DUTF Returns To The HERE Arts Center 5/6- 5/16

The Downtown Urban Theater Festival (DUTF) makes a much-anticipated return to the HERE Arts Center, May 6 thru 16, celebrating its 7th Season with twelve new works by playwrights from across the U.S. Over two weeks, this multicultural, cross section of artists based in Chicago, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and San Francisco will present original works of urban life on topics such as the imperfections of our leaders, stereotypes, hate crime, living on the "down low" and self-immolation.

"...not only prestigious, but a slice of heaven for playwrights who want the chance to freely express themselves." (Theater Festivals, Lisa Mulcahy, Allworth Press, 2005)

After six years, DUTF makes a long, overdue return to the HERE Arts Center, the home of its first two seasons. Conceived in 2001, DUTF was founded as a small grass roots effort to help revitalize the NYC downtown arts scene, which was experiencing a severe downturn due to the World Trade Center disaster. HERE, located a short distance from the WTC, was selected as the site for the first festival (2002). Other former venues include the Abrons Arts Center (Lower East Side) and Cherry Lane Theatre (Greenwich Village). After its 5th Anniversary season, DUTF took a one-year respite and dedicated all of 2007 to the development of an educational series for high school students. The short play Lessons on the A Train, directed by Reg E. Gaines (Writer, Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk), was created and presented in over 30 high schools in New York for more than 3,500 students.

Today, DUTF presents twelve new works over an annual two-week season, full with panel discussions, opening and closing events and other humanity events. It has been a catalyst and an outlet for some of NYC's most vibrant and creative playwrights and has presented 64 original theatrical works for more than 7,000 urban theatre-goers. With its no entry fee policy and priMary Focus on the playwrights, DUTF has established its uniqueness, allowing plenty of room for creativity to flow on stage. Moreover, it has become a resource for the theatre industry with DUTF works being picked up for engagements and development at other venues such as The Public Theater (Stockholm, Brooklyn) and Theater for the New City (Destiny Manifested).

DUTF 2009 Schedule
Wednesday, May 6 - DOUBLE FEATURE
LIFE COULD BE UN SUEŇO by Lina Sarrello

A comical glimpse of a first-generation American girl dealing with the traditions of her drama-filled Latino family shortly after her mother's death.

MAN UP by Carlos Andrés Gómez
Gómez takes the audience on a gritty, raw and often hilarious trip through sexuality, family, fear and dreams, in this solo work that attempts to uncover the definition of what it means to be a "good man."

Thursday, May 7- DOUBLE FEATURE
A BOY CALLED NOISE by Julia Steele Allen
The story of Noise - the male victim of a hate crime - is told through the unwavering voices of his family and the admirers who loved him. Only after their loss do they see the young man for who he was.

ALTERNATE SIDE STREET PARKING (a love story in four seasons) by Dina Laura
New York City can be complicated if you own a car. Steve and Jessica have just discovered that when you stop parking and start talking, life is full of surprises.

Friday, May 8
THE KING'S MISTRESS by Patricia Ione Lloyd
The stolen kisses and desires of a king and the dreams of the women who loved him. This fictionalized tale of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., explores the need to have leaders be perfect and/or godlike. Is it possible for one to be a hero to their family and community, while possessing a somewhat flawed humanity?

Saturday, May 9- DOUBLE FEATURE
SOLO MAN WATUSI by Mel Nieves
It's another New Year, filled with new beginnings, fresh starts, and an excitement for the unknown. But for two old friends who ponder all that could have been, but never was, the New Year is nothing more than a stinging reminder that the ‘little boy' on the inside has - once again - tripped up the ‘big man' on the outside.

WHERE MY GIRLS AT? by Micia Mosely
A fun-filled one-woman show, take on the black lesbian experience that challenges - head on - the notion that there's only one way to be black or queer in the 21st century.

Tuesday, May 12
AMERICA by Kim Yaged

Ethnicity, race, religion and culture are explored through America's ‘land of the free' stereotypes, creating a provocative social commentary that's sure to challenge the senses.

Wednesday, May 13
T.A.B. by Susan H. Pak
Based on the true and tragic demise of an MIT student by self-immolation, T.A.B. explores the desire and ambition to be "American" and how it can drive model minorities - Asian Americans - to staggering acts of self-destruction.

Thursday, May 14
RIGHT TO RETURN by Pamela Sneed
Locked in the realm of self-discovery after a long illness, a woman makes a journey to Ghana, traveling to former slave-trade routes, in search of a meaning - a reason - to exist.

Friday, May 15
VI DEGEES by Kash Goins
VI Degrees looks at The Lifestyles of unprotected sex, prostitution, living on the "Down Low", adultery and sectors of prison life that may contribute to the high rate of HIV/AIDS.

Saturday, May 16
REPRESENTA! by Paul S. Flores and Julio Cardenas
What happens when a Chicano spoken-word poet meets a Cuban rapper at the Havana Hip-Hop Festival? Find out in this bilingual, hip-hop journey that uncovers the challenges of a poetic friendship.

All shows will begin at 8:30PM at HERE Arts Center located on 145 Sixth Avenue between Spring and Broome Streets, NYC. Tickets are $18 and will go on sale March 25. They can be purchased via the HERE Arts Center Web site at https://www.here.org. For complete schedule and info on DUTF visit www.downtownurban.net.

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