FRIGID New York & Manhattan Theatre Source To Present 2023 EstroGenius Festival: BAN(NED) TOGETHER

EstroGenius is the longest running festival of its kind - now in its 22 year - the event is powerful platform for femme, trans, female and non-binary voices.

By: Feb. 03, 2023

FRIGID New York and Manhattan Theatre Source will present the 2023 EstroGenius Festival: BAN(NED) TOGETHER, a festival celebrating femme artists, March 15 - April 2.

Performances will take place at The Kraine Theater (85 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003), UNDER St. Marks (94 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009), Arts On Site (12 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003) and the Decatur Street Community Garden in Bushwick (1052 Decatur St, Brooklyn, NY 11207). Sliding scale tickets ($20) will be available for advance purchase at Most performances will also be available to livestream from home. The full performance schedule will be announced later this month.

EstroGenius is the longest running festival of its kind - now in its 22 year - this powerful platform for femme, trans, female and non-binary voices is continuing to bring voices of artists in all forms to our audiences. This year's festival, BAN(NED) TOGETHER, acknowledges that 2022 saw both physical and legislative violence against femme and trans bodies. We witnessed the disappearance of basic privacy protections, the overturning of Roe v Wade equalling more dangers for pregnant bodies and the arcane return to controlling what a femme body wears (we see you Missouri State Assembly) -- We are continuing to gather, celebrate and proclaim the importance of femme, trans, female and non-binary artists.

EstroGenius exists to present the voices of dance-makers, playwrights, experimental performers, teens, musicians, burlesque performers, noise artists, filmmakers, dj's and anyone else looking to break molds and crack gender codes to the stage, street and forefront of public attention.

"We do all of this through a gorgeous variety of dance, music, theatre and comedic artists crossing our stages, building community, performing their hearts and stories out to our fab audiences," said Melissa Riker, Executive Producer of EstroGenius Festival. "We are so grateful to our producing partners at FRIGID New York, Arts on Site and 721 Decatur Community Garden, for co-creating Estro 2023! "

An award-winning group of artists will converge on the East Village, joining NYC colleagues to shake up/shake out this festival. From Vancouver, BC, Croatia, Chicago and Philadelphia artists offer diverse perspectives on story, bodies, sound and performance. Additionally EstroGenius will host Sunday morning theatre for the young, and late night music shows to shake off the day.

2023 EstroGenius Festival artists will include Cory "Nova" Villegas / Soul Dance Co., Donna Costello, Eve Jacobs, Francesca Dominguez, Infinite Variety Production/Ashley Adelman, Joya Powell/Movement of the People Dance Company, Kim Savarino, Marina Celander, Pele Bauch, Petra Zanki, Portia Wells, slowdanger | anna thompson/taylor knight, sj swilley, Sheree V Campbell, Vanessa Goodman/Action at a Distance, and Zhen Heinemann, with more artists to be announced.


Created & Performed by Petra Zanki

Sat March 18 & 25 at 1pm @ 721 Decatur Community Garden, Brooklyn

Find and play with something that is common to us all, that we do not know the meaning of quite well, a mystery, a ritual, a game, as simple and intricate as friendship, a cat's cradle, an ancient game, that does not colonize, a vessel, a starting point, and a basis, thought the sense of ecofeminism, and use alternative theories (rather than white androtheories) that include BIPOC+ and LGBTQIA stand points towards adductive and alternative epistemologies that always include various contexts, towards the ecology of mind and denouement of double bind, to heal and enjoy. A dance piece for six humans, in a community garden, for the future.

Who We Are | Ban(ned) Together

Mango Season by Joya Powell and A.K.A. Ka Inoa (excerpt) by Pele Bauch

Sat March 18 at 6:30pm & 8:30pm (performances); Sun March 19 at 3:30pm (Special Dialog only) & 6pm (Performance) @ Arts on Site

EstroGenius is thrilled to bring together thoughtful and pointed artists Joya Powell and Pele Bauch. Join these two incredible artists in an evening of performance grounded in story, movement and excavation of lineage. Sun March 19 at 3:30pm will be a one time, 50 minute dialog and open conversation between these two artists. Tickets available through

Mango Season by Joya Powell

Mango Season is a multidisciplinary journey through stories of choreographer Joya Powell's maternal roots in Jamaica. It combines dance, video, song, and audience participation as the nutrients to cultivate this performative garden.

A.K.A. Ka Inoa (excerpt) by Pele Bauch

A.K.A. Ka Inoa weaves together supple movement, vivid characters, and personal story with 300 ft of rope. This dance-theater work mines Bauch's experience as a multiracial New Yorker and Native Hawaiian who carries the weight of being named after Hawaii's most significant and beloved deity, the goddess of volcanoes, Pele.

The Tale Of An-Noor

Written and performed by Marina Celander

Sun March 19 & 26 at 11am @ The Kraine Theater

The Tale of An-Noor is the tale of a magic bird who flies great distances to visit her friends the Old Tree and the Old River. An-Noor listens to her friends and they share tales of epic migrations, sorrows and loss, of overcoming huge odds, and feeling joy in everyday life at the edge of the river. Told through dance, puppetry and light An-Noor lets children know that there is magic all around us as long as we keep on dreaming and following the stars.

Solo Voce | Ban(ned): Together

March 23-26 @ UNDER St Marks

A stellar line up of solo artists breaking boundaries, telling stories and bursting assumptions.

Full line up to be announced later this month.

Listen(ing) Together

Core/Us by Vanessa Goodman/Action at a Distance and #wildflower by Donna Costello

Thu March 23 at 7:00pm @ The Kraine Theater

#wildflower by Donna Costello

#wildflower embraces, negotiates and transforms the complexities of feminine identities while asking the audience to look at how we see ourselves and each other. Donna distills this new work into simple tasks of shedding and opening - allowing images of femininity, cycles and age to reveal themselves through time, repetition and breath. Teamed up again with longtime collaborator and costume designer Jennifer Paar, a white tent dress that sheds when shaken is made to look like seeds scattered in the wind only to find footing where they land; resilient and belonging.

Core/Us by Action at a Distance

Core/Us is a new group work from Action at a Distance. Choreographed by Artistic Director Vanessa Goodman, four dancers transverse our perception of how we hear movement and see sound with intensity and dedication. The live score sculpts an ever-evolving atmosphere that builds gravity for the body. Patiently shifting states and layers of momentum define this unique piece marked by its immersive world-building.

Sound(ing) Together

Core/Us by Vanessa Goodman/Action at a Distance and Resonant Body by slowdanger

Fri March 24 & Sat March 25 at 7:00pm @ The Kraine Theater

Resonant Body by slowdanger

slowdanger's co-artistic directors taylor knight (they/he) and anna thompson (they/them) re-examine ocular-centricity in dance performance in Resonant Body, a duet performance and extended research-based project. Theorizing that every movement we make, in some form, is sound, Resonant Body examines how our impact resonates physically in space through sonic memory. Research includes impacting the body against structures such as thunder sheets and utilizing technology to record, loop and amplify the sonic remnants of the body's impact within space, and is furthered by continually questioning how we define sustainability and resilience within capitalist mechanization.

all in between|a 3rd space to be by sj swilley

March 25 & 26 at 5pm @ the Kraine Theater

all in between|a 3rd space to be is a storytelling and abstract narration of the space in between wholeness and withdrawal, humanity and spirit. It is a reckoning with an ever shifting gender performance, and a spiritual investigation of queerness as a portal to existing as something "other". The artist invites audiences to be in conversation after the show.

Excavating the Rising Star

Presented by Infinite Variety Productions

March 30, 31 & April 1 at 8pm @ UNDER St. Marks

In 2013 and 2018, nine women in the field of paleoanthropology - dubbed the "Underground Astronauts" - were selected to excavate potential hominid fossils deep within the Dinaledi Cave System at the Cradle of Humankind outside Johannesburg, South Africa. To the surprise of the entire world, the excavation yielded 15 full skeletons of a new hominid species, Homo naledi, rewriting the human evolutionary timeline as we know it. In their newest documentary theater play, "Excavating The Rising Star, Infinite Variety Productions (IVP) examines how that 21 day excavation revealed more than just a "new" human. Set in a futuristic museum with AI technology, and using interviews from six of the nine "Astronauts," (conducted by playwright Ashley Adelman) IVP immerses its audience within the real-life events of the excavation, and in the individual journeys of the women who lived it. From the elation of being selected, social media scrutiny, "rustic" living conditions, and the rigors of climbing through and working in an underground cave system, IVP composes a script that ponders who authors what we read in the history books, whose voices are included (or excluded), how societal lenses shape our understanding of the past and what does it mean to be "human?" The production is a two act play, using six actors for the journeys of the women, with Homo Naledi's journey portrayed by a dancer (since it has no oral history left behind) and the AI a voice that is only heard.

EstroGenius Festival is an annual celebration of the artistry of femme, non-binary, non-conforming and trans womxn artists produced by Melissa Riker and maura nguyen donohue. Founded as a short play festival in 2000 at Manhattan Theatre Source by Fiona Jones, EstroGenius exists to present the voices of dance-makers, playwrights, experimental performers, teens, musicians, burlesque performers, noise artists, filmmakers, dj's and anyone else looking to break molds and crack gender codes to the stage, street and forefront of public attention.

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, and 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.