Festival Lineup Announced for Speak Up, Rise Up

Festival Lineup Announced for
Speak Up, Rise Up
Second Annual Storytelling Festival to Play The Tank, August 6 – 12
Speak Up, Rise Up, is pleased to announce their festival lineup which features a diverse group of over 100 artists featuring a wide range of ethnicities and races with the majority of the performers being women.
Now in its second year, Speak Up, Rise Up will present a diverse range of topics on The Tanks two stages with multiple shows running in the evening and on the weekend. Playing August 6 – 12, Speak Up, Rise Up, aims to amplify the voices of communities and people we don’t often hear from.
The festival will present over 40 shows with a wide range of topics and performers including WNYC’s Nancy Podcast, 15 year-old storyteller Maeve Press, comic/storyteller Josh Johnson whose credits include The Tonight Show and comedy specials with Comedy Central and Netflix, Drae Campbell’s Tell and Bobby Hankinson’s  KWEENDON, both shows feature evenings of Queer Storytelling, Average Women with Average Rage featuring Leah Bonnema, Ophira Eisenberg, and Negin Farsad, Sydnee Washington’s solo show, Death of a Bottle Girl, OutsideIn – a storytelling show that focuses on the prison system, Shalewa Sharpe’s solo show Don’t Reach in the Bag, and Comedy Central and HBO comic Aparna Nancherla, among many other talented performers.
Spotify is the lead sponsor of this years Speak Up, Rise Up Festival.
2018 Lineup
Monday, August 6 
Main Stage @ 6:30 pm
NYC Veterans Alliance – Community Showcase
The NYC Veterans Alliance achieves community wellness and access to services for all veterans in New York City and beyond, regardless of service era or discharge status. We empower veterans, families, and civilian allies to connect as a community, advocate for improved policies, and advance as civic leaders. The showcase will feature Veteran’s sharing their stories onstage.
Side Stage @ 7:00 pm
Tell, Queer Storytelling Show – Storytelling
Curated & hosted by Drae Campbell
TELL is a queer storytelling show featuring a line-up of queer folks telling their own stories on their own terms. The storytellers include Danielle Earle,
Azure D. Osborne-Lee, David Reyes, Sara Jane Stoner, and Foxy Squire.
Main Stage @ 8:00 pm
Average Women with Average Rage – Storytelling
Written & performed by Leah Bonnema, Ophira Eisenberg, and Negin Farsad.
Three of New York City’s best comics blend personal stories with political commentary as they attempt to dismantle the patriarchy in one 60-minute show. (You know women, such overachievers…)
Side Stage @ 9:00 pm
I’m Just Fine – Solo show
Written & performed by Nina Mozes
A stand-up style solo show that asks you to laugh at my pain. Pain is a personal and private experience, but it is also universal. So, let’s talk about it. And joke about it. Because when we laugh, nothing hurts.
Main Stage @ 9:30 pm
Calvin Cato Has Daddy Issues – Solo show
Written & performed by Calvin Cato
Watch Calvin S. Cato work out his daddy issues in real time as he tells a tale of unfortunate hookups, misleading mentors, and a formative moment with his dad that will change his life.
Tuesday, August 7 
Side Stage @ 7:00 pm
It’s nice to feel wanted – Solo show
Written & performed by Sammie James
Comedian Sammie explores some of the more awkward and in some cases traumatic experiences. Bad dates, bad relationships, health issues, and uncomfortable conversations, are all in there and yeah, some silly jokes about animals and movies will be there too.
Main Stage @ 8:00 pm
WNYC’s Nancy Podcast live show – Storytelling/Podcast
With Tobin Low and Kathy Tu
Nancy is a critically-acclaimed podcast featuring queer stories and conversations, and hosted by two best friends, neither of whom are named Nancy. It’s a podcast about how we define ourselves, and the journey it takes to get there.
Main Stage @ 9:30 pm
Faith No More – Solo show
Written and performed by Matthew Dicks
A boy whose faith in God is absolute finds himself suddenly lost after his faith in a higher power is tragically stripped away. As he becomes a man, he struggles for the return of his faith as the universe attempts to kill him (literally) at seemingly every turn.
Wednesday, July 8
Main Stage @ 6:00 pm
No One Left Behind – Community Showcase
No One Left Behind helps America’s Wartime Allies with Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) resettle safely in the United States. They bridge the gap that exists between current State Department and NGO refugee relief programs, and provide assistance with housing, employment and cultural adaptation. They treat their clients as the heroic veterans they are.
Side Stage @ 7:00 pm
Woody’s Order! Concert Version – Solo show
Written & performed by Ann Talman
How can you live your own destiny if you’re “Woody’s Order!”, and have been told since birth that your destiny is to be thy brother’s keeper? A screening of the documentary with excerpts of the play introduces Ann, Woody, Mom, Dad, Elizabeth Taylor, and special souls who helped Ann come to grips with what real destiny means.
Main Stage @ 8:00 pm
Late Night Talkers – Variety Show
Hosted & curated by Chelsea Davison
Writers and performers from late night TV share stand-up and stories in a show you don’t have to stay up late for. LINEUP: Chelsea Davison (The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon), Alingon Mitra (Conan), Aaron Jackson (The Opposition w/ Jordan Klepper), Alison Leiby (The President Show).Late Night Talkers
Side Stage @ 9:00 pm
Come Fly with me! Let’s fly away! – Storytelling
Curated & hosted by Tarik Daniels
They say you shouldn’t run away from your problems but sometimes your problems are due to horrible people or a terrible place. All storytellers will tell a tale about running away from what they knew wasn’t good for them. They all escaped to have a brighter, more beautiful life.
Main Stage @ 9:30
You Got Left – Solo show
Written & performed by Andrew Collin
When Andrew Collin was 24, he made over $250,000 in one deal. He was working in Florida real estate during the wild days of the early 2000s. But when the recession hit, Andrew found himself scrambling to find the next big score. You’ll laugh and shake your head along with this tale of fancy cars, bottle service and paper bags full of cash.
Thursday, July 9
Main Stage @ 6:30 pm
Center for Popular Democracy – Community Showcase
The Center for Popular Democracy works to create equity, opportunity and a dynamic democracy in partnership with high-impact base-building organizations, organizing alliances, and progressive unions. CPD strengthens our collective capacity to envision and win an innovative pro-worker, pro-immigrant, racial and economic justice agenda.
Side Stage @ 7:00 pm
The Sound of MUltiple SensItivities to Chemicals – Solo show
Written & performed by Jacqueline Peters
Jackie was an extroverted gal until a mold exposure left her sick, hypersensitive to chemicals, and spending way too much time home alone with just her imagination for company. Join her as she escapes into the things that comfort her: singing, laughing, the Sound of Music, and being the center of attention
Main Stage @ 8:00 pm
Aparna Nancherla – Stand-up/Storytelling
Written & performed by Aparna Nancherla
Catch Aparna Nancherla before she goes on her Fall tour. Aparna’s credits include a comedy special with Netflix, performing on Two Dope Queens on HBO and was the voice of Hollyhock on the most recent season of Bojack Horseman. Other acting credits include Crashing, Master of None, Love, and Inside Amy Schumer. Aparna was also named one of “The 50 Funniest People Right Now” by Rolling Stone. She also co-hosted the 2018 Women’s March Rally in NYC.
Side Stage @ 9:00 pm
SELFISH JUSTICE – Two 30-minute Stories
Written & performed by Courtney Antonioli & Lindsay Hoffman
Lindsay Hoffman’s aggressive leap into real responsibility. She builds the Teen Center with the help of her friends in her hometown of Clawson, Michigan. A place where teens can be themselves, create art, find themselves, and have a team of dedicated people there to help them through the process of growing up. Join her through bouts with the city council, superiors, parents and schools. She and the community fight to keep one of the greatest achievements of her life alive and untouched.
Courtney Antonioli asks, why can you MagicBand turkey legs, but not tampons in the women’s restrooms in Disney World?  When will society embrace periods as valid experience that needs to be recognized?  What happens when women stop accepting the menstruation as their “burden” and start to hold men and companies accountable? This happens.
Main Stage 9:30 pm
Written & performed by Shalewa Sharpe
A young woman applies for a job at an adult video store because she figures the dress code will be lax. Such naivete. Shalewa Sharpe presents a show about growing and showing, inspired by her six-year stint at a porn store.
Friday, July 10
Side Stage @ 7:00 pm
Our True Voice Now: stories of resistance from New Jersey – Storytelling
Hosted & curated by Angel Ling
Four suburban Jersey women share heartfelt, personal stories of what it has meant to be “woke” since November 2016. How are we likely/unlikely political organizers and leaders, at this moment in our American history? We will share stories of success, pitfalls, and of personal becoming. Stories by Rachel Barry, Lisa Ferraro, Rachel Goldstein, and Angel Ling.
Main Stage @ 8:00 pm
I’m Choking (and other excuses to leave a party) – Solo show
Written & performed by Josh Johnson
Whether it was the wedding of someone we don’t like, or the housewarming of someone we don’t know, we’ve all been at that point at a party where we ask ourselves… what am I doing here? What Josh answer those questions for himself, and maybe for you too. From hilarious surprises to accidental deaths he’ll cover all the reasons you’d want to leave a party, and the reasons you might want to stay.
Main Stage @ 9:30 pm
College Sucks! – Solo show
Written & performed by Anita Flores
Turns out, college isn’t like the movies. This show illustrates the comedic high and lows of what it’s like to attend 4 different colleges. From a small, overpriced private school to a “party school” to NYU, one thing’s for sure: Sallie Mae is a bitch. This is one woman’s journey finding a place to belong.
Saturday, July 11
Main Stage @ 12:00 pm
Stage the Change – Storytelling
Written & performed by Stage the Change Players (A troupe of high school students from Long Island)
Stage the Change is an organization dedicated to enabling high school students to use their voices to make a difference in the world. Through creativity and mentoring these students began to create a body of work that expresses their ideas and approaches issues of race, social justice, gender and sexual equality, bullying and a variety of other social and emotional issues that influence their lives.
Side Stage @ 1:00 pm
The ‘Hoodwink – Solo show
Written & performed by Melanee Murray-Hunt
Albie Davis is a singer with a heart of soul.  But the world doesn’t seem to be ready for Albie’s blend of outspoken word, creative freedom and righteous take on pop culture, hip-hop and hair weaves.
Main Stage @ 2:00 pm
MASHUP- Stories Into Song – Storytelling
Hosted & curated by Jude Treder-Wolff
Great stories have words, ideas and an emotional energy which create a kind of music. In this show some of New York’s finest storytellers perform, followed by an original song co-written by writer/performer and singer/songwriter Jude Treder-Wolff and composer Wells Hanley which was inspired by their story. Storytellers include Robin Bady, Richard Cardillo, Michele Carlo, and Vernon Payne.
Side Stage @ 3:00 pm
That’s Not How It Happened – Solo show
Written & performed by Colleen Hindsley
Colleen began her journey in storytelling a few years ago after the deaths of her parents, two larger-than-life figures who raised her and five older siblings in and around their Irish pub. It was a childhood spent listening to the wild stories of the characters there – Colleen’s parents being the most important of them all.
Main Stage @ 4:00 pm
Lil’ Mama – Solo show
Written & performed by Emily Reese
The only child in a town of six residents, Reese, was raised by her bear hunter father, Zeus, and her artist mother, Mary Jo. Reese takes us on a memorable trip through pivotal moments in her life. Her story is sure to be unlike any you’ve heard before. ​
Main Stage @ 6:00 pm
Women of Color for Progress – Community Showcase
Women of Color for Progress (WCP) is a multi-strategy political organization founded by women of color for women of color. WCP empowers women of color to excel, lead, represent, and be heard. Ultimately, WCP hopes to not only elect women of color into public office but also create a pipeline of women of color political leaders.
Side Stage @ 5:00 pm
Trampoline – Solo show
Written & performed by Christina Blacken
Christina Blacken is a storyteller, performer, and founder of TheNewQuo.com, a platform + consultancy with 1M social media impressions to date that teaches storytelling for change. Her stories showcase the subtle ways we other one another through our beliefs and are inspired by her experience growing up as an extreme minority in Utah. As a Utah native & NYC resident for the past 9 years, she knows far more uses for jello than she’d like to admit.
Side Stage @ 7:00 pm
Singleling – Storytelling/Podcast
Vanessa Valerio
Singleling is a podcast and live series show that showcases love and dating stories from regular people around the world and the best comedians and storytellers in the country.
Main Stage @ 8:00 pm
Death of a Bottle Girl – Solo show
Written & performed by Sydnee Washington
After a decade of working in NYC nightlife, Sydnee decided to hang up her cocktail dress forever. Reminiscent of “MTV Diaries” meets “20/20”, this hilariously authentic solo show exposes the ups & downs of the fast life as a bottle waitress.
Side Stage @ 9:00 pm
You Roar, I Roar – Storytelling
Hosted & curated by Becca Beberaggi
You Roar, I Roar is a storytelling show featuring women of color, queer and trans performers from NYC. The show is inspired by the #METOO movement and #timesup movement. Women and survivors are finally having their voices heard. We are roaring like never before! Storytellers include Zubaira Ahmed, Michelle Carlo, Andrea Coleman, And Veronica Garza, and Sammie James.
Main Stage @ 10:00 pm
KWEENDOM – Storytelling
Hosted & curated by Bobby Hankinson
KWEENDOM is a long-running comedy and storytelling showcase featuring some of New York City’s most beloved LGBTQ writers and performers. With a fervent commitment to diversity, KWEENDOM has provided space for underrepresented performers to share their stories for nearly three years.
Sunday, July 12
Main Stage @ 12:00 pm
Town of Islip Anti-bias Ambassadors – Community Showcase
The Town of Islip (Suffolk County, NY) sponsors an Anti-bias Ambassadors Program for youth which encompasses approximately ten school districts. Students from participating schools attend leadership conferences where they hear speakers who have endured racism and bigotry. As their final project this year at Sayville High School, they held a story slam featuring six students who performed for English classes over the course of two consecutive 40 minute periods.
Side Stage @ 1:00 pm
Dis(is)Respect with Maeve
Written & performed by Maeve Press
With a combination of observational comedy, unpredictable, honest and saucy storytelling and good old-fashioned rebellion, Dis(is)Respect is fifteen-year-old Maeve Press’ invitation to look deeper, remember when, embrace ourselves in all of our warped craziness and confusion and slap some DAMN RESPECT and a little LOVE into our lives.
Side Stage @ 2:00 pm
Cheating Death: Magic, Memoirs & Mortality
Created & performed by Nelson Lugo – Storytelling & Magic
A personal examination of one magician’s life – or more specifically – his many brushes with death.
Main Stage @ 4:00 pm
No, We Won’t Shut Up! – Storytelling
Curated by Robin Bady
There’s still a whole lot wrong in the world today and these women have something to say about it.  And you can’t stop them, because their time is NOW!  With issues ranging from white privilege to wage theft to racism to gentrification to sexual harassment by the police, these women share their personal—and ultimately inspiring – stories. Storytellers include Robin Bady, Michele Carlo, Nicole Ferarro, Dawn Frasier, and Angel Yau.
Side Stage @ 5:00 pm
OutsideIn – Storytelling
Curated & hosted by Nisse Greenberg
The boundaries that bind us and separate us have come into question. In this storytelling discussion we will tell stories of what it feels like to be inside and outside these boundaries – whether literal, as in the bars of the jail cell, or figurative, as in the alienation of immigration. The storytelling discussion/panel includes Juan Franco, Tazmin Uddin, and Michael Majok Kuch.
Main Stage @ 6:00 pm
The Dean’s Choice – Solo show
Written & performed by Thomas Conroy
My scholarship award was my first association with the dean of my undergraduate college at a state university in Ohio. It did not come without strings attached. It is 30 years later, and I speak for the first time … about the encounters, about the lies, about the murder, and about coming out in Ohio in the late 80s.
Side Stage @ 7:00 pm
Now You’re Talking!” Presents The Baby Boom Meets #MeToo – A Reckoning – Storytelling
Hosted & curated by Tracey Segerra
The #metoo movement is powerful and palpable. But how are the women over 50 who came of age during the Women’s Liberation movement handling this paradigm shift? Four women face their pasts and reckon with the future of sexual harassment via deeply personal stories. Storytellers include Renee Joshua-Porter, Tracy Rowland, and Julie Threlkeld.
Main Stage @ 8:00 pm
Serpent’s Tooth – Storytelling
Written & performed by Gianmarco Soresi
“How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child!” New York’s best storytellers air their dirty laundry, share some f*cked up family secrets, and don’t ask for their parents’ permission. Come for a night that would make King Lear feel lucky.
All performances take place at The Tank, 312 West 36th Street (between 8th & 9th avenues), 4th Floor, New York, New York 10018. Subways: 1, 2, 3, 7, A, C, E, N, R, Q, W to 34th Street. Tickets are $17 in advance, $20 at the door and are available at www.speakupriseup.com
About Speak Up, Rise Up
The first Speak Up, Rise Up festival was held in August 2017 at the off-Broadway venue, the Connelly Theater on the Lower East Side. Over the course of a week, over 100 people took the stage. The shows highlighted diversity in subject matter including stories about immigration, LGBTQ rights, and stories from the incarcerated. The line-up featured a diverse mix of performers with the majority of them being female and people of color.
Speak Up, Rise Up’s mission is to create a network of stories, sharing, and workshops to elevate disenfranchised communities’ stories via personal storytelling. Through live events, workshops, and connection to local community groups to tie people to community actions. Providing a space for people to develop, express, and share their stories that we don’t get to hear from. The festival offers storytelling workshops to various community groups in preparation of the next live festival.
Asher Novek (Founder/Producer) is a community organizer, tech designer, media producer, storyteller, storytelling coach, and occasional wedding officiant. He is involved in local political and community organizing and newly minted President of the Central Brooklyn Independent Democratic Club. Asher also serves as a steering committee member of Get Organized Brooklyn and is passionate about community engagement in local issues and working with communities to amplify their voices.
As a storyteller, Asher has performed and produced comedy and storytelling for the last 5 years including the monthly storytelling show he produces, So What Happened Was, in Park Slope. Asher also co-hosts and co-produces the podcast, the Whole Story, and has been featured on the Risk! podcast, Yum’s the Word, and the Bady House Concert Series. He has also led storytelling workshops with the Moth, the Field Innovation Team, Civic Hall, SVA, and recently began 1 on 1 coaching.


Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Opening Performances
Thursday, September 28, 2017

On Thursday, September 28, 2017, The Flea Theater, the 21 year old off-off-Broadway theater known for “raising a joyful hell in a small space”, will joyfully unveil its new home at 20 Thomas Street.  The new performing arts center was designed by ARO, Architectural Research Office and built by Westerman Construction Company, and features three small theaters under one roof, each space with a unique design and multiple uses.

Activities will begin at 10:00 a.m. with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, featuring Flea founders, Sigourney Weaver and Jim Simpson.  Also speaking will be government officials including Comptroller Scott Stringer, Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs Tom Finkelpearl, Majority Leader of the City Council James G. Van Bramer and First District City Council Member Margaret Chin, all of whom were instrumental in getting this tiny off-off-Broadway theater a permanent home.  Also taking part in the official ceremony will be Flea Board Chair Linda Schupack and The Flea’s Artistic and Producing Directors, Niegel Smith and Carol Ostrow.

Says Ostrow, “The Flea has been working diligently for the past seven years to secure and build a permanent home for our company of artists.  Without the support of our city, state and yes even our federal government, as well as the generous contributions of many individuals, this dream would not have been possible.”

The morning ceremony is free of charge and the day’s celebration will continue with tours of the new space and light snacks until noon.

That evening, all three theaters in The Flea’s new home will be in action.  Starting at 5:30 in The Pete, the indoor/outdoor performance space named for the late seminal playwright, A.R. “Pete” Gurney, will be a new performance called Flea Fridays.   This interactive monthly happy hour cabaret series will feature new visions, solo performance and alternative performance artists, all exploring a single question.  For our inaugural Flea Friday, we tackle, “What does HOME mean to you?”

Following at 7:00 p.m. in The Sam, The Flea’s flexible black box theater named for legendary agent Sam Cohn, will be a preview performance of NSangou Njikam’s Syncing Ink, directed by Niegel Smith.  This coming of age hip hop musical explores the roots of hip hop and what it really takes to freestyle. And at 7:30 in The Siggy, The Flea’s basement theater named for Sigourney Weaver, will be the New York Time’s Critic’s Pick Inanimate, a play about a girl, a guy and a Dairy Queen sign.

Tickets to the evening’s portion may be purchased at http://www.theflea.org or by calling Charlie Madison at 212-226-0051, ext. 110.


Meet Joe Kelly & Aliens Coming The Musical

Name: Joe Kelly

What is your current project? Aliens Coming

Where are you performing your show and why is it a good fit for your production?

Aliens Coming is returning to the PIT’s Striker Mainstage Theater, where we held our premier back in April. The PIT has produced a lot of talented performers like Ellie Kemper, Kristen Schaal, and Hannibal Buress. We’re extremely excited to call the PIT our home and to share a common starting place with these talented performers. The PIT is known for it’s hilarious improv and is a perfect fit for our fast-paced, campy show.

What’s next for you?

I’m currently developing a new play that revolves around a very bloody week leading up to the Westminster dog show.

What is the name of the last show you saw?

James, Jonathan, and I all went to see the Play That Goes Wrong together. We’ve been knocking on wood ever since.
Any advice for your peers?

I would say that if you’re someone who’s aspiring to produce a play in New York then the first step is to surround yourself with motivated and like-minded people. Theater is an intensely collaborative art, and you’d be surprised what you can will into existence with a good group of creative and dedicated people.

Want More?

Website: http://www.joekelly.space/alienscoming

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alienscomingthemusical/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoeyJKelly/

Joe Kelly is a New York based playwright who wrote the book and lyrics for ‘Aliens Coming’. Joe is a senior at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU where he is majoring in Dramatic Writing and studying playwriting. Joe’s previous credits include writing ‘She’s Totally Dead’ and appearing in a radio commercial for Tyson chicken when he was thirteen.

Show Information: 

WHERE: The People’s Improv Theater’s Striker Mainstage – 123 E. 24th St. NY, NY

TICKETS: Tickets can be purchased here for only $10


  • Thursday, 8/17 at 8pm
  • Friday, 8/18 at 9:30pm
  • Saturday, 8/19 at 9:30pm
  • Thursday, 8/24 at 8:00pm
  • Saturday, 8/26 at 9:30pm
  • Thursday, 8/31 at 9:30pm
  • Tuesday, 9/5 at 8pm
  • Saturday, 9/9 at 9:30pm
  • Tuesday, 9/12 at 8pm
  • Monday, 9/18 at 8pm

Meet Audrey Alford & A Real Boy

Name: Audrey Alford

What is your current project? A Real Boy by Stephen Kaplan

Where are you performing your show and why is it a good fit for your production?

59E59 is the perfect fit for this intimate piece. We have turned Theatre C into a Kindergarten classroom with the audience up close and personal in alley seating. Watching it from different angles really does change the way you understand a character, as well as the puppets.

What’s next for you?

I’m a member of the SDC Observership Class so hopefully I will be working under an established director very soon. Otherwise, I’ll continue to keep my eye out for projects that fit with my personal mission.

What is the name of the last show you saw?


Any advice for your peers?

Create a space where everyone is able to fail. Some of the best moments come from someone in the room trying something zany.

Want More?

Website: http://www.Ivytheatre.com

Facebook: Ivy Theatre

Twitter: @audrey_directs

Instagram: Ivytheatre

You Tube: Audrey Alford: Sharing My Crazy

Audrey is the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Ivy Theatre Company. Her Off Broadway production of Donkey Punch, by Micheline Auger, was a Time Out New York’s Critic’s Pick, and the Off Off production was nominated for 3 NYIT Awards, including Best Premiere Production of a Play. In 2013, she was nominated for Best Director in the Midtown International Theatre Festival for Black Ice, by Lezlie Revelle. She has directed in New York, Charlotte, Seattle, and New Orleans. She is a proud feminist and is working toward a theatrical community inclusive of everyone’s stories.

Show Information:

WHERE: 59E59 Theaters, 59 E59th Street, NYC

WHEN: AUG 2, 2017 – AUG 27, 2017/Tue, Wed, Thu at 7:30, Fri at 7:30, Sat at 2:30 & 7:30, Sun at 3:30

TICKET INFO: $25.00 (59E59 MEMBERS $20.00)

For groups of 10+ please contact: GINGER DZERK, Director of Ticketing Services P 646.892.7986 | GD@59e59.org


Meet Eric Wright & A Real Boy

Name: Eric Wright

What is your current project? A Real Boy

Where are you performing your show and why is it a good fit for your production?

59E59 is a great venue for showcasing new and innovative forms of theater, as well as very traditional forms, like the marionettes in our show, in exciting ways.

What’s next for you?

At my company, Puppet Kitchen Productions, we’re always working on projects that connect people to puppetry. From live shows to film and TV, we blend style and engineering to bring characters to life.

What is the name of the last show you saw?

The Play That Goes Wrong

Any advice for your peers?

Strive toward Shameless Enthusiasm. Take your work seriously, but never take yourself too seriously.

Want More?

Website: http://www.puppetkitchen.com

Facebook: @puppetkitchen

Twitter: @puppetkitchen

Instagram: @thepuppetkitchen

You Tube: @puppetkitchen

Puppet Kitchen Productions has been designing, building, performing, directing, and teaching puppetry since 2008. Recent projects include: The Little Mermaid (MUNY), The San Diego Zoo’s Centennial Celebration, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show (AUS, NYC, UK) The King and I and The Wiz (Maltz Jupiter Theater), and Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (TWUSA). PKP has workshops for the public, and creates original programming for all ages.

Show Information:

WHERE: 59E59 Theaters, 59 E59th Street, NYC
WHEN: AUG 2, 2017 – AUG 27, 2017/Tue, Wed, Thu at 7:30, Fri at 7:30, Sat at 2:30 & 7:30, Sun at 3:30
TICKET INFO: $25.00 (59E59 MEMBERS $20.00)
For groups of 10+ please contact: GINGER DZERK, Director of Ticketing Services P 646.892.7986 | GD@59e59.org


Meet Tom Attea & The Folk Singer

Name: Tom Attea

What is your current project?

“The Folk Singer,” a new musical, which is being premiered by Theater for the New City on October 9th and is scheduled to run through October 23rd.

Where are you performing it and why is it the right fit for your piece?

I wrote it because I was thinking about, as I frequently do, a new work for the theater that would, in a character-based way, reflect the times in an intelligent and entertaining way. I realized that today folk music isn’t as popular as it was in the 30’s and 40’s and again in the 60’s and 70’s. Given the multiplicity of problems afoot in the world today, I found the relative absence particularly ironic. I wondered what character would embody the problem and imagined a young folk singer, struggling to reach a wider audience. In his idea to get together other local folk singers, write all new folk songs with contemporary relevance and stage “A Folk Festival for Today,” I had the occasion to write new lyrics that would reflect the text and subtext of the times and allow the audience to share the content in the unique communal forum the theater provides for consequential thoughts and credible eloquence.

What’s next for you?

I often say that the more sensitive and logical you are, the more a generally insensitive and illogical world is likely to upset you. I’ve learned over the years that I’m only able to withstand the stresses of the premier of one new show a year. Between writing them, I write poetry or philosophy. For example, after my last show, I wrote a sonnet sequence and one of the sonnets was published by the literary magazine Poetica Victorian. Philosophy has also been a lifelong interest of mine. For example, I’ve subscribed to The Philosophers Magazine for years. I’ve developed a personal philosophy over time and, when I get an idea that develops it, I make a note. The philosophy informs all of my writing and is primarily about the need for humans to make a commitment to this life our primary devotion. For instance, in the show, there’s a song about sitting in a railway station, watching people drop things on the floor, leave them on their seats, etc., treating the station like the stopover on the way to their destination. The singer wonders how they’d treat it if they realized the station might be their destination. It’s sort of a variation on Aristotle’s thought that the way you can tell the difference between a public fountain and a private fountain is the private fountain is clean.

Who is your biggest inspiration right at this moment and why?

I’m inspired by people who have valued life itself in an intelligent way, by which I mean the thoughtful, mutually considerate care and fulfillment of its finest potential. These include the following: Chekhov, the exquisitely tender playwright of human interaction, who, as a physician, could write in one of his letters, “My holy of holies is the human body.” Albert Schweitzer, for his ethical principle of “Reverence or Life,” or, as he casually stated it, “What is good for life is good and what is bad for life is bad.” Bertrand Russell for, in the book Principles of Social Reconstruction, “New thought will be required … the world has need of a philosophy, or a religion, which will promote life…. Through the spectacle of death, I acquired a new love for what is living.” Contemporary philosophers include A. C. Grayling, who often writes about “human flourishing,” and Peter Singer, who advocates for the rights of all species. Unfortunately, thoughts like these are sometimes caught up in the so-called Right to Life movement, which makes no room for the life of the would-be mother or the would-be father. I believe that a fundamental aspect of the dignity of life is to be able make our own choices, hopefully, wisely, and, in fact, that the freedom to choose is necessary for the conduct of human life as it has evolved.

Want More?

Website: http://thefolksinger-anewmusical.com/

Tom Attea has written thirteen other produced shows, beginning with “Brief Chronicles of the Time,” which was presented as a showcase by The Actors Studio, where he was a member of The Playwrights Unit for 10 years. Since then, he has written the book and lyrics for ten musicals and two plays that have been presented by Theater for the New City. Tom received a TNC/Jerome Foundation emerging playwright grant and is a member of The Dramatists Guild.

Show information (venue, dates, ticket info)

THE FOLK SINGER began previews on September 29th, opens on October 9th at the Theater for the New City (155 First Avenue between 9th and 10th Streets,
New York, NY 10003) and will play a limited engagement through October 23rd. Tickets are $15 ($10 for seniors and students.) Box office: 212.254.1109, SmartTix: 212.868.4444 or purchase online at http://www.smarttix.com.

The performance schedule for THE FOLK SINGER is as follows: Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8pm, with matinees on Sundays at 3pm.

Free in NYC? Yes, Please

It’s Tuesday. The 4th of July is coming upon us. Here are some fun things to do for FREE!

Check out NYCGO. They have my favorite list: Capture

Museums that are “either always free, free on specific days of the week or free for select hours”. 

CaptureNYC.gov offers the best of what’s happening. This week’s latest episode includes movies at Bryant Park, Karaoke on the Coney Island Boardwalk. and Dancing Under the Stars (which I spied from my window).

This one is super fun and I hope to get to a show this summer. I mean, THE WHO, played the Forest Hill Stadium a month ago.Check out DNA.infoCapture

I live near Forest Park and there is always something a-happening. Zumba, free concerts, CaptureMAGIC!