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.
Written and directed by Tara Moses
Presented by AMERINDA at Theatre for the New City
155 First Avenue at 10th Street, Manhattan, NYC
April 25 – May 12, 2019 Near the end of Bound, the new play from Tara Moses, when activist Marigold Page (Elizabeth Rolston) says, “I think I got my point across. Hopefully they’ll listen…,” she could be articulating the mission of the play itself. Presented by American Indian Artists, Inc. (AMERINDA), a Native arts organization founded in 1987 and the only one of its kind in the United States, Bound focuses on issues of Indigenous tribal sovereignty. Moses, a writer, director, and citizen of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, uses current governmental calls for a border wall and inhumane crackdowns in the name of border security to demonstrate that such developments are not so much ripped-from-the-headlines issues as they are continuations of longstanding, officially sanctioned rapacity and injustice. Bound juxtaposes parallel narratives in order to …
Written by Amina Henry
Directed by Michole Biancosino
Presented by Project Y Theatre at A.R.T./New York Theatres
502 West 53rd Street, Manhattan, NYC
June 22-30, 2019 Fairy tales have been a consistent site for feminist rewriting, remixed and reimagined by authors including Angela Carter, Anne Sexton, and A.A. Balaskovits, among many others. With Sleeping Beauty, playwright Amina Henry joins these ranks, but, in contrast to the darkness, violence, and eroticism of the aforementioned authors, Henry’s critique of gender roles and expectations is aimed squarely at younger audiences (but with a sense a humor that will keep the adults entertained as well). Henry has several plays on NYC stages this summer: The Great Novel, which we reviewed here, is currently running at The Flea; Rent Party will premiere on July 12 at The Tank; and Sleeping Beauty is part of Project Y Theatre’s fourth annual Women in Theatre Festival (the WIT Festival also features Three Musketeers 1941, whi…
Numbness: Chapter 2
Conceived by Daniel Irizarry and Laura Butler Rivera
Text by Sylvia Bofill and Robert Lyons
Directed and choreographed by Daniel Irizarry
Presented by One-Eighth Theater at New Ohio Theatre
154 Christopher Street, Manhattan, NYC
April 26-May 18, 2019
One-Eighth Theater’s world premiere of Numbness: Chapter 2 throws into sharp relief the heights that experimental theater can achieve. Part of a planned trilogy that began with the company’s Mouthgasm: Chapter 1, which was developed in Ankara, Turkey, and explored the theme of empathy, Numbness: Chapter 2 explores its titular conceit in a mode that One-Eighth styles The New Absurd. The result is simultaneously challenging and riveting, a triumph of elliptical storytelling, intense physicality, and exhilarating unpredictability.
Numbness comprises the main play, Black Water, written by Sylvia Bofill, and an entremés (traditionally a short farce played between acts in a Spanish comedia) titled YOVO, written by New Ohio Ar…