Horse Trade Theater Group Announces 20TH Anniversary & Final Season

Since 1997 Horse Trade Theater Group has been home to thousands of artists and independent theater companies, becoming “arguably the epicenter of the independent theater world in New York” (Leonard Jacobs, Clyde Fitch Report) and “a mecca for terrific off-off Broadway theater” (Martin Denton, nytheatre.com). We present 8 annual festivals, including Estrogenius, FRIGID, Queerly, Gotham Storytelling Festival, and the Obie-Award winning The Fire This Time Festival. Last year we presented 450 performances including 25 individual monthly productions. We are proud and honored to celebrate our 20th season and to launch the next phase of our continuing mission to support artists and present the very best alternative, diverse and original theater to our loyal and growing audience.

Beginning in the summer of 2018, FRIGID New York, a now established 501c3 corporation, will continue the Horse Trade tradition at The Kraine Theater and UNDER St. Marks.  By transitioning to a non-profit model after 20 years of faithful and proven community service, we will be able to increase our commitment to paying all artists and staff that create the vibrant work on our stages. We will begin the fundraising efforts to ensure the organization’s future in this city’s always shifting and uncertain real estate market.  As we grow our efforts to provide a home for the next generation of independent theater artists, we welcome your support, financially or otherwise, and look forward to partnering with other like-minded organizations to sustain and strengthen the living treasure that is the independent theater community in New York City.

Horse Trade’s 20th and final season will include Death to The Pumpkin Pie Show (the 20th and final installment), the 20th Anniversary of Dysfunctional Theater, new shows from resident theatre companies The Dirty Blondes and Infinite Variety Productions, and the annual Gotham, STEM, Fire This Time, FRIGID, EstroGenius, and Queerly Festivals.

The Constitution
Written by Mickaël de Oliveira, Directed by Jill DeArmon
Presented by Saudade Theatre
August 31-September 10 @ UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place)
Four actors, heroes of a new society, are invited by the government to write a new Constitution. Sequestered from society. Six days. No experience in the matter. A perfect Constitution for an imperfect nation.

Show Up
Written & Performed by Peter Michael Marino, Directed by Michole Biancosino
September 14-30 at UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place)
Directed from a sold out run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Peter Michael Marino’s 4-star critically acclaimed Show Up returns to UNDER St. Marks where it all began last year. This one-man, interactive, improvised comedy is all about the good, bad, and ugly experiences of the audience – who also lend a hand in the set, sound and lights…and there’s a party!

Death to The Pumpkin Pie Show
Written by Clay McLeod Chapman
Performed by Clay McLeod Chapman & Hanna Cheek
October 12-28 @ UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place)
After 20 years of bringing macabre tales of madness and murder to the East Village, writer Clay McLeod Chapman is finally driving a stake into the heart of his long-running storytelling staple The Pumpkin Pie Show. Join him and scene-stealer Hanna Cheek for one final foray into the abyss with their favorite literary perversions from the last two decades.

A Night with the Dead
Written & Directed by Martha Lorena Preve
Presented by Something from Abroad
October 26-29 @ The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street)
You don’t talk about death, you don’t mess with it, and you certainly don’t question tradition. In a world where death is considered taboo, Catrina, a Mexican girl, will defy society’s rules to find out where our loved ones go when they die. A Night with the Dead is a story about the origins of the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos.

6th Annual Gotham Festival
November 1-7 @ The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street)
This November, Horse Trade presents the 6th Annual Gotham Storytelling Festival. With storytellers from a variety of ethnic, national and sexual backgrounds, this year’s festival promises to bring you stories that are both intensely individual and strikingly universal. Don’t miss out on a full week of stories that will make you laugh, cry, wonder and want to hear more.  With special guest Christian Cagigal, a storytelling magician from the west.

Beyond the Etchings
Presented by Infinite Variety Productions
November 10 & 11 @ The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street)
Through a collaboration with Vietnam Veteran Bob Staranowicz and IVP creators Ashley Adelman and Kelly Teaford, Beyond the Etchings tells the story of men and women whose names are visited on the Vietnam Wall everyday. Beyond the Etchings reminds us that war not only changes the lives of those in the war zone but many others waiting anxiously at home.  Basing the play around oral histories, letters and first hand accounts, Beyond the Etchings reminds us of the power of listening, remembering and connecting.

Dysfunctional Theatre 20th Anniversary Extravaganza!
Presented by Dysfunctional Theatre Company
November 29 @ The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street)
This year Dysfunctional Theatre is 20 years old! To celebrate we’ve designed a special, one-of-a-kind event featuring the best moments of shows spanning our years together. Dysfunctional members new and old will be taking the stage to create an unforgettable evening of entertainment that promises to be purely, totally, absolutely Dysfunctional.

In Their Footsteps
Presented by Infinite Variety Productions
November 30-December 11 @ UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place)
Thousands of women served in Vietnam during the war. Barely any of their stories are known. Join the IVP team as they follow the footsteps of five women from all different walks of life who chose to serve their country. Created from five oral interviews, IVP is honored to be taking the words, tales and lives of these women and sharing them with you. In Their Footsteps is not a tale of women who went to war but the stories of everyday life in a warzone and where the journey leads a person after their reality includes dirt, mud, blood and loss.

10th Annual A Very Yoga Christmas
Hosted by Joe Yoga
December 21 @ UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place)
Celebrating its 10th Anniversary, Joe Yoga’s annual all-star variety Christmas show extravaganza returns to UNDER St. Mark’s with free cupcakes, a Steely Dan dance party, double-blind Secret Santa, and the best music and comedy the East Village has to offer.

Winter Burlesque Blitz
December 27-30 @ The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street)
The burlesque Blitz will be returning this year with a whole new lineup of loveliness. This year’s festival will be bringing not only live burlesque performances by performers from multiple points on the Gender spectrum, but also a lecture and a movie on the theme, to create a well rounded event for the holiday season.

4th Annual STEM Fest
January 3-14, 2018 @ The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street)
Storytellers, comedians, burlesque performers, playwrights musicians and, yes, even scientists will show us just how entertaining the world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math can be. With some returning regulars and some new voices this year’s festival promises to bring us one small step out of the darkness and into the light.

9th Annual The Fire This Time Festival
January 15-28, 2018 @ The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street)
The African American experience is not represented solely by one voice or one style. Horse Trade Theater Group and The Fire This Time Festival provide a platform for talented early-career playwrights of African and African American descent to explore challenging new directions for 21st century theatre.

12th Annual FRIGID Festival
February 14-March 4, 2018
The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street) & UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place)
This very special open and uncensored theatre festival gives artists an opportunity to let their ingenuity thrive in a venue that values freedom of expression and artistic determination. In true support of theatre on the fringe, 100% of box office proceeds go directly to the artists. FRIGID is here to chill out the New York independent theatre scene’s ideas of what a theatre festival can be!

EstroGenius Festival
Presented by Manhattan Theatre Source
March 8-26, 2018 @ The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street)
An annual celebration of female voices featuring 10-minute plays, music, solo shows, teen performances, visual art, and dance. New York City’s largest women’s arts festival committed to providing opportunities to female artists – in a variety of disciplines – ranging from the emerging to the seasoned professional.

4th Annual Queerly Festival
June 20-July 2, 2018 @ The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street)
Queerly, a festival seen through lavender-colored glasses, takes the everyday experiences, jokes and stories of being alive on this planet and views them through the lens of queer identity. A celebration of this diverse, strong, sharing-minded community told through stories, songs, poetry and plays.

Horse Trade Theater Group is a theater development group with a focus on new work that produces a massive quantity of stimulating downtown theater every season. Horse Trade’s Resident Artist Program offers a home to a select group of Independent theater artists, pooling together a great deal of talent and energy. Horse Trade also produces the annual FRIGID Festival, the first and only festival of its kind in New York City to offer artists 100% of their box office proceeds. http://www.horseTRADE.inf

Review: It’s A-Scary! The Gray Man and The Pumpkin Pie Show: Labor Pains

The Gray Man Promo Photo credit Suzi SadlerI officially kicked off my new theatre season, Halloween. T’is the season to get all creepy with these two amazingly well-written and contrasting plays.

I was super excited to finally see a Pipeline production as I’ve been following them for years. And they didn’t disappoint. Andrew Farmer’s The Gray Man tells a story of a bogeyman, a ghost or a figment of someone’s imagination. Set in the round, Andrew Neisler directs this emotionally disturbing piece by employing a sensory experience that sufficiently creeped out the audience. The use of disembodied voices and movement in darkness traps us in the story. We are not sure where to look or just keep our eyes shut and listen as if being told a nightmarish bedtime  story.  The creative team and stellar ensemble supported the narrative and each other as they weaved in and out of scenes. And nothing is scarier than a little girl in a scary story because nothing good usually comes out of it. I loved the use of the theatre space as well as varying levels. The one set piece at the middle of the space brilliantly represented the interior of a home. However, there were many moments when actors were out of sight or the set couldn’t be totally seen due to being stable for the whole show.

pumpkin_V2_300_123On the other end of the spectrum, is The Pumpkin Pie Show – Labor Pains which features five short stories told through absurd and fantastically comedic monologues. Clay McLeod Chapman, storyteller, is soon to be a daddy (true story) and shares the woes and fears and neuroses of being a parent. What if you are not the baby daddy? What happens if the oracular predictions your baby is making suddenly stop? Who is that random lady at the playground? Is that baby a terrorist? And what would a Mama Bird do for her baby chick? The fast-paced, quick witted, litany of words and emotions coming at the audience from Chapman and Cheek skyrocketed the audience to another dimension – a bizarro world – which is essentially parenthood.

Two fantastic shows. Be sure to get to a performance. My suggestion is to see both show back-to-back knowing you’ll need another hour to find your footing in reality.

See you at the show!

The Gray Man presented by Pipeline Theatre Company

Walker Space (46 Walker Street between Broadway and Church Street)

September 24-October 18,

Wednesday through Sunday at 8pm with additional performances on Saturday at 5pm and Tuesday, October 13 at 8pm.

Featuring Tahlia Ellie, Daniel Johnsen, Katharine Lorraine, Claire Rothrock, and Shane Zeigler. The production will include Lighting Design by Christopher Bowser, Costume Design by Daniel Dabdoub, and Scenic Design by Andy Yanni with an original score by Composers Mike Brun and Chris Ryan. Produced by Natalie Gershtein with Production Manager Joshua Shain and Stage Manager Kristy Bodall.

Visit www.pipelinetheatre.org for more info.

The Pumpkin Pie Show: Labor Pains, presented by FRIGID New York @ Horse Trade 

UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place between 1st Avenue and Avenue A)

September 24-October 10, Thursday through Saturday at 8pm

Featuring Hanna Cheek and Clay McLeod Chapman.

Visit http://claymcleodchapman.com/performances/the-pumpkin-pie-show for more info.