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Celebrating free theatre in NYC

Date: Oct 13, 2009


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You can’t get better than free, and New York City is taking part in the national Free Night of Theatre program.

Sponsored in part by Theatre Development Fund,Free Night NYC ( actually runs through the end of October, giving patrons the chance to book free tickets to a host of Off and Off-Off Broadway shows. But if you’re not in New York, don’t worry. The Free Night of Theatre program is nationwide. To learn about performances in your area, just go here.

The centerpiece of Free Night NYC is the Union Square Celebration. On Thursday, October 15 from noon-6:00 PM, Manhattan’s Union Square will be filled with theatre artists. They’ll be performing, speaking, and talking theatre.
To help you plan your day, here are some highlights from the Union Square Celebration. A complete schedule is available here.


Select Events at the Union Square Free Night of Theatre Celebration  - October 15


12:45 Thoughts on the Theatre from Eric Bogosian and Judith Malina

Eric Bogosian
Eric Bogosian is the author of three novels, several films and numerous award-winning works for the theater. As an actor he has starred onstage as well as on film and television.
Bogosian's best known work is "Talk Radio" in which he starred Off-Broadway and in the Oliver Stone film of the same name. In 2006, the play was brought to Broadway, garnering Tony nominations for the play and for Liev Schreiber, who starred. For the original stage version, Bogosian was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and for the film he received the prestigious Berlin Film Festival's Silver Bear. In addition to "Talk Radio", Bogosian is the author of several plays, including "subUrbia", which was produced by Lincoln Center Theater in 1994. The play was adapted to the screen by Richard Linklater and revived Off-Broadway with an updated script in 2006. His most recent play, "1+1" was produced by New York Stage & Film in 2008.

Judith Malina
Co-founder of The Living Theatre
2008 Artistic Achievement Award from the New York Innovative Theatre Awards. This honor was bestowed on Malina on behalf of her peers and fellow artists of the Off-Off-Broadway community. Other awards include an honorary doctorate from Lehman College, the Lola d'Annunzio award (1959); Page One Award (1960); Obie Award (1960, 1964, 1969, 1975, 1987, 1989, and 2007); Creative Arts Citation, Brandeis University (1961); Grand Prix du Theatre des Nations (1961); Paris Critics Circle medallion (1961); Prix de L'Universite de Paris (1961); New England Theater Conference Award (1962); Olympio Prize (1967); and a Guggenheim fellowship (1985).


1:15 Horestrade presents (a)muse collective

No Traveler
Principal Artist: Penny Pollak
Performers: Penny Pollak, John Murdock

One woman's darkly funny journey through this meaningless and absurd world and life's most pivotal moments of desperation. From childhood to her adult life Rebecca is convinced that suicide is her only sure escape but her attempts are continually derailed by a mysterious comically dysfunctional dark "angel" who's method is less convincing then her motivation. Her misguided but well-intentioned mother only contributes anxiety as Rebecca tries to find and keep a reason to live. We explore the crisis of human existence, the fear and freedom of nothing stopping her whether she chooses life or death and that she has no one to blame but herself.

1:30 Thoughts on the Theatre from Kathleen Chalfant, Mike Daisey and Kamilah Forbes

Kathleen Chalfant
Kathleen Chalfant won the 1999 Obie Award for her outstanding performance of Vivian Bearing, a terminally ill cancer patient; in the play Off-Broadway play Wit. She was also in the original Broadway production of Angels in America. She has had roles in Law and Order: SVU, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Law and Order, The Guardian, and The Book of Daniel.

Mike Daisey
Mike Daisey has been called "the master storyteller" and "one of the finest solo performers of his generation" by the New York Times for his groundbreaking monologues which weave together autobiography, gonzo journalism, and unscripted performance to tell hilarious and heartbreaking stories that cut to the bone, exposing secret histories and unexpected connections. His monologues, fourteen and counting, include the controversial How Theater Failed America, the six-hour epic Great Men of Genius, the unrepeatable series All Stories Are Fiction, and the international sensation 21 Dog Years. He has been nominated for the Outer Critics Circle Award, two Drama League Awards, and has been the recipient of the Bay Area Critics Circle Award, three Seattle Times Footlight Awards, and a MacDowell Fellowship.

Kamilah Forbes
Kamilah Forbes is an award winning actress, director, playwright and producer. She has been nominated for Helen Hayes Award for Best Lead Actress. In her diverse body of work, she is noted for having a strong commitment to the development of creative works by, for and about the Hip-Hop generation. As the Artistic Director of the Hip-Hop Theatre Festival (HHTF), an annual 3-week festival taking place nationwide in New York, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Chicago, she has seen it grow from a fledgling project into an independent non-profit organization with a truly national scope. Kamilah first came to prominence as the writer/director of Hip-Hop Theatre Junction's premier work "Rhyme Deferred."

3:30 Jeff Grow presents NYC's top sleight of hand artists, con men & mentalists

5:45 Fashion Show of pieces from TDF's special Costume Collection . MCed by Joey Arias

The TDF Costume Collection houses more than 75,000 costumes and accessories from Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, opera companies and touring companies. They provide these professionally designed costumes at affordable prices. The reasonable prices not only allow fledgling companies to mount more professional-looking shows; they also help theatres to produce a greater number of new works by keeping production costs down. Performing arts organizations; colleges and universities; middle and high schools; and community and charitable groups are among those eligible to take advantage of all the TDF Costume Collection has to offer.