59E59 Theaters Reveals Summer 2024 Season Featuring 2nd AMPLIFY Festival & More

The 59E59 Theaters Summer 2024 Season will begin with the East to Edinburgh Festival; followed by The Rosenberg/Strange Fruit Project.

By: May. 14, 2024
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59E59 Theaters Reveals Summer 2024 Season Featuring 2nd AMPLIFY Festival & More 59E59 Theaters has revealed its Summer 2024 Season.
 
The Summer 2024 Season will bring the return of the AMPLIFY Festival, formerly known as the VOLT Festival. AMPLIFY is an unprecedented festival of three New York City premieres by one playwright in all three of 59E59’s theater spaces. The second annual AMPLIFY Festival will showcase the talent of local playwright Chisa Hutchinson with the NYC premieres of her plays The Bleeding Class, Redeemed, and Amerikin.
 
“I knew that Chisa’s unique perspective was the right choice for our second AMPLIFY Festival,” said Artistic Director Val Day. “Her impressive ability to entertain, challenge, and surprise audiences aligns perfectly with our mission. This festival would not be possible without three visionary artistic directors (Erin Daley of Primary Stages; Peggy McKowen of Contemporary American Theater Festival; Leah Abrams of Undiscovered Works) who have dedicated themselves to uplifting Chisa’s plays.”
 
2024 marks 59E59 Theaters’ 20th Anniversary. Founded by Elysabeth Kleinhans and operating under the Elysabeth Kleinhans Theatrical Foundation since 2004, 59E59 Theaters has been honored to serve as an artistic home for over 400 non-profit theater companies presenting more than 600 shows in their three spaces to over 1.4 million audience members. The Foundation’s recent gift of $10 million will allow the 30+ productions that open annually at 59E59 to use the company’s three performance spaces and equipment without incurring the weekly cost of rent.
 
“We've directly addressed one of the largest barriers to staging a production: the prohibitive cost of New York real estate,” said Brian Beirne, Managing Director. “The first wave of theater companies to benefit from this innovative model is already gracing our three stages this season.”
 
The 59E59 Theaters Summer 2024 Season will begin with the East to Edinburgh Festival; followed by The Rosenberg/Strange Fruit Project, presented by Twilight Theatre Company; and The Sabbath Girl: A New Musical, presented by Penguin Rep Theatre.
 
The season will continue with The Bleeding Class, presented by Undiscovered Works with Executive Producers Ruth & William Isenberg and Leah S. Abrams; followed by the return of Unentitled, presented by Negro Ensemble Company; and Tracks, presented by New Light Theater Project and Pendragon Theatre.
 
The Summer Season will conclude with Blood of the Lamb, presented by Occasional Drawl Productions in association with Harbor Stage Company; and Redeemed, presented by Contemporary American Theater Festival.
 
Full casting and creative teams for the productions will be announced at a later date. More information about the shows can be found below. For details regarding tickets and performance schedules, visit 59E59.org.
 
The 59E59 Theaters Summer 2024 Season will include:
 

East to Edinburgh Festival

Theater C
July 9-28
 
East to Edinburgh is a brilliant opportunity and unique showcase for New York productions headed to Scotland for the world’s largest arts festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The festival was created as a way to help shows fine-tune their performances ahead of their Scottish debut. This year's whirlwind festival features 16 adventurous productions from around New York and across the US.
 

Twilight Theatre Company presents

The Rosenberg/Strange Fruit Project

Written and Performed by John Jiler
Live Music by Sweet Lee Odom
Directed by Margarett Perry
Theater B
Previews begin July 10
Opening Night is July 16
Limited run through August 4
 
Most know of the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg case, but few know the story of their youngest child, Robert, orphaned at six following his parents’ execution for espionage. The boy was adopted by Abel Meeropol who wrote the song “Strange Fruit” seared into America’s consciousness by Billie Holiday.
 
Written and performed by award-winning actor/playwright John Jiler, The Rosenberg/Strange Fruit Project plumbs America’s character and history, both sweet and sour, through the telling of that remarkable story. Accompanied by clarinetist Sweet Lee Odom, Jiler weaves together strands of American history, political movements, Klezmer, and jazz, along with themes of personal and social responsibility.
Irreverent and reflective, at turns poignant and wickedly funny, Jiler’s script considers an American melting pot that’s more like a simmering cauldron threatening to boil over.
 
 Penguin Rep Theatre presents

The Sabbath Girl: A New Musical

Book by Cary Gitter
Lyrics by Neil Berg & Cary Gitter
Music by Neil Berg
Conceived and Directed by Joe Brancato
With Marilyn Caserta, Diana DiMarzio, Rory Max Kaplan, Lauren Singerman, and Max Wolkowitz
Theater A
Previews begin July 23
Opening Night is July 28
Limited run through September 1
 
Angie Mastrantoni has a lot going on: her own art gallery, a new apartment, but not much time for romance… until her divorced Orthodox Jewish neighbor, Seth, unexpectedly knocks on her door.
 
A sparkling new musical about big-city life and the possibility of finding love when you least expect it – maybe even right down the hall.
 
Undiscovered Works, with Executive Producers Ruth & William Isenberg and Leah S. Abrams, presents

The Bleeding Class

By Chisa Hutchinson
Directed by Cezar Williams
Theater C
Previews begin August 10
Opening Night is August 15
Limited run through September 1
 
You can judge someone’s character by how they treat those who can do nothing for them. But what if that person could give you everything? How would you treat them?
 
When a mysterious plague throws society into chaos, it results in an unlikely alliance between the reserved Dr. Pennington and a strong-willed escort named Sugar, whose immune system may hold the key to saving the world.
 
Sugar and Dr. Pennington trade personal barbs and professional observations as they race to find a cure. But, according to the shadowy players backing the project, there’s something more important than human lives at stake – money. Can this dynamic duo of total class opposites get past their own biases to become humanity’s salvation, or will the mechanism of capitalism crush them in its greedy vise?
 
Funny and fast-paced, The Bleeding Class combines science fiction, thriller, and camp to ask: What would you do, and who would you be, if everything was on the line?
 
Undiscovered Works is honored to produce The Bleeding Class as part of 59E59’s AMPLIFY Festival.
 
 Negro Ensemble Company presents

Unentitled

By Charles White
Theater B
Previews begin August 16
Opening Night is August 23
Limited run through September 1
 
Set in the heady days of late 2008, with the Obama campaign as a backdrop, an upper-middle class African American family wrestles internalized racism, class anxiety, and each other when a sudden job loss and a revelation about their shared past threaten to upend their comfortable lives. Tempers and tensions boil over at a cherished Long Island vacation home that becomes the focal point of an intense family drama.
 
Returning after last year’s sold-out run, Unentitled explores the nature of risk – how much someone would risk to get what they want, and how hard it is to make that choice when history, tradition, and family all hang in the balance.
 
 
New Light Theater Project and Pendragon Theatre present

Tracks

By Paula B Stanic
Directed by Tabatha Gayle and Sarah Norris
Theater C
Previews begin September 11
Opening Night is September 15
Limited run through September 28
 
Set in the wake of the social unrest that followed the 2011 police killing of a Black man in London, Mickey finds himself struggling with precocious teenage son Jak, shelving old dreams, and doing the best he can. Father and son maintain a wary relationship until Simone, an old friend from Mickey’s past reappears, asking questions, spilling secrets, and threatening to disturb their fragile peace.
 
Tracks is a stirring new play about the growing pains and identity crises that strike at any age, and if our past determines our future.
 
 
Occasional Drawl Productions, in association with Harbor Stage Company, presents

Blood of the Lamb

By Arlene Hutton
Directed by Margot Bordelon
Theater A
Previews begin September 14
Opening Night is September 23
Limited run through October 20
 
A pregnant woman finds herself detained in a Texas airport with an unexpected adversary: a court appointed attorney assigned to represent her baby. This electrifying thriller features two women with opposing beliefs, forced to navigate the bureaucratic chaos of post-Roe America.
 
Blood of the Lamb is an urgent new play about choices: the choices that are taken from us and the choices we can still make.
 
Contemporary American Theater Festival presents

Redeemed

By Chisa Hutchinson
Directed by marcus d. harvey
With Elizabeth Sun and Doug Harris
Theater B
Previews begin September 15
Opening Night is September 21
Limited run through October 5
 
Redeemed spins a story over the course of two fictional prison visitations between Claire Yiang, a woman whose brother was murdered nine years ago, and Trevor Barlow, the murderer. Having sent Claire a letter begging for a visit, Trevor tries to prove he’s now a changed man thanks to the help of her brother’s ghost. Claire must decide if Trevor is capable of redemption, or just attempting to impress the parole board.
 
Contemporary American Theater Festival is honored to produce Redeemed as part of 59E59’s AMPLIFY Festival.
 
 Primary Stages presents

Amerikin

By Chisa Hutchinson
Directed by Jade King Carroll
Theater A
Previews begin March 1
Opening Night is March 18
Limited run through April 13
 
In small-town Maryland, Jeff Browning resolves to give his newborn son every possible advantage – by joining a local white supremacist group. When his attempt to join is thwarted by some surprising ancestry test results, the line between “us” and “them” gets incredibly blurry. Jeff scrambles to maintain appearances, but his sanitized story starts to unravel when a prominent Black journalist and his daughter start asking questions.
 
Both bitterly funny and deeply compassionate, Amerikin explores the lengths we go to protect our own, the lies we tell ourselves, and the cost of division on us all.
 




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