Ice Factory Festival At New Ohio Theatre Features Seven New Shows

Ice Factory Festival At New Ohio Theatre Features Seven New ShowsNew Ohio Theatre's Artistic Director Robert Lyons proudly presents the 26th annual Obie Award-winning Ice Factory Festival, featuring seven new works over seven weeks, June 26 - August 10, at New Ohio Theatre, located at 154 Christopher Street between Greenwich and Washington Streets in New York City.

Time Out New York calls Ice Factory "The coolest of the summer theatre festivals," and The New York Times says the festival's "an annual celebration of the weird, the wild and the unexpectedly wonderful." New York Magazine praises the Ice Factory as "New York's #1 Summer Theatre Festival," and The New Yorker says, "The Ice Factory Festival has a fine record for presenting intellectually challenging and artistically daring fare."

Performances are Wednesdays - Saturdays at 7pm. Tickets are $20 and $16 for students. Purchase at or by calling 212-352-3101.

New Ohio Theatre strengthens, nurtures, and promotes a community of independent theatre artists and companies by curating, developing, and presenting bold new work in New York City. Their Ice Factory summer festival offers emerging and established companies a prime platform to develop their work. Ice Factory prides itself on maintaining extraordinary aesthetic diversity along with an unequaled standard for intelligent, imaginative theater. Artistic Director Robert Lyons points out: "This summer our festival is completely directed by women, which was not something we set out to do, but I think it speaks to the zeitgeist of the moment and the tremendous cultural and creative energy it has unleashed."

This year's Ice Factory programming will once again include "Fridays on Ice," a late-night performance salon that includes artists creating work not usually seen in downtown theatre spaces, but more typically found performing in nightclubs, bars, and private apartments. Each evening is individually hosted by an impresario of this alternative storytelling community, and features cutting-edge micro-works by some of NYC's cagiest short-form theater-makers. For info on artists as it becomes available, visit


June 26 - 29
Created by Byzantine Choral Project, book and lyrics by Helen Banner, music by Grace Oberhofer, directed by Colette Robert and music direction by Feranda Douglas. Co-Produced by Alexandra Cadena and Madeleine Goldsmith. An Archive Residency first-look showing, a program of New Ohio Theatre and IRT Theater.

Empress Irene is ready to retire. She should hand over power to her son Constantine, but he's a traumatized man who relies on his violent bodyguard to control the city. Conspiring with her eunuchs, Irene struggles to set up a legacy for her grand-daughters to rule as future Empresses. An explosive mix of opera and theater that explores the relentless drive to tragedy in female stories. The second play in the ICONS/IDOLS tetralogy of choral plays about the Byzantine Empresses - the first play was presented in Ice Factory 2016.

The Byzantine Choral Project is a dynamic collaboration between playwright Helen Banner, composer Grace Oberhofer and director Colette Robert to make theater using women's voices. Inspired by the Byzantine Empresses Irene, Maria and Euphrosyne, BCP are creating work that showcases the radical power of strong, diverse women+ singing on stage and that explores the importance of imagery, representation and iconoclasm in classical and contemporary life. More info at

July 3 - 6
Co-created by McFeely Sam Goodman, Sarah Hughes and LUCY KAMINSKY, text by McFeely Sam Goodman, directed by Sarah Hughes and produced by Alyssa Simmons.

If robots are taking our jobs, why are we all still working so hard? A group of actors delves into a dialectical exchange about Universal Basic Income, the Green New Deal, and the American economy while completing a series of strange, repetitive, and entertaining tasks that may or may not be accomplishing anything. The first in a trilogy of plays exploring the meaning of work and the value of humans in an increasingly automated age.

Limited Liability Theater Company uses original, unconventional, dialectical texts to create highly theatrical works addressing vital contemporary questions, myths and assumptions. The company has shown work at The Brick, chashama, Signature Theatre, Prelude, CATCH, The Invisible Dog, Little Theatre at Dixon Place, and more. Like the business structure from which it draws its name, this collaboration of McFeely Sam Goodman, Sarah Hughes, and LUCY KAMINSKY is a pass-through entity; it has no offices, no staff, no annual budgets, and no bylaws. More info at

July 10 - 13
Created by Radical Evolution, text by Beto O'Byrne, developed with Rebecca Martinez, Meropi Peponides and Radical Evolution's collaborators, directed by Rebecca Martinez and Taylor Reynolds. An Archive Residency first-look showing.

SONGS ABOUT TRAINS explores the multiethnic history of the laborers who built the US Rail system. Taking on the thorny realities of immigration, labor, Manifest Destiny and the pillaging of Native American Land, a multiracial cohort of artists collaboratively create a performance that questions the complexity of progress and celebrates the victories of the multi-cultural, multilingual workforce that made our country what it is today.

Radical Evolution is a multi-ethnic producing collective committed to creating artistic events that seek to understand the complexities of the mixed-identity existence in the 21st Century. They advocate for the visibility and representation for the fastest growing demographic in our nation - those who identify as more than one race or ethnicity. They aim to seed the field of downtown theatre with artists of color and assert their vision for cultural and social equity in their field, city and nation. More info at

July 17 - 20
Written by Charly Evon Simpson, developed by The Pack Theater and directed by Jenny Reed.

Serena, Nic, Paloma, and Ella are... acquainted. They are individually charismatic, vulnerable, curious, and queer. They are pleasure-seeking. And they are terrified. Navigating the complexities of contemporary dating rituals, unconventional therapy sessions, and the erotic intimacy of fantasy exploration, they discover the joys-and anxieties-of asking for what we want. A lyrical, playfully candid meditation on the nature of human intimacy.

The Pack is a collective of NYC theater artists and designers making highly collaborative, physically expressive new shows that elevate underrepresented stories. The company's unconventional making process aims to queer the ways in which characters are developed, worlds are built, and structure is employed. Helmed by Artistic Directors Jenny Reed and Sam Sheppard, The Pack's projects have been developed and presented at Paradise Factory, Triskelion Arts, Drama League, Columbia University, Edinburgh Fringe, and in immersive theater experiences and feminist toy shops across NYC. More info at

July 24 - 27
Book & lyrics by Rat Queen Theatre Co., music by Nathan Leigh and Graham KG Garlington, directed by Carsen Joenk and produced by J. Mehr Kaur.

Nancy Reagan is on a "Grand National Tour" when a 4th of July tornado traps her and her speechwriter in an unsavory town. As class lines blur during the statewide-emergency, they are forced to reckon with the local 'degenerates'. Framed by the perspective of two kids struggling to grow-up with limited resources, this is a gritty Americana musical wrapped in tumbleweed and served on a tablecloth from Party City.

Raised in a basement and fed on radioactive trash, Brooklyn-based-theatre-freaks Rat Queen Theatre Co. utilize the unabashedly loud, macabre, weird and punk to retell traditional stories with wildly non-traditional gestures. Champions of the strange, daredevils for the dark and fools for the funny - they are a family for theatre aliens who will happily take over dive bars, backyards and your neighborhood church rec room with clip lights and cardboard. More info at

July 31 - August 3
Written by Gethsemane Herron-Coward and directed by Katherine Wilkinson.

Writer, activist, Black, lesbian, poet, warrior. With the strength of dozens of women, Audre Lorde writes her last poem before illness stills her pen. This production is built with and performed by an ensemble of women who celebrate Audre Lorde's legacy and are committed to building the future embodied by Lorde's visceral poetry and tireless activism. LORDES asks the question: How do we feed ourselves in a world where we are meant to starve?

Katherine Wilkinson is a Brooklyn based director and producer. She has recently developed work with Juilliard, Signature Theatre, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Fusebox Festival, Corkscrew Festival, Dixon Place, Movement Research, The Watermill Center and The Tank. Gethsemane Herron-Coward is a poet-turned-playwright from Washington, D.C. She is a 2016 Finalist for the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award and a 2018 Millay Colony Fellow. She has recently developed work with The Fire This Time Festival, Signature Theatre, Classical Theatre of Harlem and The Hearth.

August 7 - 10
Written by Maya Macdonald, directed by Jaclyn Biskup and produced by The Mill.

It's only day two of a weeklong "Facing Toxic Masculinity" intensive, and Sam's wife won't return his calls, his daughter blocked him on Facebook, and now he has to interact with a real live woman/performance artist who is not sure she's a feminist. His other daughter/son is a no-gender kid, whatever that means -- but their birthday's next week and he's desperate to be less of a douchebag in time.

The Mill was founded in 2002 by artistic director, Jaclyn Biskup, and named in homage to her father's 30 years at US Steel, and her family's south side of Chicago working class roots. She's best known for her stylish, energetic stagings and bold theatricality including the NYC premiere of WORSE THAN TIGERS (Mark Chrisler) 2018. More info at


LORDES photo by photographer Heidi Bohnenkamp

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