Downtown Urban Arts Festival Features Chip Bolcik & Ferry Limbo

Playwright’s Name: Chip Bolcik

Tell us about your latest project: 

Ferry Limbo is a play I wrote to honor my friend John, who died 21 years ago from a rare bone cancer. The play does not focus on the actual events of his life, but rather on the kind of person he was. This play is a departure from my normal style of writing. I tend to write comedies, and romantic comedies. Ferry Limbo, though it has some humor in it, is a much more serious, though septet play.

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

The Downtown Urban Arts Festival is a big step up for me and my creative team. They are extremely well organized, and incredibly respectful of writers. I have never felt so important before! I respect the way they work, and how they treat the people they invite to participate.

What’s your upcoming project after the Festival?

After the festival, I’m headed home to Los Angeles, where I will continue writing the full-length play I’m writing about marriage.. Then I’m off to Alaska where my play, ‘Til Death Do Us Part” is going to be part of the Last Frontier Theatre Festival. It is my fourth year in a row being part of that festival.

Facebook Page: 

https://www.facebook.com/Chip.Bolcik.Photography/?fref=ts

SHOW INFO:

Saturday, April 2 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 Anghus Houvouras & Dine & Dash

CapturePlaywright’s Name: Anghus Houvouras

Tell us about your latest project:  

Dine and Dash is a dark comedy about a blind date that takes some sinister twists and turns. She wants to get into his head. He wants to get up her skirt. By the end of the night, only one of them will survive.

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

The chance to come to New York and for one night be a part of the theater scene. To be part of that electric current that runs through the city every night is something I always wanted to do. I’m a huge fan of the theater and comedy scene of NYC. It’s where the best work is being done. Razor sharp writing and seasoned performers entertaining audiences seven nights a week. Every time I visit NYC I walk the streets and think about the history there. The vaudeville shows of the 20s and 30s. The dynamic Broadway shows of the golden age. Cutting edge stuff like National Lampoon’s Lemmings in the 1970s. The comedy club stand ups of the 1980s. Being able to stage a show as part of this year’s DUAF has put a big grin on my ridiculous mug.

What’s your upcoming project after the Festival?

I’m working on a new play called A Civilized World which tells the story of a dystopian future where the unproductive of society are sentenced to death. The play chronicles one of the victims as they are processed through a final interview before their execution. There’s some twists and turns as we learn about what happens to the condemned as well as the faltering beliefs of the bureaucrat tasked with conducting the final interview.

Website: 

http://mycareersuicidenote.tumblr.com

Facebook Page:

http://www.facebook.com/anghus

Twitter: @anghusFM

SHOW INFO

Thursday, March 31 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 Tommy Jamerson & Rags to Bitches

575500_366575300061087_1668848070_n12809550_10101393081540544_4873688745399835533_n[1] (1)Playwright’s Name: Tommy Jamerson

Tell us about your latest project:

RAGS TO BITCHES: A Battle of Wits & Wigs tells the tawdry and bawdy story of two long-time drag rivals duking it out backstage at the US Open’s Legs Drag Pageant. But tucked under the sequins and just beyond the duct tape, there’s also a tale about insecurity, friendship, and learning to admit when you’re wrong. It’s basically an educational show for children, but with female illusionists’ and cursing.

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

DUTF has a rich and wonderful history of helping out playwrights both green and seasoned. Being able to work with such an inviting and encouraging group has not only been a dream come true, but has also helped me reshape and see my play in a way I never thought possible. It’s not often a writer is given a chance like this, and DUTF has provided me with an invaluable (and artistically rewarding) opportunity.

What’s your upcoming project after the Festival?

I am primarily a children’s playwright, so I have a family show opening in Indiana (FROM HAIR TO ETERNITY: THE UNBEWEAVEABLE ADVENTURES OF RAPUNZEL) in May, as well an adaptation of Pinocchio (entitled ONCE UPON A PINE) premiering in New Orleans in the summer. I also have an adult, campy comedy (ETERNAL FLAME: THE BALLAD OF JESSIE BLADE) that’s currently playing here in New York at the Corner Office Theatre.

Website: http://tommyjamersonplays.com/

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

SHOW INFO:12809550_10101393081540544_4873688745399835533_n[1] (1) 575500_366575300061087_1668848070_n

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 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