Downtown Urban Arts Festival Features Irene Hernandez & One Size Fits All

CapturePlaywright’s Name:  Irene Hernandez

Tell us about your latest project: 

One Size Fits All – a one act play about women of different sizes and shapes trying on clothes in a department store fitting room. Out of frustration, the women break the fourth wall and confide in the audience about their experiences with insecurity, body shaming , objectification and finding the right outfit.

What excites you about being a part of the Downtown Urban Arts Festival?

I’m happy to be a part of the festival with my work for the third year in a row. DeVante and Marc are great and the crew working are supportive and excellent.

What’s your upcoming project after the Festival?

I will continue acting, writing, producing and directing a comedic web series I created, called Brand New Me. I also just finished writing my first musical.

Website: http://www.dancingfrogtheatercompany.weebly.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/irene.hernandez.75491

Twitter:  @dancingfrogthco

SHOW INFO:

Friday, April 1 at 7pm

HERE (145 Sixth Avenue – enter on Dominick Street)
Tickets are $18 at www.here.org or by calling 212-352-3101

Downtown Urban Arts Festival Features Matthew Widman & Stop and Frisk

Stop and Frisk - DUAF - ANNOUNCEMENT
Playwright’s Name: 
Matthew Widman

Tell us about your latest project: 

Stop and Frisk is a social drama about a stop and frisk encounter in an urban park between two plainclothes police officers and two young men heading to work. It’s fiction but it’s a composite based on media accounts, posted footage, personal experience and the experiences of friends and acquaintances. This play is about the abuse of power that has made Stop and Frisk such a controversial policing policy. It’s one account of what happens when human nature meets public policy and it exemplifies the potential dangers of the intense human interactions that result.

What excites you about being a part of the Downtown Urban Arts Festival?

Besides being the nicest and most professional folks in the world and an unbelievable pleasure to work with, DUAF is a cutting edge theater and film festival that’s unafraid to tackle gritty political and social issues as well as to entertain. They’re not about making money and they’re not about celebrity, so that affords them the integrity to host plays and films that they believe in.

The urban space is where people come together and try to figure out how to interact. Urban issues and themes are human issues that speak universally to race, class, sexuality, identity, romance – the things we’re all trying to figure out and negotiate. It’s a real privilege to be part of the DUAF.

What’s your upcoming project after the Festival?

I’m working on a couple of full length plays, a comedy, Kill the Dog, about parenting, self-absorption and community and another dark comic drama examining the current state of anger and alienation that seems to be pervading American politics and society.

Website: http://memorycareplays.org/about/playwrights/15-playwrights/7-matthew-widman

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-Widman/100009158036703

SHOW INFO:

Tuesday, March 29 at 7pm

HERE (145 Sixth Avenue – enter on Dominick Street)
Tickets are $18 at www.here.org or by calling 212-352-3101

Downtown Urban Arts Festival Features Dean Preston & Canned Laughter

CapturePlaywright’s Name:  Dean Preston

Tell us about your latest project: 

Canned Laughter is a modern American play that uses classic conventions of ‘three men sitting and talking about God, Race and Religion and turns them on it’s head.

What excites you about being a part of the Downtown Urban Arts Festival?

I’ve known about the festival for a long time and I’ve wanted to find the right piece to be a part of it. I think I have!

What’s your upcoming project after the Festival?

Probably taking a brief hiatus from theatre to focus on other writing, but I’m excited for the projects I have on the horizon

Website: https://deanprestonportfolio.wordpress.com/

SHOW INFO:

Wednesday, March 30 at 7pm

HERE (145 Sixth Avenue – enter on Dominick Street)
Tickets are $18 at www.here.org or by calling 212-352-3101

 

Downtown Urban Arts Festival Features Afrika Brown & Strange Fruit Redux

Afrika Brown  Head Shot 2
Playwright’s Name: 
Afrika Brown

Tell us about your latest project: 

Strange Fruit Redux is a series of poem monologues mixedSTRANGE FRUIT REDUX Poster Art 2 with music and sio-political, pop culture sound bites geared to show the fears and frustrations of the modern day black man.   It was written in 2015 as a cry for change and the opportunity to create honest discourse about the epidemic of police shootings of unarmed black men as well as blacks dying in police custody.   It is my hope that the audience walks away from the experience willing to have dialogs that can lead to solutions and positive change.

What excites you about being a part of the Downtown Urban Arts Festival?

Downtown Urban Arts Festival is an extremely well-known festival.  I am more than excited; I am honored to show my work at DUAF and have the opportunity to work with such a great group of theater professionals.  I am also beyond excited to have Strange Fruit Redux play at HERE Arts Center.

What’s your upcoming project after the Festival?

After the festival my next project is bringing my new play Slow Bullet, My Three Loves to Manhattan Repertory Theatre, located on 42nd St., for a three-night date in May.  Also, I plan to continue to bring Strange Fruit Redux to different cities nationwide.

Website: http://famenycmagazine.com/

Instagram: @thelovelymsafrikabrown

Twitter: @FAMENYCMAG

SHOW INFO:

Tuesday, March 29 at 7pm

HERE (145 Sixth Avenue – enter on Dominick Street)
Tickets are $18 at www.here.org or by calling 212-352-3101

Downtown Urban Arts Festival Features Anthony B. Knight & No Cowards In Our Band

Playwright’s Name: Anthony B. Knight, Jr.

Tell us about your latest project:

This project is a performance piece and concert and was created to tell important Civil War and Reconstruction stories. It also was created to showcase the beauty and the power of the Negro spiritual.

The stories that are told begin with that of nineteenth-century icon Frederick Douglass. Not only is Douglass’ life a fine example of the strength and determination of the human spirit, but also Mr. Douglass’ innate verbal skills, as well as his social and intellectual abilities, demonstrate the responsibility each person has to find his/her strengths, to follow them, and to actively use them for his/her life’s work and in the face of any challenge that might befall him/her.

Using Frederick Douglass as the mouthpiece of the time, other important stories that are told in this piece are: how African Americans freed themselves from enslavement; the importance of family to enslaved African Americans; the role of African Americans in the Abolitionist Movement; the turning points that were the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, the Dred Scott case of 1857, and the election of President Abraham Lincoln in 1860; and Frederick Douglass’ role in post-Civil War society—Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction. Much of this information, even if scantily known, is told, in this project, in a way that makes it more accessible, and gives the audience a chance to absorb it in a more personal way. Frederick Douglass introduces the information in a manner that allows audience members to think about the implications of these historical events rather than just taking in information as a mere exercise in rote memory.

In addition to Civil War stories, the other important element of this project is the Negro spiritual. The history of Negro spirituals is well known in most African American communities—if only anecdotally. Spirituals are known to have been a healing mechanism that played an important role in saving many enslaved African Americans. This performance piece was written around the Negro spiritual, as before putting even one word to paper, I listened to many Negro spirituals and from them selected nine songs I felt not only would tell Frederick Douglass’ story, but also the Civil War and Reconstruction stories that were important to tell. The result is a performance piece with a Negro spiritual concert at its core. The two are intimately connected and cannot be separated. To that end, the piece was designed so that Frederick Douglass and the vocalists would interact with each other throughout the piece—each one part of the other.

Finally, the piece is designed so that Frederick Douglass and the vocalists have opportunities to interact with the audience. Allowing Frederick Douglass to speak directly to an audience member’s face, or having a vocalist sing, specifically, to two or three audience members at a time connects the audience in a more visceral way not only to the information and to the performers, but also to their own thoughts and emotions. Their theater experience is lived versus observed.

What excites you about being a part of the Downtown Urban Arts Festival?

The opportunity to present Civil War history in a way that looks more at people and culture, and not war–and sharing this information with a New York audience (my hometown).

What’s your upcoming project after the Festival?

Working on a piece about African American migration from the south to the north.

Website:

Facebook Page: 

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010250348599

SHOW INFO:

Friday, March 25 at 7pm

HERE (145 Sixth Avenue – enter on Dominick Street)
Tickets are $18 at http://www.here.org or by calling 212-352-3101

Downtown Urban Arts Festival Features Clyve Lagerquist & In the Library

CapturePlaywright’s Name: Clyve Lagerquist

Tell us about your latest project: 

A short but intense play, In the Library is a claustrophobic meditation on suspense and suspicion in the wake of tragedy and personal fear in the anonymity of mass shootings.

What excites you about being a part of the Downtown Urban Arts Festival?

I’m ecstatic to be involved in the prescience, vitality, and importance of live theater. Being involved in DUAF is a dream of a stepping stone in a playwright’s career.

What’s your upcoming project after the Festival?

I’m working on a full length play as well as several film scripts and the pilot for a tv series I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

Website: 

Tremr.com/clyvelagerquist

Facebook:

Facebook.com/Clyve8

Twitter: @ClyveLagerquist

SHOW INFO

Friday, March 25 at 7pm

HERE (145 Sixth Avenue – enter on Dominick Street)

Tickets are $18 at www.here.org or by calling 212-352-3101

Downtown Urban Arts Festival Features Nelson Diaz-Marcano & Radical

CapturePlaywright’s Name:  Nelson Diaz-Marcano

Tell us about your latest project:

Radical is a dark fast pace political thriller based on the events that happened in Chile during the coup of September 11, 1973. I am a very passionate individual about Latin America and its people. If you knew me and heard that, you wouldn’t believe it. Most people think this play is more humorous. My friend literally asked me how many d*** jokes I had in my play? Answer: I need new friends.

What excites you about being a part of the Downtown Urban Arts Festival?

Everything. The marketing, the way it makes you feel, the fact that these shows that are there with yours are as good as yours./ Many problems that exist with festivals, is that most producers take the money and choose whoever is willing to pay. The problem with that is that you end up with a  mix festival, in which shows get buries under mediocrity. Not this one. Being part of DUAF is an honor and an opportunity unlike many in this city.

What’s your upcoming project after the Festival?

I am currently developing a play about Puerto Rican identity and colonialism. Sounds fun, huh? It will be a lot of fun, we are coming up with some incredible material. If you’ve seen one of my plays before, you know they could be anything but boring.  Also working on a web series called “Evil” which is in post production right now.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Nelson-Diaz-Marcano-264145796968680/

Twitter/Instagram: @NDMstrikes/@nelsondm

SHOW INFO:

Saturday, March 26 at 7pm

HERE (145 Sixth Avenue – enter on Dominick Street)
Tickets are $18 at http://www.here.org or by calling 212-352-3101

Downtown Urban Arts Festival Features Mel Nieves & Cost of Exposure

CapturePlaywright’s NameMel Nieves

Tell us about your latest project:

It’s a two character one act between a husband, who is a writer, and his wife, a former dancer. The play explores the fine line of “writing what you know” and “exploitation” when the husband decides to write a fictional account of a tragic moment in their relationship that has haunted both of them in different ways.

What excites you about being a part of the Downtown Urban Arts Festival?

T. Marc Newell has been such a supporter of my work over the years going back to when the festival was at the Cherry Lane Theatre that I truly feel that the Downtown Urban Theatre Festival along with the LAByrinth Theatre Company, Barefoot Theatre company and The Actors Studio Playwright-Director Unit/Workshop is one of my true artistic homes.

What’s your upcoming project after the Festival?

I will be shooting a film as an actor in April and I’m also currently working on a screenplay that I was hired to write which will be filmed in September in West palm Beach Florida.

Website: http://www.melnieves.com

SHOW INFO
Wednesday, March 23 at 7pm
HERE (145 Sixth Avenue – enter on Dominick Street)
Tickets are $18 at www.here.org or by calling 212-352-3101

Downtown Urban Artists Festival Features Jennifer Cendana Armas & Twist & A Bridge

Jennifer Cendaña ArmasBAMPlaywright’s Name: Jennifer Cendana Armas

Tell us about your latest project:

Twists & A Bridge is a short piece I have been developing for a year. It is a one woman piece looking at the effects immigration has had on relationships- both familial and romantic. The piece incorporates the use of Tagalog and Spanish to explore the journey of love, language, and immigration.

What excites you about being a part of the Downtown Urban Arts Festival?

It is the chance for me develop this new piece.

What’s your upcoming project after the Festival?

I will be performing at Brooklyn Academy of Music Apr. 8 & 9, sharing some new poetry I have created, and will be showing work at The Smithsonian in DC Memorial Day weekend

Website:  http://www.junipersupadupa.com

Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/junipersupadupa/?fref=ts

Twitter:  @jcaposts

Downtown Urban Arts Festival

CaptureI just recently learned about this Festival which a bit shocking. Only because it has been in existence since 2001 and it completely slipped pass me. Quell damage! Anyway, I know about it now and if you didn’t know about it, you are so welcome.

The crux of their mission is an “wavering commitment to promote diversity in the arts by showcasing urban expression”.  The festival runs to April 10th and covers artists expressing through theatre, film and poetry.

Visit www.dutfnyc.com for more info and follow me on Twitter @malinism and on Theatre Beyond Broadway Facebook Page to learn more about the artists.


CREATIVE AMMO, INC.
PRESENTS THE

 2016 DOWNTOWN URBAN ARTS FESTIVAL

FEATURING THEATER, SOLO WORKS & FILM
MARCH 4 – APRIL 9
Now in its 14th year, the Downtown Urban Arts Festival (DUTF) is becoming New York’s premiere winter/spring theatre event showcasing independent theatre artists. The month-long festival, produced by Creative Ammo, Inc., provides writers and performance artists from America’s burgeoning multicultural landscape the opportunity to share their stories that interpret our history and our times.

The 2016 Downtown Urban Arts Festival will run March 4-April 2 with performances at Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette Street), Nuyorican Poets Café (236 East 3rd Street), HERE (145 Sixth Avenue – enter on Dominick Street), and the Tribeca Film Center (375 Greenwich Street). Tickets ($10-$30) may be purchased in advance at http://www.dutfnyc.com.

MUSIC
All shows are at Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette Street)
Tickets are $30 at http://www.dutfnyc.com or by calling 212-967-7555

Friday, March 4 at 7:30pm
Corey Glover & Friends
Two-time Grammy Award lead singer of the legendary band Living Colour Corey Glover performs a special one-night only intimate concert with friends Dennis Diamond, who co-wrote the powerful anthem Silence with Glover from his first solo album Hymns, and others.

SOLO SHOWS
All shows are at Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette Street)
Tickets are $20 at http://www.dutfnyc.com or by calling 212-967-7555

Tuesday, March 8 at 7:30pm
The Bronx Queen by Joe Gulla
Anchors aweigh! Playwright/Actor Joe Gulla (bait and!) tackles the issue of growing up as a gay Italian boy… in the Bronx! Smart, fun, funny and poignant, The Bronx Queen reveals why some people are destined to be nervous (ship)wrecks… while others cling to the greatest life preserver of all: Art! (Dramamine not included!)

Tuesday, March 15 at 7:30pm
Love, Locs, & Liberation by Ella Turenne
Blending poetry, song and humor, Ella Turenne unlocks “hairstories” experienced by Black women. Through 21 different characters, she exposes the hair connection to politics and culture. Love, Locs & Liberation weaves together stories of struggles with issues of identity and beauty using rituals Black women hold sacred and Ella’s experience as an American woman with strong ties to her Haitian culture.

POETRY
All shows are at Nuyorican Poets Café (236 East 3rd Street)
Tickets are $12 at http://www.nuyorican.org

Saturday, March 19 @ 7pm
Words Matter Poetry Slam
#FlintWaterCrisis, #RoevWade, #RefugeesWelcome, #BlackLivesMatter … a poetry slam for writers to share what matters to them (in a poetic way) with a $200 prize for best poem. Special guests include Nuyorican founder Miguel Algarin, two-time Tony nominee Reg E. Gaines and others.

THEATER
All shows are at HERE (145 Sixth Avenue – enter on Dominick Street)
Tickets are $18 at http://www.here.org or by calling 212-352-3101

Tuesday, March 22 at 7pm
Homo Americanus by Paul Cosma-Cimpoieru
Using music and dance, Paul Cosma-Cimpoieru fervently explores a Romanian immigrant’s experiences in the Big Apple. From the subways, bodegas, tourists, Uptown, Downtown, he reveals through this interpretive dance work what it feels like to wake up in the city that never sleeps and strive to be a part of it.

Twist & A Bridge by Jennifer Cendana Armas
Twists & A Bridge weaves theatre, song, and poetry in English, Tagalog, and Spanish to tell the story of immigration and family.

Wednesday, March 23 at 7pm
Recess by Una Aya Osato
Focusing on a group of 7-year-olds, this multi-media, nonlinear play takes audiences’ on a field trip into the hearts and minds of children navigating their way through life and the NYC public school system.

Thursday, March 24 at 7pm
Cost of Exposure by Mel Nieves
“I’m feeling that this is a complete and utter violation of the most intimate part of my life, MY LIFE! This is nothing less than a RAPE!” – Cynthia Vargas to her husband Hector. What price are you willing to pay and what are you willing to lose for writing what you know? What is the cost of exposure?

trash by Alyssa Krompier & Justice Hehir
When two young women are stationed to pick up trash for court-mandated community service, they find common ground as they sift through things left behind, discarded, or misplaced.

Friday, March 25 at 7pm
No Cowards In Our Band by Anthony B. Knight, Jr.
Set against the backdrop of post-Reconstruction America, self-emancipated slave-turned- statesman Frederick Douglass uses the healing balm of the Negro spiritual as the framework within which he reflects on his life and the social, economic and political ramifications of slavery and the Civil War.

Saturday, March 26 at 7pm
Radical by Nelson Diaz-Marcano
It is September 11, 1973 in Santiago, Chile and the government has been brutally overtaken by the military. In the midst, three strangers battle it out in a basement while chaos and paranoia drown a dying promise. Radical shows what happens to people who are left with nothing but hope.

In the Library by Clyve Lagerquist
In the Library is a meditation on suspicion, guilt, intent and the roles adopted in the midst of a tragedy.

Tuesday, March 29 at 7pm
Strange Fruit Redux by Afrika Brown
No one truly knows what the day holds as they prepare to step out their front door. Burgeoning Bed-Stuy artist Nathan Strange is poised to be the latest phenomenon of the NYC art scene, but a common trend plaguing our society may prevent him from doing that.

Stop and Frisk by Matthew Widman
Two young men are stopped and frisked by two undercover cops as they walk across an urban park.

Wednesday, March 30 at 7pm
Canned Laughter by Dean Preston
“Ever since his children’s television show ended, Milligan has remained a shut in. But when Howard, a TV producer from his past, arrives at his door determined to make a revival of the show, old tensions arise and the seams that bound their once strong friendship unravel all over again.”

Thursday, Marc 31 at 7pm
Flip-in by John Foster
What happens when down south, back woods, magic hits a young NYC couple? In this urban Hip-Hop comedy lovers caught in a spell must take on the themes of love, sex, and, “what it is like for a woman to live in a world designed specifically for men.”

Dine & Dash by Anghus Houvouras
Some dates are a disaster. Others are murder. Two lost souls meet for a blind date with wildly different agendas: She wants to get inside his head. He wants to get up her skirt. Unfortunately, only one of them will walk away from this encounter alive.

Friday, April 1 at 7pm
Rags To Bitches by Tommy Jamerson
“Lock down those lashes and lace-fronts, ladies, because a battle of wits and wigs is about to ensue. When two Queens accuse each other of sabotage, shade will be thrown, T spilled, and acrylics sharpened; all culminating in an epic dance-off guaranteed to go down in drag “herstory.”

One Size Fits All by Irene Hernandez
In One Size Fits All, watch four women get undressed and confide their deepest secrets… while shopping and trying on clothes in a fitting room at a department store. Each woman, of various shapes and sizes, shares her frustration with body shaming, insecurity and finding the right outfit with humor and brutal honesty.

Saturday, April 2 at 7pm
Ferry Limbo by Chip Bolcik
The story of John Duvall, a man who thinks he is on his way to work, but who meets Larry, a man who can’t remember anything about himself until he tells John that John has died.

When the Bell Rings You Shut the F*ck Up by Jim Bulluck
An unhappy couple has an unusual encounter during a therapy session.

FILM
April 7, 8 & 9 @ Tribeca Film Center (375 Greenwich Street)
Tickets are $10
Details TBA!

DOWNTOWN URBAN ARTS FESTIVAL In 2001, DUTF was founded with the purpose to build a repertoire of new American theatre that echoes the true spirit of urban life and speaks to a whole new generation whose lives defy categorizing along conventional lines. That purpose has been realized many times over, as more than 100 writers have created and refined their work for the stage and thousands of inspired audience members have applauded their performances. DUTF inaugurated the festival in 2002 at HERE in SoHo to help revitalize the NYC downtown arts scene, which, at the time, was experiencing a severe downturn due to the WTC disaster. It has been recognized as “one of the world’s best festivals for new works” and described as “not only prestigious, but a slice of heaven for playwrights who want the chance to freely express themselves.” (Lisa Mulcahy, Theater Festivals, Allworth Press, 2005)

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

DUTF is part of SubletSeries@HERE: Co-op, HERE’s curated rental program, which provides artists with subsidized space and equipment, as well as technical support.