationships.
SATURDAY, APRIL 14 @ 7:00 PM
GAY.PORN.MAFIA BY Joe Gulla
Bronx, LA, SoHo to Ibiza! Porn Stars, Gay Priests, Mafia Dons and Abstract Expressionists! Smart! Fun! Funny! Fearless! "Gay.Porn.Mafia" has it all! Grab your ticket! Leave the gun! Take the cannoli! You'll feel like "family" and laugh out loud (emphasis on "out"!) It's the same-sex, Italian-style, x-rated offer you can't refuse!
THEATRE 80 ST. MARKS
80 ST MARKS PLACE, NEW YORK CITY
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18 @ 8:00 PM
SUBLET BY Alisa Zhulina
Christy, an overworked hospital resident, new to New York City, sublets a room from an artist working on a mysterious sculpture. Things start to get scary, or is it just Christy's imagination? What's really going on in this express journey to NYC roommate hell fueled by outsized artistic ambition.
AMERICAN TRANQUILITY BY Daniel Damiano
A southern retiree, an Iranian subway station poet and percussionist, a talk-radio show host and a Brooklyn existentialist reflect on the human divide in 21st century America.
THURSDAY APRIL 19 @ 8:00 PM
STRINGS BY Charles Curtis
A detective turned modern day vigilante, a lawyer with an ulterior motive, and the strings that bind them both. They each find that neither is truly innocent, and that no matter how fast we run our past catches up with us eventually.
FRIDAY, APRIL 20 @ 8:00 PM
THE STRONG MAN BY J.E. Robinson
Decades ago, at the head of his gang, Pearl Crabtree was strong enough to kill any man. Is he now strong enough to kill one of his own?
CORPORATESTHENICS BY Baindu Dafina Kalokoh
From unsuccessfully climbing the corporate ladder to fearlessly summiting Mount Everest, Black Television Network's favorite physical trainer premieres the newest edition to her record selling fitness program. Her unique strength and conditioning techniques are essential to breaking glass ceilings in every profession.
SATURDAY, APRIL 21 @ 8:00 PM
HELP ME GET OVER YOU BY Rollin Jewett
John is in love with Phyllis. Unfortunately, he only realizes it after he breaks up with her. Now she's moved on and John can't seem to get her out of his mind. What's a lovestruck fool to do? Ask her to help him get over her, of course. The question is: What's in it for her?
A CIVILIZED WORLD BY ANGHUS HOUVOURAS
An opioid addict is sentenced to death in the near future where being an unproductive member of society is a capital offense. The play centers on the condemned, Eleanor Reed, and her final conversation with Andrew Goodman, a life long government shill tasked with explaining the value of her sacrifice.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25 @ 8:00 PM
BLOOD ORANGE BY MARCUS SCOTT
Blood Orange explores the fetishization of black male bodies, hook-up culture, the nature of interracial gay relationships and sexual encounters, power play and upward mobility.
MIRRORS BY Azure D. Osborne-Lee
Mirrors is the story of two women mourning the death of a loved one while sifting through the secrets of a shared past.
THURSDAY, APRIL 26 @ 8:00 PM
TRASH TALK BY ALANO P. BAEZ
Trash Talk is a taut and troubling tale of two dregs of society who rap, scrap, quip and play craps while slowly suffocating under the weight of wasted lives.
SAILING STONES BY JUAN RAMIREZ, JR.
At rock bottom, Jaime forces his god-fearing best friend, Charlie, out into the Death Valley desert to finally prove once and for all if a god exists. Who will save them?
FRIDAY, APRIL 27 @ 8:00 PM
THE FAN BY Adam Seidel
A famous novelist sits on a park bench reading when she is approached by a fan who wants more than just an autograph.
THE DIPLOMATS BY NELSON DIAZ-MARCANO
Two days before election night 2016, close friends Annie and Carlos are having a little reunion on his first visit back in New York City. It can only take one person to change world events, but at this reunion two days before the 2016 Presidential election - it's world events that do the changing.
SATURDAY, APRIL 28 @ 8:00 PM
ATACAMA BY AUGUSTO FEDERICO AMADOR
Thirty years after the dirty wars waged by the General Pinochet regime on the Chilean people. Two strangers; a mother and father, search the Atacama Desert for their buried loved ones and discover there are darker truths awaiting them underneath the hard sands of the Atacama.
SATURDAY, APRIL 22 @ 7:00PM
NUYORICAN POETS CAFÉ
236 E 3RD ST, NEW YORK CITY
WORDS MATTER POETRY SLAM
Repair! Reform! Transform! Calling all poets with poetic words about today's social issues and social conscious people. Hosted by Nuyorican Poetry Slam winner Jaime Lee Lewis with special guest poets include Reg E. Gaines, Tony nominated writer/poet, and Miguel Algarin, the founder of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Sign up for poetry slam starting at 6:30pm.
TRIBECA FILM CENTER
375 GREENWICH ST, NEW YORK CITY
TUESDAY, MAY 8 @ 7:00 PM
FREMONT (OREGON/7 MIN.)
Directed by Ryo Jepson
Inspired by the numerous news headlines in late 2016 and early 2017, Fremont examines the repercussions of an exhausted police officer's split-second decision while pursuing a suspect. Following the suspect's capture the nature of the crime and the suspect's role in it reveals both the profound and unexpected effect it has on everyone involved in the case.
THE REHEARSAL (FRANCE/7 MIN.)
Directed by Léa Frédeval
Stephane dreams to become a comedian. Carole dreams of a pay raise.
THE SUITCASE (CANADA/12 MIN.)
Directed by Philip Leung
Discover how a little girl uses her imagination to conquer the darkness during a turbulent journey inside a suitcase.
VAGABONDS (USA/NIGER/16 MIN.)
Directed by Magaajyia Silberfeld
Starring Magaajyia Silberfeld, Robert Richard, Daniel Marley, Danny Glover
A homeless African student in LA meets a washed-up movie star whose life is surprisingly similar to hers.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 9 @ 7:00 PM
ELENA (COSTA RICA/22 MIN.)
Directed by Ayerim Villanueva
Some people irreversibly change your present.
ALMOST SAW THE SUNSHINE (UNITED KINGDOM/30 MIN.)
Directed by Leon Lopez
Rachel is a young aspiring transgender woman. After a series of coincidental encounters with a handsome man, she impulsively takes a chance on a one-night stand that will change her life forever.
AYSHA (COSTA RICA/20 MIN.)
Directed by Fon Cortizo
Aysha is a young energetic voice emerging from the Middle East. Poetry and creativity are her weapons with which to change an expectant post-Arab-Spring society.
THURSDAY, MAY 10 @ 7:00 PM
Directed by Maria Altamirano
A hardworking high school senior faces circumstances beyond her control that may hinder her path to college.
SONGS OF WILD ANIMALS (MEXICO/12 MIN.)
Directed by Mara Weber
Songs of Wild Animals is the story of a young girl who lost her brother, best friend and mentor. With a lot of fantasy she relives him in another dimension as the eagle he always dreamed to be.
THE VIRGIN AND THE PROSTITUTE (FLORIDA/16 MIN.)
Directed by Maria Jose Noriega Pedroza
A nun who works at a hospital and a prostitute who's visiting her diseased child get trapped together in an elevator. While their prejudices drive them apart, at first, their similarities will ultimately bring them together.
THE SECOND PROVINCE (NEW YORK/19 MIN.)
Directed by Zorinah Juan
Two estranged Filipino-American siblings are forced to reunite when their offbeat mother elects death with dignity before the end of the week.
AND STILL WE LOVE (NEW YORK/8 MIN.)
Directed by Erika Santosuosso
Amidst a tumultuous political climate, a couple fights to find the beauty in the face of an indefinite separation.
FRIDAY, MAY 11 @ 7:00 PM
SPIN (FRANCE/15 MIN.)
Directed by Leticia Belliccini
One evening in Autumn, Mallard and his wife are assaulted at the corner of a street. There ensued an infernal race where he will be successively the witness, the author and the victim of what would prove to be the key of its existence.
ASYLUM PARK (INDIA/20 MIN.)
Directed by Shanu Sharma
A chance meeting in a park in Berlin proves to be fortuitous for two strangers, faced with uncertainty of their immigrant status and scraping circumstances.
9.58 (FRANCE/15 MIN.)
Directed by Louis Aubert
Djal is sixteen years old. Like his idol Usain Bolt, he dreams of running.
THREE TIME WALTZ (FRANCE/16 MIN.)
Directed by Caroline Pascal
When a man and a woman meet on a tune of the 50s. A musical interlude in three stages, to see this man and this woman fall in love, separate and finally find each other back.
MECHANISM OR: HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF (GERMANY/11 MIN.)
Directed by Michael Chlebusch
This is a story about solidarity and the fine line between self-sacrifice and individual responsibility.
SATURDAY, MAY 12 @ 7:00 PM
BOB, JR. (CALIFORNIA/23 MIN.)
Directed by Dilek Ince
After losing his wife and developing an unhealthy attachment to her goldfish, Bob makes an unexpected connection that changes his life.
BROTHERS (CALIFORNIA/15 MIN.)
Directed by Troy Elliott
When war hits the California coast, a 19-year-old takes desperate action to get his little brother to safety in the final hours before his deployment.
IN PRIVATE (NEW YORK/14 MIN.)
Directed by Clem McIntosh
Two couples get together for Christmas dinner, and are put at odds when a texting error reveals more than intended
THE BRACKET THEORY (NEW YORK/20 MIN.)
Directed by Katia Koziara
Lucy longs for love: a perfect, equal partnership that she's never had. But she's not a hopeless romantic - she's rational, logical, and determined to find her objectively best match. So she has crafted a foolproof theory: The Bracket Theory.
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