Ice Factory Festival At New Ohio Theatre Goes Digital

By: Jul. 08, 2020

Ice Factory Festival At New Ohio Theatre Goes Digital

New Ohio Theatre has announced that the 27th annual Obie Award-winning Ice Factory Festival will be live-streamed online for the first time, and will feature four new works over four weeks, July 24 - August 15, 2020.

Tickets are Pay What You Will, with a suggested ticket price of $10. Purchase at Performance dates and times (all EDT) vary from show to show. View the full performance calendar at

New Ohio Theatre recognizes the precarious, disorienting, and historic nature of this summer of COVID-19 social distancing, widespread economic dislocation, and BLM racial justice protests. As always, they look to their theatre artists to help us find our bearings. They reached out to New York City's indie theatre artists to find out how they are adapting their thinking and inspiration to this new landscape and not surprisingly found them bursting with vital, innovative ideas about how to reimagine their concerns and experiments for this moment and these new platforms.

As Artistic Director Robert Lyons puts it: "These artists are digging deep, excavating the underlying themes beneath today's headlines, be it dissecting hyper-capitalism, recognizing the act of listening as political activism, exploring the globe-spanning cross-culturalization of "the other," or investigating the role of black churches in movements for liberation; together these artists give us a clear-eyed snapshot of our current world, and offer hope for another possible world in the future."


Conceived by Society, written by Mona Mansour, and directed by Scott Illingworth.

A visionary vows to create a life-changing product, with the smartest minds of her generation ecstatically on board. What could possibly go wrong? A satirical journey through the cult-like, group-think of winner-take-all capitalism, from the early euphoria of a new start-up through its epic crash and burn.

Society is an ensemble-based theatre company that creates new plays by employing rigorous research, improvisation, and discussion to amplify the experience of ownership for all creators. Mona Mansour is an Arab-American playwright who was awarded the 2020 New York Community Trust's Helen Merrill Award for Playwriting. Her play The Vagrant Trilogy will appear at The Public Theater when it reopens.

The cast includes Hana Chamoun (Hulu’s “Ramy”), Hiram Delgado (Take Me Out at Second Stage; pending due to Covid-19), Christy Escobar (NBC’s “Blindspot”), Annie Fox (Lobby Hero on Broadway), Rebecca Frank (Fox’s “Prodigal Son”), Leslie Fray (HBO’s “Plot Against America”), Meredith Garretson (Syfy’s “Resident Alien”), Rosa Gilmore (Amazon’s “The Expanse”), Caroline Grogan (The Crucible with Bedlam), Keren Lugo (Privacy at The Public), Kario Marcel (Troilus and Cressida with Shakespeare in the Park), Tim Nicolai (The Glass Menagerie on Broadway), Simone Recasner (Fox’s “The Big Leap”), Alexandra Waldon (When They See Us) and Shpend Xani (Antony & Cleopatra at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival).

July 30 - August 2 - we need your listening

Created by Velani Dibba, Ilana Khanin, Elizagrace Madrone, Stephen Charles Smith and the ensemble: Hilary Asare, Alex Bartner, ChiWen Chang, Sam Gonzalez, Alice Gorelick, Julia Greer, Nile Assata Harris, Annie Hoeg and Sam Im.

An empty theater lit by glowing blue screens. Phone calls after dark. Spinning dizzily past confessionals. In a shifting theatrical landscape, individual audience members enter a dim space between digital and analog reality and are taken through a series of intimate, one-on-one exchanges with performers - discovering and re-discovering the act of listening as radical engagement.

Please note: Due to the intimate nature of the show, audience size for each performance is extremely limited.

Created by a shapeshifting, interdisciplinary collective that uses emergent technology, interactive and immersive theater, dance, music, and film in a practice of performative world building: Velani Dibba, a Polynesian-West African director and multidisciplinary artist, focused on the collision of cultures through design-focused and ensemble-driven work; Ilana Khanin, a director based in New York and Toronto, working on experimental new plays and musicals; Elizagrace Madrone, a New York and California-based dramaturg, writer, lyricist, and multi-disciplinary maker; and Stephen Charles Smith, a New York-based artist creating performance through writing, experience design, generative dramaturgy and emergent technology.

August 4 - 8 - WHO'S THERE?

Created by The Transit Ensemble, co-directed by Sim Yan Ying "YY" and Alvin Tan.

A Black American influencer accuses a Malaysian bureaucrat of condoning blackface. A Singaporean-Indian teacher launches an Instagram feud calling out racial inequality at home, post-George Floyd. A privileged Singaporean-Chinese activist meets a compassionate White Saviour, and an ethnically ambiguous political YouTuber takes a DNA test for the first time. This cross-cultural encounter involving artists based in Singapore, Malaysia, and the United States uses Zoom as a New Medium to explore the unstable ground between us and "the other." In this pandemic contact zone, lines along race, class and gender bleed into one another, questioning the assumptions we hold of ourselves and the world around us.

Sim Yan Ying "YY" is a theatre artist based in New York and Singapore. Original works include I Love White Men (Caveat, Ars Nova ANT Fest, Dixon Place) and Without Reason (Esplanade). Currently an artist in Mabou Mines SUITE/Space and WILD RICE directing residency. Alvin Tan is the Founder and Artistic Director of The Necessary Stage. In 2010, he was conferred the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture, followed by the Cultural Medallion by the National Arts Council (2014).

The cast includes Ghafir Akbar (The Lifespan of a Fact with Singapore Repertory Theatre), Sean Devare (The People Speak at BAM), Rebekah Sangeetha Dorai (Eloquence with T:>Works), Neil Redfield (The Nomad at The Flea), Camille Thomas and Sim Yan Ying "YY".

August 13 -15 - A BURNING CHURCH

Book and direction by Alex Hare and Zhailon Levingston, music by Nehemiah Luckett and lyrics by Zhailon Levingston.

A kaleidoscopic new musical tracing the lives of church leaders and congregants amid political movements, tragedies, and spiritual rebirth, A BURNING CHURCH is about an American institution fighting to survive a crisis of faith. This iteration will be presented as a virtual religious service, weaving in performances of songs from the show with sermons, commentary, and moments to hold spiritual space together -- space to imagine the role of the church in movements for liberation, as well as the form that church and theater can take when gathering is not possible.

Zhailon Levingston is a writer/director and the Associate Director of Tina: The Tina Turner Musical on Broadway. Alex Hare is the Associate Artistic Director of Corkscrew Theater Festival. Nehemiah Luckett has been performing, composing and conducting for over 30 years, most recently with Jazz Singer at Abrons Arts Center.

Developed through New Ohio Theatre's Archive Residency program, with support from A Blade of Grass fellowship, and in conversation with churches across the country. Currently slated for a September 2021 world premiere at New Ohio Theatre.


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