FringeNYC + FringeBYOV Returns 2018

After a one year hiatus, the New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) returns with a new look.  It also returns with an additional moniker called FringeBYOV (Bring Your Own Venue) which opens the festival and audience members to theatre beyond the borough of Manhattan. Unfortunately, the Bronx wasn’t included but kudos to Staten Island for being creative in their presentation of The Ferry Play as a podplay.

So I would be lying if I said that there wasn’t some trepidation around the new format. August in NYC for theatre-makers and audience members comes with an acceptance. There will be 200 shows to read in the program guide (in addition to the other festivals and shows); you’ll only be able to get to maybe ten (2 if you are in the Fringe); and you’ll have to run from venue to venue in 100 degree weather. Honestly, as much as I complained about it, I LOVED it. Even if some of the shows were hit or miss.

This leads me to figuring out my Fringe schedule in October. The days are getting shorter, there are some serious plays being produced at our non-profit institutions, and now there’s the Fringe Hub where we all meet to be taken to our venue. How to see it all?! Yes, a luxury problem, but in today’s climate, the theatrical platform, soapbox, medium, choose your noun, is essential. So when Onaje is the play that kicks off my Fringe viewing, I am intrigued. The show is already sold out in the days prior to its opening.

Onaje uses the Cambridge riots of 1967 on the Eastern Shore of Maryland as a backdrop for a group of people who are neighbors turned enemies due to the race relations. An ensemble of nine tell the story of an astrological hobo, an ex-CIA operative, a stripper, a drunk, an angry cop, a family living a simple life, and hitchhiker as they intersect on the highway (literal and metaphorical). We learn soon that this is the first layer of the onion. Wrong place at the wrong time. Running away from the truth. Money solves all problems. The grass is always greener on the other side. Leaving the world better than we found it. All of these are reflected in each actor as in their insightful and careful expression of Robert Bowie, Jr.’s words.

It took me some time to unpack the 145 minutes of intensity. There were many aspects of the show that left me in thought. The cast was talented, Pat Golden’s direction tight in telling the story within the allotted time (though it felt long at spots), and the writing significant.

My next stop was Jamaica Center for the Arts & Learning (JCal) as part of the fringeBYOV/fringeQNS. On the way to see The Public and Private Deaths of Carol O’Grady, I listened to a new feature of the Fringe called the podplay. I listened to Subway Plays which was simply a pretty cool thing to experience as I rode the 7 train. The good thing about the series is that you don’t HAVE to be on that line if you’re already familiar with the subway. I listened to Damper Felts: N on the bus and had the same experience. If you are a tourist, though, it’s a great companion piece for taking the train. All the conversations you have, don’t have, avoid, overhear, and imagine are in one place. Jenny Lyn Bader, Jessie Bear and Colin Waitt capture those moments. As a native New Yorker, I laughed aloud many times and didn’t care about the reactions of others.

As for The Public and Private Deaths of Carol O’Grady, Frank Murdocco’s solo show was a breath of fresh air on a cool night in Jamaica, Queens. The experience began as soon as I arrived and was treated with a tour of the venue which boasts two artists’ gallery. That prepared me for another surprise – a beautiful state-of-the-art 120 seat theatre. It’s Christmas and something terrible has happened to Carol O’Grady! Murdocco’s tells the story through three characters in the style of Sarah Jones, Anna Deveare Smith and Eric Bogosian. He flawlessly and smoothly transforms into these characters. The only indication of a character change is a click of the lamp (which I loved) which added to the layer of the insanity created by Jessica DiPaola and Lindsey Smith.

My trip to the Fringe is coming to a close due to scheduling but definitely support the artists. We need their voices and their stories. And we need yours too. Start creating!

The NEW York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC + FringeBYOV)

October 1st – 31st, 2018

OCT 12th – 28th

OCT 5th – 28th

OCT 1st – 31st

New York New Works Theatre Festival Returns & Accepting Submissions

LOGO_BUG+TYPE-resized-2-1_blkbg (1)I have worn many hats in this festival and the connections I made have been fruitful. Nick Radu’s Imaginary is now in the process of becoming a movie. So this is a great opportunity if you are looking for a platform to get your work seen by industry folks. They are currently accepting submissions through August 15th.
The Broadway panel behind the New York New Works Theatre Festival is once again donating their time to assist aspiring writers!
Approximately 50 writers will be given the opportunity to have their work reviewed by a panel of Broadway Producers, Emmy Award winners, Tony Award winners, and industry professionals at the 199 seat Duke Theatre this coming October.  Submissions are free and the Festival will absorb many of the costs so as to be manageable by the participants. The selection process is all about the talent and EVERY submission is reviewed by at least one Broadway Producer.
The historical performances have covered a large range of experience and have included a piece directed by Jayne Atkinson that is now heading to Broadway, a group where nearly all of the cast members were currently in leading roles ON Broadway, a Broadway revival that had been nominated for six Tony Awards when originally released, and talented writers from all walks of the industry who wanted a shot in front of the right people.
The energy is incredible and the successes have surpassed the team’s wildest expectations.  It truly is a one of a kind event.
Visit for more details!

The panel includes: Gene Fisch, Jr., Lucia Kaiser, Hinton Battle, Larry Freitag, Larry Kaye, Paul Sladkus, Vincent Morano, Lauren Class Schneider, Jana Robbins, Douglas Denoff, Lizebeth Zindel, Christian Cazerez, R. Erin Craig, Cindy Sibilsky, Paula Levine, Stu Sternbach, Michael Barra, Carol Ostrow, Ben Cameron, Brette Goldstein, Craig “MuMs” Grant, Sjon Dowell, Benjamin Simpson, Joseph Longthorne, Matthew Lombardo, Aaron Grant, Stephanie Iscovitz

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.


Facebook Page:


Friday, March 25 at 7pm

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

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



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

All shows are at Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette Street)
Tickets are $30 at 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.

All shows are at Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette Street)
Tickets are $20 at 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.

All shows are at Nuyorican Poets Café (236 East 3rd Street)
Tickets are $12 at

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.

All shows are at HERE (145 Sixth Avenue – enter on Dominick Street)
Tickets are $18 at 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.

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.