Theater For The New City's Festival Celebrates Downtown Creativity With Dozens Of Free Events

The three-day festival hosted by Theater for the New City takes place Friday to Sunday May 24, 25, and 26.

By: May. 17, 2024
Theater For The New City's Festival Celebrates Downtown Creativity With Dozens Of Free Events
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As they continue to integrate more seamlessly into the fabric of New York theater, New York's two professional Yiddish theaters -- New Yiddish Rep and the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene – will both appear in the 29th annual Lower East Side Festival over the Memorial Day weekend. 

The three-day festival hosted by Theater for the New City (TNC) 155 First Avenue, takes place Friday to Sunday May 24, 25, and 26.

Over three hundred artists, acts and groups will perform in a variety of art forms and media, including theater, music, dance, poetry, comedy, performance art, film, video and fine art.  All events are free.

New Yiddish Rep, which has produced several productions at TNC, including “The Gospel According to Chaim,” which opened on Christmas Eve, will be represented by Amy Coleman, who will perform a monologue in English from Grace Paley's captivating short story “Goodbye and Goodluck,” on Friday, May 24 at 10:45pm in the Johnson Theater.  Folksbiene's offering, a musical performance in Yiddish with supertitles, will be on Saturday May 25 at 8:30pm in the Johnson Theater.

Created 29 years ago as an homage to the great artists of the past who lived and worked on the Lower East Side and East Village (Mark Twain, Frederico Garcia Lorca, Eugene O'Neill, The Bird, Molly Picon and the Yiddish theater of Second Avenue, to name a few), the L.E.S. is dedicated this year to the theme “Democracy: Use It or Lose It.”

New Yiddish Rep, the daring producer of contemporary theater that has added several landmark productions to the Yiddish canon in recent years, achieved international recognition for its landmark productions of “Waiting for Godot” in Yiddish (2013-14), “Death of a Salesman” in Yiddish (2015), and “God of Vengeance” (2016-17).  

Mikhl Yashinsky's “The Gospel According to Chaim” was the first entirely original full-length American Yiddish drama to be produced for a general audience in seven decades. Writing in The Forward, Rukhl Schaechter called “The Gospel According to Chaim” “a giant leap for contemporary Yiddish culture.”

Now in its 109th consecutive season, the Drama Desk Award-winning National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene is the longest consecutively producing Yiddish theatre company in the world, and the longest-consecutively producing performing arts institution in the US companies in America. 

This season's shows included the acclaimed “Amid Falling Walls” (at the Museum of Jewish Heritage) and “Harmony” on Broadway.  NYTF's mega hit “Fiddler on the Roof,” directed by Joel Grey, opened in 2018, ran for two years and was reprised at New World Stages last year.

For more information visit www.nytf.org, and www.newyiddishrep.org.




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