News and reviews from New York City's off-Broadway and independent theater scene
News: Blessed Unrest and Teatri ODA of Kosovo present "Refuge," April 29-May 11
Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Baruch Performing Arts Center, in conjunction with Teatri ODA of Kosovo and the consistently excellent Blessed Unrest present the world premiere of Refuge, a devised physical-theater piece based on events in Albania during the Second World War, a time in which Albanian families, many of them Muslim, took in thousands of Jewish refugees. Refuge follows the journey of a young Jewish woman to a remote Albanian village, where she discovers truths about her family history.
Refuge, with text by Matt Opatrny and Florent Mehmeti and music by the Metropolitan Klezmer, and co-directed by Jessica Burr and Florent Mehmeti, plays at Baruch Performing Arts Center (55 Lexington Ave [25th St. between Lexington and Third], Manhattan, NYC) from April 29 through May 11, 2019.
The Slave Who Loved Caviar Written by Ishmael Reed Directed by Carla Blank Presented by Theater for the New City 155 1st Ave., Manhattan, NYC December 23, 2021-January 9, 2022 L-R: vampire Baron De Whit (Raul Diaz) and the Baron's agent, Antonio Wolfe (Jesse Bueno). Photo by Jonathan Slaff. Karl Marx famously compared the workings of capitalism to vampirism, and The Slave Who Loved Caviar , bringing the metaphor of vampirism to bear specifically on the capitalism of the art world, and even more specifically, on the relationship between artists Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Making its world premiere at Theater for the New City, The Slave Who Loved Caviar is the latest play from storied novelist, essayist, critic, playwright, musician, songwriter, professor, publisher, and more Ishmael Reed. Directed by frequent Reed collaborator Carla Blank, herself a director, dramaturge, writer, and editor, and featuring original music composed and performed by Reed, The Slave Who Loved C
Through the Door Story by Kasper Klop and Morwenna Spagnol Directed by Morwenna Spagnol Presented by Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and New York Theatre Salon via Zoom June 2, 8, and 9, 2021 Image from https://www.nytheatresalon.com/ In some dramatic works in this moment, an empty theater might signify loss or absence, but for Through the Door , a new recorded piece that mixes approaches from video and theater, that space acts as an opportunity for and a means of exploration in multiple registers. Presented free as part of the second annual Global Forms Theater Festival , a nine-day event which is dedicated to international artists living in the U.S. and features the theme "Seven Continents Unite," the ten-minute Through the Door was filmed in the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, which is transformed into an expansive landscape across which the production's equally expansive considerations unfold. Performed by French-Dutch interdisciplinary artist and actor Kasper Kl
Supernova Written by Elizabeth Hawes Directed by Bernadette Armstrong Presented by the Open-Door Playhouse Podcast at www.opendoorplayhouse.org ESA/Hubble & NASA. Acknowledgement: Claude Cornen. Used under Creative Commons 4.0 Elizabeth Hawes writes in multiple genres and has won multiple PEN America Prison Writing Awards, including for her new audio play, Supernova . Incarcerated in the Shakopee correctional facility in Minnesota, Hawes has described her purpose in writing as " to bear witness, to advocate, to entertain ," and Supernova achieves all three. Presented in two parts (debuting July 14 and July 21, 2021 and totaling about two hours and fifteen minutes) on the Open-Door Playhouse's website as part of its Prison Plays series, Supernova gives intimate expression to the experiences of women incarcerated by America's Prison Industrial Complex (PIC). This and Open-Door's other plays are available for free, but donations are welcomed. Part 1 of the pla