Join the Theater for the New City on May 22 through May 24 for the 20th Annual Lower East Side Festival of the Arts. The festival will take place at the Johnson Theater, the Cabaret Theater, the Community Space Theater, and outside on East 10th Street.
The festival is a multi-cultural cavalcade, a free-for-all of theater, music, dance, comedy, film and art that remains free for all. This year LES, turns twenty, not yet old enough to legally drink, but old enough to legally think; and if you think if you have a mind for art and culture and bang-up entertainment, and you find yourself in NYC over the Memorial Day Weekend, then there is no better place to be than with LES at Theater for the New City for the free Lower East Side Festival of the Arts, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.
LES is a tribute to all the artists who lived and created on the Lower East Side and in the East Village in the past, a showcase for its current stars, and a glimpse at its up and coming talent of the future.
The Lower East Side and the more recently and perhaps more sexily titled The East Village; has always teemed with talent. Like, George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, Yip Harburg, James Cagney, George Raft, to name a few, all emerged from its tenements. Charlie Parker, Garcia Lorca, Mark Twain, Eugene O’Neill all spent time working here and were inspired by its streets and its myriad of different peoples.
As avant-guardians of this proud history, they compelled to gather annually to sing hosannas to our past, while kicking up our heels in the now and foreshadowing our artistic future. Some of the greats who have graced our stage at LES over the last 18 years include, Kurt Vonnegut, David Amram, Quentin Crisp, Arthur Miller, Moises Kaufman, Charles Busch, Eli Wallach, Anne Jackson, Judith Malina, F. Murray Abraham, Charles Grodin, Joe Franklin, Dan Lauria and Phoebe Legere. Groups and Companies who have participated include the New York Theatre Workshop, The Public Theater, Rod Rodgers Dance Company, the Living Theater, and the list goes on and on…
TNC nurtures and develops writers for the American stage. TNC does only new work – they are all premiers. It produces a playwright more than once, as the writer gains strength over a period of time. It does full-length plays, many with music and song and choreography. Each year, TNC produces between 30-40 new American plays by both emerging writers, established writers, and theater companies that have no permanent home. Awards for past productions include: the Pulitzer Prize, 43 Village Voice OBIE Awards, 8 Audelco Awards, 2 Bessie Awards, 5 ASCAP Awards, 10 Rockefeller Playwrights Fellowships, The Mayors Stop the Violence Award, the Manhattan Borough President’s Award for Public Service and Artistic Excellence in Theater, and NY City Council Proclamation paid tribute to TNC’s contributions to improving the quality of life in the City by its “rich tradition of bringing theater to people in multi-cultural neighborhoods.”