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City Parks Foundation Presents 75 Free Summer Concerts, Dance & Theater


New York City's largest organization dedicated to providing free performing arts programming in NYC parks, City Parks Foundation, presents its full summer 2009 schedule.

City Parks Foundation upholds the tradition of free arts festivals to ensure that all in the city have the opportunity to experience the best in the arts this summer, especially during a year when many have limited budgets for summer entertainment. CityParks Theater presented by Time Warner, CityParks Concerts, and CityParks Dance will provide valuable access to arts and culture throughout the city, by bringing 75 performances to 21 parks throughout the five boroughs free of charge.

The 2009 season marks several exciting new additions to the three festivals including City Parks Foundation's first ever commissioned play, Dirt Rich by Chisa Hutchinson, as part of CityParks Theater presented by Time Warner. The festival also features a modern adaptation of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream performed by the Continuum Company, and will also welcome acclaimed poet, jessica Care moore, as she fuses music and spoken word in her celebrated one-woman show, God is Not an American. Three-time New York Innovative Theater Award winning production, Dancing vs. The Rat Experiment, will round out the festival with a genre-defying piece performed by the company Witness Relocation.

CityParks Dance has another impressive season line-up including an interactive program and performance by the highly acclaimed ballet company Morphoses/The Wheedon Company. The festival also presents African American troupe Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, break dancing experts Illstyle & Peace Productions, and nathantrice/RITUALS abstract expressionists. Dance master classes will be featured before all performances, and will be taught by dance professionals and choreographers.

CityParks Concerts is proud to present top musical acts including Grammy award-winning R&B singer Chrisette Michele, salsa sensation Frankie Negron, popular "experimental" band Man Man, and gospel music sensation and Grammy Award-winning pastor of Brooklyn's Love Fellowship Tabernacle, Hezekiah Walker. City Parks Foundation is also welcoming back the fan favorites hip-hop group Naughty By Nature, KRS-One, and Slick Rick.



William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream performed by the Continuum Company
Von King Park, Brooklyn -- July 24 & 25 at 8pm
Marcus Garvey Park, Manhattan -- July 31 & August 1 at 8pm
East River Park, Manhattan -- August 4 at 8pm

Edited down to eighty-five minutes and with five actors playing all twelve roles, the Continuum Company of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts adaptation of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream is a brisk and funny production. Directed by Jim Calder, these free shows are meant to be accessible for people of all backgrounds and ages.

Chisa Hutchinson's Dirt Rich
Directed by Kristin Horton
Von King Park, Brooklyn -- July 23 at 8pm
Marcus Garvey Park, Manhattan -- July 29 & 30 at 8pm
East River Park, Manhattan -- August 5 at 8pm
St. Mary's Park, Bronx -- August 11 at 8pm

For the City Parks Foundation's first commissioned play, Chisa Hutchinson has put together a production called Dirt Rich. The piece revolves around a group of urban pre-teens after they find money buried beneath their playground. Hutchinson grew up in New York City and didn't see her first play until she was in high school. Then, while attending Vassar College, she noticed that there wasn't much of a chance for black students to explore plays written by black writers -- so she wrote one of her own. In 2007, she wrote She Likes Girls, about two inner city girls who fall in love in a homophobic environment.

jessica Care moore's God is Not an American
Directed by Aku Kadog
Von King Park, Brooklyn -- July 21 & 22 at 8pm
Marcus Garvey Park, Manhattan -- July 28 at 8pm

A Detroit native, jessica Care moore first gained recognition as an Apollo legend after becoming the first poet to win a record five consecutive weeks on the nationally televised It's Showtime at the Apollo. jessica Care moore's one woman show, God is Not An American, fuses poetry, video, and live music to explore the concept of God, race, the war in Iraq, genocide, and other social and political issues.

Dancing vs. The Rat Experiment performed by Witness Relocation
East River Park, Manhattan -- August 8 at 8pm
St. Mary's Park, Bronx -- August 14 & 15 at 8pm

Combining theater, dance, and installation art, Dancing vs. The Rat Experiment is a genre-defying theater piece by the company Witness Relocation. It is a wryly entertaining commentary, circa 2006 in the USA. Its first part plants the suggestion that human behavior may be linked to that of so-called lower orders more than we like to imagine, and its second part sneakily and satirically proves the point. A winner of three New York Innovative Theater Awards in 2007, director/choreographer Dan Safer provides a constant stream of surprises for the audience.

The Internationalist's Decomposition
by Alfonso Carcamo Directed by Tamilla Woodard
St. Mary's Park, Bronx -- August 12 (Spanish) & 13 (English) at 8pm

Two Mexican men, two different social classes, nine bottles of Sol and Indio Beer, one bottle of Cuervo Traditional, two Cohiba cigars, six fist fights and one friendship. Decomposition tracks the treachery and friendship of two Mexican men from different sides of the track. Performed in Spanish, English, and French, the plays brilliance is compounded by its pervasive humor, moments of grace and a fascinating structure in which the two actors go in and out of character talking with the audience.

National Theater of the USA's Chautauqua!
East River Park, Manhattan -- August 6 & 7 at 8pm

The NTUSA will channel the form and style of the original Chautauqua Lectures, a wildly popular lecture circuit that flourished from 1874 to the Great Depression, through its own inimitable aesthetic and theatrical rhythm, exploring the still hotly debated relationship between High Culture and the Mass Mind. Chautauqua! combines the history of American popular art and entertainment, the culture of commerce and the commerce of culture - our intellectual and political heritage.


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