HERE hosts the second annual Downtown Urban Theater Festival. The two week celebration features the following works:
OTHER ASPECTS by reg e gaines (Wednesday, February 26 @ 7:30pm) This new musical from the Grammy and Tony nominated playwright of the Broadway musical Bring in Da Noise Bring in Da Funk can be described as a jazz (therapy) session. It dares to juxtapose the struggles of be-bop and free-form saxophone players to play outside the accepted structures and forms and its relationship to the enslavement of Africans in America.
THE PECULIAR PATRIOT by Liza Jessie Peterson (Friday, February 28 @ 7:30pm) This multimedia play centers around Betsy LaQuanda Ross and her peculiar perspective on the concept of being a patriot and a P.O.W. She is a victim, a survivor and a warrior of this country's prison industrial complex.
IN THE LAST CAR . . . by MuMs (Saturday, March 1 @ 7:30pm) This is the story of Hip Hop's coming enlightenment manifested in the subject of Agaceez. He is kidnapped by some dark individuals and manages to discover his purpose. A slight adaptation of "The Prophet" by Khalil Gibran, the show is written and directed by MuMs of HBO's Oz and Def Poetry Jam.
I DIDN'T CRY by Sergia Perez (Saturday, March 1 @ 7:30pm) Shaila, a Latin young girl, watches her sister's life in a troubled relationship where she witnesses her going through mental, physical and emotional abuse by a heroin drug addict.
CULTURE BANDIT by Vanessa Hidary (Sunday, March 2 @ 7:30pm) Follow the Hebrew Mamita; a native New Yorker; and her unique, hilarious, and sometimes explosive relationships with the diverse cultures that make up our city.
DESTINY MANIFESTED by James Gillard (Sunday, March 2 @ 7:30pm) In the beginning was the word and MC Manifest mastered them. But how do you get back to scripture, when the image you created belongs to the world.
AT A TIME LIKE THIS by Herb Donaldson (Tuesday, March 4 @ 7:30pm) This is a darkly humorous tale of two roommates, Bobby Chambers, a stand-up comedian with no gigs in sight, and Daniel Montoya, who's dating a married woman he's affectionately titled the "barbiturate queen." One day in a heated argument about bills, survival and the next step, Daniel reveals a plan to which Bobby is highly reluctant. The play is a revealing story of what the human nature allows itself to do and become in order to survive.
ALPHAPHOBIA by Jessica Care Moore (Wednesday, March 5 @ 7:30pm) Much like Ntozake Shange's Choreopoem style, Jessica Care Moore's play is a kaleidoscope of language, live music, visual art and sexual politics. Moore weaves her childhood obsessions with love, death and surviving planet Earth with her philosophical belief that there is a conspiracy to wipe out the voices of little black girls with the advent of the 26 letters of The Alphabet.
SADICO by Aileen Reyes (Friday, March 7 @ 7:30pm) Nina, a day care assistant, is racially sensitive and always drenched in the Puerto Rican flag from head to toe. Nena, a waitress and aspiring actress, is easygoing and prefers comfortable sweats. Grace, a secretary to her husband, is conservative and snooty. The only thing they seem to have in common is that they are all in their twenties.
UNTITLED & UNFINISHED by Yolanda Wilkinson (Friday, March 7 @ 7:30pm) Yolanda Wilkinson shares her "life lessons" since moving to New York from Virginia. The lessons are told through theatrical spoken word with music and movement with characters ranging from a Blatino teenage male to a misunderstood hoochie. Like life, its untitled and unfinished.
BLUE CANDY IN THE TWILIGHT OF ALCHEMY by Carl Hancock Rux (Saturday, March 8 @ 7:30pm) This play is a meditation on war and identity by a playwright who was selected as "One of Thirty Artists Under the Age of Thirty Most Likely to Influence Culture Over the Next Thirty Years" by the New York Times.