FRIGID New York Announces Performance Schedule for 2023 The Fire This Time Festival

The Obie Award-winning festival will premiere seven new plays by Cris Eli Black, Phillip Gregory Burke, Zachariah Ezer, Andrea Frierson, and more.

By: Dec. 15, 2022
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FRIGID New York Announces Performance Schedule for 2023 The Fire This Time Festival

FRIGID New York will present the 14th annual The Fire This Time Festival at The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Avenue and Bowery), January 16-29, 2023. Performances will also be available to livestream from home. Tickets are "Pay what you can" and are available for advance purchase at Casting will be announced at a later date.

The Obie Award-winning festival will premiere seven new plays by Cris Eli Black, Phillip Gregory Burke, Zachariah Ezer, Andrea Frierson, Steve Harper, kl, and Goldie E. Patrick as part of the 14th annual Ten-minute Play Program, directed by Goldie E. Patrick.

Season six playwright Julienne Hairston will be the focus of the second Alumni Spotlight and Hairston's plays will be given a one-night only staged reading during the festival. The Alumni Spotlight was established in 2020 to re-introduce the work of talented TFTT alumni who have not yet had a major Off-Broadway or regional production of their plays. The Alumni Spotlight was launched with a virtual program of short plays by TFTT season 7 playwright Roger Q. Mason.

Programming for the 14th annual The Fire This Time Festival will also include a reading of the new full-length play A Body of Water written by founder and Executive Director of The Fire This Time, Kelley Girod. Girod's play will be directed by Andrew Block. A Body of Water is the third play in Girod's cycle of plays (The Faith Healer which was an Atlantic Theater Company's Launch New Play Commission and This Stretch of Montpelier) that are set in Girod's home state of Louisiana and centers on different generations of her family.

Schedule of Events

Monday, January 16 at 7pm

Kickoff Event - further details TBA

Thu 1/19, Fri 1/20, Sat 1/21, Fri 1/27 & Sat 1/28 at 7pm; Sun 1/29 at 3pm

14th Annual Ten-Minute Play Program

Directed by Goldie E. Patrick


Tuff by Cris Eli Black

College fraternity brothers Coach and Goose meet at a bar on the one year anniversary of the passing of Coach's teenage son, who was a student athlete. The conversation quickly turns to one of accountability, reflection, and shame when Goose implies that the death may have been caused by Coach's impossible parental expectations and problematic feelings on the necessity of masculinity when it comes to Black men.

He's the First by Phillip Gregory Burke

A random encounter at a library leaves two complete yet curious strangers from different academic worlds the chance to explore their similarities or judge their books by their covers.

Black Women in Tech by Zachariah Ezer

Two Black women struggle to be seen by each other and the racist smart home they are trapped inside of.

Houston by Andrea Frierson

"Houston, we have a problem..." It's April 13, 1970 -- the day of the aborted Apollo 13th space mission. Alexander and his wife Shirley, attractive, award-winning concert artists, are headed by bus to Houston, Texas for a concert, but somehow end up on a rural southern farm in Alabama, causing questions to arise about emotional distance, physical proximity, authentic well as the musical taste of farm animals.

For the Dark-Skinned Movie Going People of the World by Steve Harper

Jasmine, a 20-something singer, goes undercover, posing as a maid to confront Karl, a filmmaker, in the hopes of convincing him to hire her. She engages him in a spirited debate about trends in black film casting and what makes a good actor in the hopes of impressing the stoic by-the-book director. For the Dark-Skinned Movie Going People of the World is an incisive comic drama about the serious business of creating art for the masses.

Tower by kl

At a small outpost of Tower Records, tickets are about to go on sale for the upcoming Prince and the Revolution Purple Rain tour. The Tower employees are all ready to open the store, welcome the crowd, and sell tickets, but their manager and the tickets themselves are nowhere to be found.

#LakeishaJefferson by Goldie E. Patrick

In the thick of the Black Lives Matter movement young LaKeisha Jefferson has discovered what she wants to be when she grows up...a hashtag. This chilling 10-minute play throws the complex reality of trying to grow up young, Black, and girl in a world that is determined to hunt you. Her family tries to explain to her the danger of her desire, but can't make sense of their explanation; because, in this world, her wish may make sense?

Monday, January 23 at 7pm

Alumni Spotlight Presentation: Julienne Hairston

A staged reading of four new short plays by TFTT season six playwright Julienne Hairston, directed by Kevin R. Free.

Cinderella Eats the Couch

Keisha is fed up with her abusive family making demands. This Easter she takes matters into her own hands- they won't be bothering her anymore.

Serving NaTa$

Taking part in a reality tv competition, Monifa finds herself a surprising finalist. Can she convince the other women that they have the power within themselves to make a difference and create their own destiny?

Church Goes Zoom

Ninety year-old Addie, is stuck in her apartment during the pandemic and gets help from a stranger. Will they learn to open their hearts to someone who is different?

Living Through French, Impressionist Paintings and Postcards

Grace is at a turning point: she either takes a chance and leans into the future or stays where she's comfortable; making the decision hard is her love for young Janie. Three visitors are determined to push her into making the right decision.

Thursday, January 26 at 7pm

A Body of Water, a full-length play reading

Written by Kelley Girod, Directed by Andrew Block

A Body of Water is the final play in Kelley Nicole Girod's Louisiana play cycle that pays homage to her Southern/Black/Cajun-Creole roots and brings to the stage the unique experiences of Louisiana life and history. A Body of Water tells the story of the Girod Family matriarch, Martha, who finds herself in an existential crisis as she deals with cancer recovery and a major life transition. In the midst of this, she is forced to confront a past that still haunts her when The Great Flood of Baton Rouge (2016) leaves her homeless, washing away the stability that she has worked so hard to attain after a childhood in sharecropper shacks and cotton fields.

The Fire This Time Festival was founded in 2009 by Kelley Girod to provide a platform for playwrights of African and African-American descent to write and produce evocative material for diverse audiences. Since the debut of the first 10-minute play program in 2010, presented in collaboration with FRIGID New York, The Fire This Time Festival has has produced and developed the work of more than 80 playwrights including Katori Hall, Dominique Morisseau, Radha Blank, Antoinette Nwandu, Jocelyn Bioh, korde arrington tuttle, Stacey Rose, Aziza Barnes, C.A. Johnson, Kevin R. Free, Charly Evon Simpson, Jordan E. Cooper, Angelica Cheri, James Anthony Tyler, Jordan E. Cooper and Nathan Yungerberg.

The Fire This Time Festival recently collaborated with Center Theatre Group and Watts Village Theater Company to launch the initiative "It's Not A Moment, But A Movement" to amplify Black artists through three virtual events that pair playwrights, visual artists and musicians. The initiative recently included a new play commission for six Black women and non-binary playwrights, among them are TFTT alumni Cynthia G. Robinson, Aziza Barnes, and Roger Q. Mason.

The Fire This Time's first anthology, 25 Plays from The Fire This Time Festival: A Decade of Recognition, Resistance, Rebirth, and Black Theater edited by Kelley Girod was released by Bloomsbury Publishing in February 2022. The anthology includes plays by Dominique Morisseau, Charly Evon Simpson, Angelica Cheri, Derek Lee McPhatter, Deneen Reynolds-Knott, Tracey Conyer Lee and others.

FRIGID New York's mission is to provide both emerging and established artists the opportunity to create and produce original work of varied content, form, or style, and to amplify their diverse voices. We do this by presenting an array of monthly programming, mainstage productions, an artist residency, and eight annual theater festivals that create an environment of collaboration, resourcefulness, and innovation. Founded in 1998, the aim was and is to form a structure, allowing multiple artists to focus on creating and staging new work and providing affordable rental space to scores of independent artists. Now in our third decade we have produced a massive quantity of stimulating downtown theater.


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