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.
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
The Queer Witch Conspiracy Written by Brandon Walker Directed by Erin Cronican Presented by The Seeing Place Theater Live via Zoom June 23 and 24, 2021; and on demand via YouTube through June 27, 2021 The ensemble. Courtesy Kampfire PR. Andrew J. Owens writes in his study Desire After Dark: Contemporary Queer Cultures and Occultly Marvelous Media (Indiana University Press, 2021) that "both queerness and occultism have been united by a historical doubling down of secrecy, empherality, and the evasion of official archival records," but the internet, through platforms such as Tumblr, has "allowed minoritarian communities the ability to articulate senses of both community and self that might otherwise prove difficult, distressing, and even dangerous within normal daily interactions" (141, 140). This dynamic is central to the The Seeing Place Theater's new production, The Queer Witch Conspiracy , written by Brandon Walker, the company's Producing Artistic Dir
Planet of the Grapes Live Created by Peter Michael Marino Directed by Michole Biancosino Presented by Project Y Theatre Company and PM2 Entertainment via YouTube Live April 16-May 15, 2021 Photo credit: Mikiodo Even if you've somehow managed never to see 1968's Planet of the Apes , moments of which remain cultural touchstones more than 50 years later, that won't make Peter Michael Marino's Planet of the Grapes Live any less of a blast. Marino reimagines the sci-fi classic as a live hourlong toy theater production, blending the main beats of the film's story and its unintentional humor with some added comedy (yes, there are some grape puns; and yes, at least one of them made us laugh out loud). The show's website includes some great background on toy theater, as well as on the Apes film and the creation of this miniaturized parody, which viewers should make some time to peruse before or after their live Grapes experience. The plot finds a quartet of astro