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When Lacey, a ballerina at the peak of her career, finds out she's pregnant, a new neighbor moves next door that changes the course of her life altogether.
In order to survive the post-truth era, AUTOPORTRAIT imagines what it would look like if we learned to float between truth and fiction as well as our enemies do — if we learned to deploy our own narratives for the greater good. The play weaves together unlikely portraits of drag queens, government officials, and East Village performance artists all trapped within a closed loop of lies and narrow thinking, eager to rebel. Beyond this destructive path is an alternative — not one of "alternative facts," but of the sublime, queer beauty of choice. AUTOPORTRAIT marshals in this new era of creative expression and individual power just beyond the horizon.
Bad Skin is a kooky queer cabaret where '90s jamz mingle with original tunes orchestrated by a nonmusician. Summer's poppin' around the vacant Motel 6 pool where Brennan confesses a campaign to find his father that leads to strip club alleys, the middle of the ocean, and a monogamous London flat. A dark, humorous account of internal loss and Montell Jordan with a splice of Xscape and fam.
Beautiful Monster is a new play depicting the final hours of the life of Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein. On the eve of her expected death, Mary, gripped by madness, is visited by the dead: her husband and Romantic poet Percy Shelley, their shared lover Lord Byron, and literary rival John William Polidori, author of the first known vampire fiction — fiction begun, along with Frankenstein, on that now famous night of ghost stories on the banks of Lake Geneva. As the clock ticks toward Mary's death, she recalls in a series of hallucinations her heart-wrenching confrontations with Percy's formidable mother and the tender friendship of her loving stepsister. She's even confronted by the monster she created.
Note: This show includes nudity and sexual content.
Inspired by the classic children's book The Story of Ferdinand, Ferdinand tells the poignant story of Tom, a single dad, struggling to go with the flow and raise his son in a world determined to make him fight. Raised on the story of his namesake Ferdinand, the bull who refused to fight but just wanted to sit and smell the flowers, young Ferdy learns the hard lessons in life as his father endeavors to shield him from the harsh realities of adulthood.
Fernando Arrabal's Garden of Delights, a provocative mingling of the Theater of Cruelty and Theater of the Absurd, is designed to punish and delight audiences in equal measure. Diving headfirst into the psyche of a tortured artist, Dirt[contained] Theatre Company takes you on a promenade immersive journey through a transformed warehouse gallery and into the surreal depths of human imagination.
Garden of Delights follows Lais, a charming, yet self-loathing actress, through a bizarre and unflinching look at her sadomasochistic experience of love and art. Isolated in her home with only her caged beast-like partner and flock of childish sheep to protect her from the outside world, she spirals down into painful memories and erotic fantasies that blur the line between reality and imagination.
Barry Weiss is a hotshot broker — smart, tough, and arrogant. When Barry needs a new heart, he descends into a comically callous world of inept doctors and hard-bitten nurses. Shortly after receiving a transplant, he finds that everything feels radically wrong, including emotions of kindness and compassion. In an effort to find out why, he tracks down the widow of his heart donor and begins a journey of discovery into the real meaning of his new heart.
Prince Hal is caught between two worlds: In the tavern, he carouses with a wild bunch led by the scoundrel Falstaff, but at court, the king presses him to shoulder his responsibilities as heir to the throne. Meanwhile, the rebellious Hotspur threatens to destroy the kingdom. Shakespeare's action-packed coming-of-age story asks, "What makes a good leader?"
Henry VI Part 3 revisits the late 1400s, when a series of wars for control of the throne set the House of Lancaster (symbolized by a red rose) against the House of York (symbolized by a white one). This play is one of four in Shakespeare's canon (Henry VI, Parts 1-3 and Richard III) that deal with the horrors of these conflicts, which threw the stable country into pandemonium as families broke down and moral codes were vitiated for the sake of payback and power. Hamilton Clancy's adaptation will dress the characters in suits, not armor.
Shakespeare in the Parking Lot performs the final installment of the Henry VI trilogy, in which a hopelessly divided England is torn apart by warring factions.
Note: This performance takes place in the parking lot behind the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center.
Fifteen years ago, there was a miracle: Marliss was diagnosed with terminal cancer, but she survived. Now, she has cancer again, and this time she's losing the battle. Sarah (a microbiologist) and Carl (a wannabe witch) return home and join their father Gayle (a wannabe Floridian) to care for Marliss during her last days. But Carl wants another miracle and is determined to make one happen, even if it means sacrificing the family dog. How to Die in Spanish examines how we deal, and avoid dealing, with death.
Join us for the NYC staged readings of the critically acclaimed Los Angeles-based digital narrative comedy, Riley The Series. All 13 hilarious episodes with a cast full of quirky yet grounded characters will be included in this live stage iteration.
Erica, shy and more than a little socially awkward, is in love with Dee. The problem is that her family, her only and equally awkward new friend, and the nosy residents of their small town in Massachusetts don't understand at all because Dee...well, Dee is a letter in the Dairy Queen sign. Inanimate is a play that explores objectum sexuality, feeling like an outsider, listening to your heart, and finally finding your tribe. This world premiere production is directed by Flea associate artist Courtney Ulrich and features the Bats, the Flea's resident acting company.
The Infinite Wrench is a mechanism that unleashes a barrage of two-minute plays for a live audience. Each play offers something different, be it funny, profound, elegant, disgusting, topical, irrelevant, terrifying, or a song; all are truthful and tackle the here-and-now, inspired by the lived experiences of the performers. With new plays every week, The Infinite Wrench is the Neo-Futurists' ongoing and ever-changing attempt to shift the conventions of live performance and speak to audiences, including those unreached or unmoved by traditional theater.
#INSTAQUEER is an examination of obsession, anxiety, queerness, and the hoops we are willing to jump through as we seek connection online in a homophobic, transphobic world. If you've ever wondered whether you want to be that person on Instagram or date them, if you've ever had a panic attack while frantically swiping for immediate validation, if you're still looking for that perfect Grindr profile pic or that perfect pair of sunglasses that make your nose look smaller, join us in the world of #INSTAQUEER. Face these fears with us in a terrifying, obedient, ritualistic masquerade. Smoothies will be served.
In 2013, Jessica vanished. Now, her closest friends are reconstructing her with cutting-edge technology to try and track her down. They prime the android with memories from Jessica's past, but it's clear that their stories don't add up. As Jessica's friends fight for ownership over an artificial Jessica, the android listens, learns, and plays along. Suddenly, the line between robot and real life is very, very thin.
July finds five boys and five girls in the back of a moving U-Haul as they do basically nothing to investigate the recent murder of their friend, July. July wasn't really their friend, but he may have given some of them hand jobs. And someone has his jeans. Who's driving? Armed with a microwave oven, etc., July recounts the summer they all forget.
An accountant in Washington, D.C., falls in love with theater in New York. After suddenly losing his father, he impulsively creates nytheatre.com. He gives up his comfortable life, spending thousands of nights in the audience and even more days at his computer bringing attention to notable but often under-recognized artists. Working with his mother over two decades, he writes and edits thousands of reviews, publishes hundreds of plays, and posts scores of blog pieces, interviews, and podcasts. In doing so, he revolutionizes how the arts are covered and helps to usher in the indie theater movement. When the city fundamentally changes with soaring rents and shuttering spaces, plus the disruption of social media coverage, the sustained intensity of his schedule takes its toll. If you created or saw NYC indie theater during the last 20 years, chances are you've been impacted by his work. Now see his untold story move from his desk chair and the aisle seat to the stage.
The Duke of Vienna's puritanical deputy Angelo, tasked with cleaning up a city out of control, revives ancient laws about sex and marriage. When he unjustly sentences the young gentleman Claudio to death, Claudio's sister Isabella pleads his case...and discovers that Angelo is not as virtuous as he seems. Shakespeare's dark comedy examines the danger of placing power in the wrong hands.
MOD Theatre Company presents this classic Shakespearean tale of two couples in a way that has to be seen to believed. Seven versatile performers portray all of the Bard's iconic characters with music and creative staging that is not to missed.
Based on the Greek myth of Echo and Narcissus, The Nemesis Effect explores the consequences of revenge. A young Oreade by the name of Echo falls madly in love with beautiful Narcissus, who is as vain as he is gorgeous. When her affections are not reciprocated in the way she had hoped, Echo turns to Nemesis, the goddess of revenge. The unlikely pair work together, angering goddesses and nature to attain what she desires...even if a soul must be sacrificed in the process.
Stuck in a rather awkward age group in a rapidly corroding country, several young writers have come together to raise fictional havoc for your viewing pleasure. Mom's Insurance is an assemblage of plays by cockamamie playwrights under the age of 26. In this group show, you'll find Grim Reaper romances, casual resurrections, exoskeleton excavations, and good old-fashioned ventures into the business of manufacturing. It's an electric and eclectic night of theater that'll leave you bellowing, "FREE US FROM THESE FLESH PRISONS!"
Two kids play pretend, two teenagers experiment, and one college student downloads Grindr. A coming-of-age story in three parts, NSA mashes together two gay men at three points in their life and calls into question the cycle of use and abuse learned in the gay community.
From the mind of Erica Vlahinos, Power Over POTUS is a gossip-fueled political comedy that spills true tales of women getting frisky in the situation room, using whips in the West Wing, and having romps in the White House Rose Garden. These ladies — including blackmailing female athletes, models, actors, and scandal-inducing staff — may not have acted first lady-like, but they exercised a big influence on politics. In Power Over POTUS, a certain former intern receives an invitation back to the Oval Office 20 years after her time there. While pondering the offer, she seeks guidance from the spirits of women who once stood in her shoes.
Visual and performance artist David Mramor recently revisited Yellowstone National Park, a place he worked at 10 years ago, the same year that he came out of the closet. Using visuals that he filmed while driving to the park and documenting improv performances along his road trip, Mramor will combine these videos with songs that he has written with pianist and collaborator Greg Potter. The two are currently working on recording an album of the songs entitled Beyond Reality which will be released later this year. From Laramie, Wyoming, where Matthew Shepard was murdered, to Morning Glory Pool, to the great Rocky Mountains, Mramor will attempt to reconnect to nature and the USA within this political landscape.
Repertorio Español is a theater company that presents a rotating repertory of plays in Spanish. Works by both canonical authors (Lope de Vega, Calderón, García Lorca) and living writers are produced. In presenting these works, the company endeavors to bring the best of Spanish, Latin American, and Hispanic-American theater to a diverse audience, including Hispanics of all backgrounds and non-Spanish speakers. Plays are performed in Spanish with simultaneous translation to English via wireless headsets.
The line between reality and the fantastical is blurred in this comic story of a young lesbian whose family begins to fray when she tries to be frank with them about her sexual coming of age. Homophobia is not the family's problem. It's the prospect of candid conversation that throws them bizarrely off-balance. Written by Kati Schwartz and directed by Lili Stiefel, She Got Off the Couch shines a light of gentle hilarity on what Schwartz considers an almost universal coming-of-age experience: realizing that you and everyone else in your family might mostly kindly be described as "emotionally hobbled."
She Was a Great Dad is a jazz-infused tale of love and secrecy inspired by the life of transgender Billy Tipton, who was born a woman and lived and performed as a man in the 1950s. Susan Jeremy plays all the characters, from saxophone-playing Johnny Swinton to his burlesque dancing wife. You will decide if Johnny led a truthful life.
Earth has gone to the dogs, literally. After "the incident," humans have gone underground and into space, leaving dogs to run the planet. But the Space Pirates have decided that they need to pave over Earth to put up a parking lot for their new nightclub on the moon. The Puppies have to join forces with their archenemies the Ninja Kittens and, along with the assistance of the Great Oracle, must seek the power of the greatest weapon they've never heard of. Epic adventures and battles ensue, and along the way, we learn a deep, dark secret...or three. Will the Puppies turn tail and run? Will the Ninja Kittens — ooh, string. Can the Earth be saved from certain construction? Will it all end in discord or harmony?
The Space Pirate Puppy Musical! is written and directed by Heather Bagnall and Luke Tudball with original music by award-winning composer and lyricist Steve Schalchlin.
The Story of the Orca's Silver Tongue as Told by the Manager of the Only Taco Bell in Juno follows the epic tale of a whale god named Murder, the manager of the only Taco Bell in Juno, and Frankie Bottomless, the former BFF who stole their gorgeous sparkling tongue and ran away to San Francisco. This narrative of shifting selves manifests as a transdisciplinary performance with a projected video essay, puppetry, and live choral soundscape. The cast assumes new bodies with each encounter, assembling a queer utopian world that envisions new modes for friendship, lust, and solitude.
NSangou Njikam's Syncing Ink is a semiautobiographical coming-of-age story. High school student Gordon pursues freestyle rap as a way to garner clout but soon discovers a deeper artistic passion. By honing his craft, Gordon finds his voice as well as a community rich with history. The play is told largely in freestyle, working off of prompts rather than scripted text, which means that each evening is slightly different as a result of the audience's suggestions and interactions. The New York premiere of Syncing Ink is directed by Flea artistic director Niegel Smith and features a cast of six Equity actors, including Njikam in the lead role.
The sibling bond is something that can be strong or fragile. When the beloved matriarch of three siblings starts to lose her graceful battle with aging, this bond is tested.
Likely the Bard's final piece that he penned alone, The Tempest revolves around Prospero, a betrayed magician bent on revenge. Prospero's seething softens, however, when he sees through his daughter that love and forgiveness conquer darkness.
Based on the swashbuckling story by Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers is the first installment of Susane Lee 's four-play adaptation of The D'Artagnan Romances.
In a hilariously intimate reflection on taking t(estosterone) and his experiences transitioning, Tamil-Sri Lankan-American artist D'Lo wonders about issues of access, denial and guilt that come with passing as a cisgender, straight, male person of color. Fusing stand-up comedy and storytelling, To T, or Not to T confronts D'Lo's quest to embody a beautiful masculinity that upholds his feminist politics. Most recently, he's been seen in Looking (HBO), Transparent (Amazon) and Sense8 (Netflix).
Shakespeare's tale of blood, war, and witchcraft dives into the psyches of the power-hungry Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.
Actor and impersonator Carl David is being held without bail for performing his Trump-inspired version of Shakespeare's King Lear. Carl is forced to perform his King Lear to an unseen online audience of one, as the President restlessly watches remotely from a live and public feed. The stakes are high: If Trump likes Carl and his show, Carl lives. If not, Carl dies. But how can Carl get through a show where he has created a Lear based on Trump himself without offending the audience?
A shipwreck, mistaken identities, women dressed as men, and a "most wonderful" love triangle. Does it get any more Shakespearean? Join us for this quintessential love story!
The festival is comprised of two programs.
Program A: Doors of Perception, by Cara Hall, uses a seemingly familiar tale of hubris gone horribly wrong to make us think about the lens through which we view tabloid events. Daughters of the Evolution, by Rae Binstock, brings together a rowdy group of disparate women from across time and space to engage in the essential political question of today: "What do women want"? Holly Hepp-Galván's comedy Sex With Robots is about a boy, a sex toy, and a greedy mom. The future is already here!
Program B: Kendra Augustin's The Call of the Void is a fresh contemplation of the true cost of domestic violence. Alisa Zhulina's hilarious Sublet is an express journey to NYC roommate hell fueled by outsized artistic ambition. Oh My, Goodness, a profound gem by Cayenne Douglass inspired by a real event, ends the program on a hopeful note as one small act of kindness leads to a big transformation for a woman who has reached the end of the road.
World-famous beatboxer Chesney Snow presents his journey from a legacy of incarceration to fatherhood, homelessness to Harvard University, to ultimately starring in the musical In Transit on Broadway. The Unwritten Law adeptly weaves this inspiring story with gifted performances, brilliantly blending words, dance, visual design, and live music into an unforgettable evening.
As a boy, Ben knew he was gay when he had his first crush on a cartoon character. Through this tale of embarrassing childhood memories, hilarious misunderstandings, and bittersweet brushes with fate, Ben shares his journey of self-discovery, and how he learned to love himself exactly as he is.