THE 15th ANNUAL LOWER EAST SIDE (LES) FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS will bring together under one roof in just three days a multitude of performing artists - actors, dancers, singers, painters, sculptors, playwrights, performance artists, poets, etc. -- all of whom reside, work or have their roots in the culturally diverse, artistically rich Lower East Side -- for New York City's most diverse FREE 3-day festival, from Friday, May 28 through Sunday, May 30, at Theater for the New City (155 1st Avenue, between E. 9th and 10th Sts.) in Manhattan.
The 3-day, indoor and outdoor festival of the arts is organized by Theater for the New City and a coalition of civic, cultural and business leaders, and is FREE to all New Yorkers and visitors. THE LOWER EAST SIDE FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS was founded in 1996 to demonstrate the creative explosion of Manhattan's Lower East Side and the area's importance to the culture and tourism of New York City. The festival attracts thousands of visitors each year.
This year's participants, representing the unique ethnic and cultural diversity of the Lower East Side, include an eclectic mix of talent, including Jazz legend David Amram, legendary talk show host Joe Franklin, the one-and-only Penny Arcade, Lavinia Co-op, The New York Theatre Workshop, the Mariana Bekerman Dance Company, and works from such playwrights and writers as: Eduardo Machado, Lissa Moira, Larry Myers, Barbara Kahn, Bina Sharif, Matt Morillo and more.
Additionally, this year THE LOWER EAST SIDE FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS will feature excerpts from seven World-Premiere plays - written under the umbrella of Theater for the New City's new Play Development Workshop, The Chrysalis, created by Lissa Moira under the auspices of Crystal Field.
Events, from Friday, May 28 through Sunday, May 30, are FREE, open to all, and take place within three theater spaces at Theater for the New City (155 1st Avenue, between E. 9th and 10th Streets) and along East 10th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues.
Throughout the festival, the lobby of Theater for the New City (155 1st Avenue) will serve as an art gallery, expressly curated (by Artist Carolyn Ratcliffe) for THE LOWER EAST SIDE FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS, with over two dozen local artists lending their works for the occasion, some of which will be on sale upon inquiry. The art gallery - which has its opening on Wednesday, May 26 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm - will remain on exhibit though June 30th.
Additional attractions throughout the 3-day event include film, and multimedia, dance, poetry, musicians, readings, theater pieces that reflect the LES life, representing some of New York's most original fine artists.
The complete lineup and schedule will be posted online at www.theaterforthenewcity.net.
Previous participants at THE LOWER EAST SIDE FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS have included F. Murray Abraham, Quentin Crisp, Oscar Brand, KT Sullivan, Miguel Algarin, Bond Street Theatre, Vinie Burrows, Kaleidoscope Dance Company, Sudden Enlightenment Theater Company, Tuli Kupferberg, Matt Morillo, and Kitty Carlisle, among others.
Theater for the New City (TNC) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning community cultural center known for its high artistic standards and widespread community service. One of New York's most prolific theatrical organizations, TNC produces 30-40 premieres of new American plays per year, at least 10 of which are by emerging and young playwrights. Many influential theater artists of the last quarter century have found TNC's Resident Theater Program instrumental to their careers, among them: Sam Shepard, Moises Kaufman, Richard Foreman, Charles Busch, Maria Irene Fornes, Miguel Piñero and Academy Award-winners Tim Robbins and Adrien Brody. TNC also presents plays by multi-ethnic/multi-disciplinary theater companies who have no permanent home. Among the well-known companies that have been presented by TNC are Mabou Mines, The Living Theater, Bread and Puppet Theater, the San Francisco Mime Troupe and the Ma-Yi Theater Company. TNC also produced the Yangtze Repertory Company's 1997 production of BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH, which was the only play ever produced in America by Gao Xingjian before he won the 2000 Nobel Prize for Literature. TNC seeks to develop theater audiences and inspire future theater artists from the often-overlooked low-income minority communities of New York City by producing minority writers from around the world and by bringing the community into theater and theater into the community through its many free festivals. TNC productions have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and over 40 OBIE Awards for excellence in every theatrical discipline. TNC is also the only Theatrical Organization to have won the Mayor's Stop the Violence Award. Samuel French has published Mark Morillo's ANGRY YOUNG WOMEN IN LOW-RISE JEANS WITH HIGH-CLASS ISSUES and ALL ABOUT THE MARRIAGE HEARSE, which each had runs at Theater for the New City. A scene from Crystal Field's new play LET IT GO is published in Applause Book's "The Best Women's Monologues for 21st Century."