Theater For The New City Presents Tenth Dream Up Festival
Theater for the New City, under the artistic direction of Crystal Field and literary direction of Michael Scott-Price, is presenting the tenth Dream Up Festival, 25 productions showcasing new work, through September 15.
This year's event marks a decade of dreams realized - as new shows are presented on TNC's various stages, as the festival turns the venue into a veritable banquet of new works.
Dream Up combines world premieres and New York premieres as possibly the city's biggest new work festival under one roof with all shows at Theater for the New City, 155 First. Ave. (9th-10th Sts.)
"I think we got the best material we've ever got," Scott-Price said of this marathon of new work. "Every year, the material seems to get stronger. More people hear about what we're doing."
While there is no specific theme beyond the idea of new work, many of Dream Up's 25 shows this year, including a handful of New York premieres, touch on certain themes or genres.
"We seem to have a lot of musicals this year, which is not something we get every year," Scott-Price said. "A lot of pieces have a historical grounding to them."
Shows this year range alphabetically from "Abdication" by Naya James to "Wifey" by Sarah E with the festival presenting a wide spectrum of stories and subject matter and a chorus of original voices.
More new work is being presented in one building than by most theaters in an entire year.
In addition to a new translation by Robert Greer of August Stindberg's "The Father," there is a play about Hedy Lamarr entitled "Hedy Lamarr and Frequency Hopping" by Demetria Daniels.
A show titled "Shirley Chisolm, Robert E. Lee and Me" by Ashley Christopher Leach relates to the historical figures of those names. There's even a musical about Lee Harvey Oswald entitled "Me and Lee" by Jason Trachtenburg.
"Quilting the Sun" by Maryland's state poet laureate Grace Cavalieri, directed by Shela Xoregos, tells the story of a former slave who did a quilt that now hangs in the Smithsonian Institution.
"I've been doing theater for a long time. I love it. I care about artists," Scott-Price, an actor, writer and director, said. "I know what it's like to be on the other side and have people ignore you and not care and be cliquish. I always wanted to provide an open door."
TNC provides not only an open door, but a stage for shows to come alive, reaching audiences and getting a chance for debuts that can lead to other things.
If it's called Dream Up, it's also a lot of work for the theater, those doing the shows and for Price, who curates the festival.
He came up with the idea of what became Dream Up a decade ago as a way that TNC could present new work worthy of productions that it couldn't fit into its existing season for conventional runs.
"I was working as TNC's literary manager," Scott-Price said. "We were getting so much good material and so many submissions. We didn't have time and space for all the stuff we were getting in. We looked for a way to extend the season."
Theater for the New City's main season runs from September through June, followed by Street Theater, a new musical that tours the city, in August.
Scott0Price proposed a "festival under one roof" which Crystal Field, TNC's co-founder and artistic director, approved.
"Crystal said, 'That sounds good. You need to flesh it out and come back to me,'" Scott-Price said. "I went and looked at other festivals, what they were doing."
Field and TNC then helped make Dream Up real, putting their resources behind it and letting it launch and grow as a mainstay of the Manhattan theater scene.
A decade later and after a decade of dreams made real, the festival has become a moveable feast of musicals and conventional plays in Manhattan, presenting a wide array of voices end shows with brief runs.
"One of the things we decided was it would be a new works festival, material never done or a New York premieres," Scott-Price said. "Or if they did It in the New York area, it would be different than it was done before."
While some shows that don't fit that bill are presented as a "special engagement," Dream Up has largely stayed true to its mission of being a showcase for new work in New York City.
"We get from 100 to 200 submissions a year. This year, I think we got a bit more, closer to 200," Scott-Price said. "We have a long submission period, from February to May. It gives me time to hunker down and read a lot."
Theater for the New City, led by Crystal Field, through Dream Up presents not only new voices and new work, but a deal for audiences with tickets for shows priced from $12 to $20.
"The festival is a new kid on the block in comparison to a lot of festivals in the area," Scott-Price said. "More people are hearing about it."
Dream Up Festival, Aug. 25-Sept. 15, Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. (9th-10th Sts.), 212-254-1109, www.theaterforthenewcity.net.
Complete Info. www.jsnyc.com/season/dreamup2019.htm and lineup of shows http://www.jsnyc.com/season/dreamup2019.htm#lineup.
WIFEY by Sarah E., Opens September 8
The Chaos Theory of Now, Opens September 8
HEDY LAMARR AND FREQUENCY-HOPPING by Demetria Daniels, Opens September 8
The Assassination of J.Kaisaar, the destruction of Marko T and Kleopatra and the rise of Octavius: Emperor Augustus in the Time of Road Warrior. by Stephan Morrow, Opens September 9
Me & Lee by Jason Trachtenburg, Opens September 15
FULL LIST OF SHOWS IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
"ABDICATION!" BY NAYA JAMES
"THE ASSASSINATION OF J.KAISAAR, THE DESTRUCTION OF MARKO T AND KLEOPATRA AND THE RISE OF AUGUSTUS" BY STEPHAN MORROW
"CARRIER PIGEON" BY SKYLAR J. BEIRNE
"THE CHAOS THEORY OF NOW" BY JENNIFER JOY PAWLITSCHEK
"DANGEROUS TO DANCE WITH" BY BILL ROGERS
"THE FATHER" BY August Strindberg, NEWLY TRANSLATED BY Robert Greer
"HEDY LAMARR AND FREQUENCY HOPPING" BY DEMETRIA DANIELS
"I KNOW IT WAS THE BLOOD THE TOTALLY TRUE ADVENTURES OF A NEWFANGLED BLACK WOMAN" BY TARA LAKE
"KIRA (REINCARNATION)" BY YUNA SHAPATAVA
"LAME DUCKS" BY Anthony Fusco
"MAKER OF WORLDS" BY WENDY A. SCHMIDT
"THE MATERNITY MONOLOGUES," BY Catherine Higgins-MOORE
"ME AND LEE" BY JASON TRACHTENBURG
"PETER IN PIECES" BY Antony Raymond
"QUILTING THE SUN" BY GRACE CAVALIERI
"REVOLUTIONARY" BY PRASAD PAUL DUFFY
"SAILOR" BY Elle Sunman AND MARIAGRAZIA DE LUCA
"SECOND CHANCE" BY TALIB ANDRE
"SHELTER IN PLACE" BY JENNIE CAMPBELL
"SHIRLEY CHISHOLM, ROBERT E. LEE & ME" BY ASHLEY CHRISTOPHER LEACH
"THIS IS LIKE THAT" BY MICHAEL SEAN CIRELLI
"TURKEYS GO ON STRIKE: A NEW SATIRICAL MUSICAL" BY ETHAN FELIZARRI
"TWO IS A PRIME NUMBER" BY ANNA WATTS
"WHIPPED" BY HANK H.KIM
"WIFEY" BY SARAH E.