Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
Catch Tony nominee Keith David as Frederick Douglass, a drag parody of The Bad Seed, a new production from The Civilians and more
Adventurous audiences know that some of the biggest theatrical thrills are found on NYC's smallest stages. These shows are also great for theatregoers on a budget. In fact, TDF members can see dozens of Off-Off Broadway productions for as little as $11! Not a TDF member? Consider joining our Go Off-Off and Beyond program, which gives you access to discount tickets to indie theatre, music and dance performances for a one-time fee of five bucks.
In terms of COVID-19 safety protocols, all of these productions require audiences to provide proof of being fully vaccinated with an FDA or WHO authorized vaccine. Masks are also mandatory. Note that some shows are adding additional rules such as proof of a booster shot. While we are doing our best to keep this article up to date, before buying tickets to any event, double-check the COVID-19 rules to avoid disappointment.
The Connelly Theater, 220 East 4th Street between Avenues A and B in the East Village
Previews begin March 1. Opens March 13. Closes April 2. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $15 tickets.
Note: Proof of booster shot required.
For the past quarter century, Page 73 has been dedicated to giving promising dramatists their NYC debuts. The company has an impressive track record—recent world premieres include Michael R. Jackson's Pulitzer Prize-winning A Strange Loop and Zora Howard's Pulitzer finalist Stew. Its current production is Man Cave, an ambitious, politically charged horror story by Juilliard playwriting fellow John J. Caswell about four struggling Mexican-American women who hole up in the fancy basement of a racist Arizona congressman, hoping to call on angry spirits to avenge their brutal circumstances. Taylor Reynolds directs this chilling exploration of the plight of the historically disenfranchised. Can't make it in person? From March 21 to April 2, performances of Man Cave will be live-streamed to at-home audiences for $20.
A.R.T./New York South Oxford Space, 138 South Oxford Street between Hanson Place and Atlantic Avenue in Fort Greene, Brooklyn
Previews begin March 5. Opens March 6. Closes April 3. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $12 tickets.
Christopher McElroen helms this recreation of the legendary 1965 debate between author and civil rights activist James Baldwin and conservative intellectual William F. Buckley Jr. about whether the American Dream "has been achieved at the expense of the American Negro." Teagle F. Bougere is Baldwin and Eric T. Miller is Buckley, though they aren't doing impersonations. This isn't about history; instead, the performance is a stark reminder of how far we haven't come as their arguments continue to reflect the divided state of our nation seven decades on.
Ensemble Studio Theatre, 549 West 52nd Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues in Midtown West
Previews begin March 10. Opens March 17. Closes April 3.
Sam Chanse, a longtime writer on the hit TV series The Good Doctor, is having a busy spring on stage. Her funny and angry Disturbance Specialist monologue, about a mature Asian author getting canceled, was a highlight of Out of Time, which wrapped up its run at The Public Theater the same week her full-length play what you are now bowed at Ensemble Studio Theatre. Coproduced by docutheatre darlings The Civilians, the drama grew out of the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project and centers on a young researcher investigating cutting-edge ways to heal the mind from traumatic recollections. But her interest isn't just professional, it's personal as her mother survived the devastating violence of the Khmer Rouge in her native Cambodia. As the action toggles between the past and present, the piece explores the mutability of memory. The Civilians' artistic director Steve Cosson helms the production.
The Tank, 312 West 36th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues in Midtown West
Begins March 10. Closes March 26.
Get ready to bang your head to the Brontë siblings! After presenting a digital version of this staged concept album during the pandemic, songwriter Miriam Pultro's Glass Town: A Rock Requiem makes its in-person debut at indie theatre incubator The Tank. In this musical fantasy, the tragic 19th-century lit legends become alt-rock icons whose tunes explore the bonds of family and grief. Daniella Caggiano directs. Can't make it in person? The performance on Saturday, March 19 will also be live-streamed to at-home audiences for $25.
La MaMa's Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 East 4th Street between the Bowery and Second Avenue in the East Village
Previews begin March 11. Opens March 13. Closes March 27.
The legendary Indigenous feminist ensemble Spiderwoman Theater is behind this fantastical, fairy-filled spectacle, which is, as the title suggests, loosely influenced by A Midsummer Night's Dream. Using the troupe's signature "story weaving" technique, this devised work knits together traditional Native and personal narratives, movement, pop music and video to illuminate the stories of our nation's original residents. Muriel Miguel directs 12 Indigenous actors of different ages, all the way up 95 in this cultural kaleidoscope.
El Puente's Williamsburg Leadership Center, 211 South 4th Street near Roebling Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Previews begin March 10. Opens March 12. Closes April 3.
Slave Play scribe Jeremy O. Harris and The Bushwick Starr are co-presenting A Song of Songs, a ritual-infused play about love and loss that reimagines the Biblical poem as a queer romance with a touch of Greek myth. Ever since he hit the theatre scene, Harris has been a champion of compelling new voices. Up-and-comer Agnes Borinsky both wrote and stars in this exploration of sex, communion and justice.
La MaMa's The Downstairs, 66 East 4th Street between the Bowery and Second Avenue in the East Village
Previews begin March 10. Opens March 13. Closes March 27. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $12 tickets.
The members of the seasoned avant-garde troupe Talking Band have been making cutting-edge theatre together for almost 60 years! Their maturity comes in handy for their latest opus, Lemon Girls or Art for Artless, a celebration of older people making art, especially in a youth-obsessed culture. Created by Obie-winning playwright, composer and company cofounder Ellen Maddow, this dance-theatre piece focuses on four longtime friends who are goaded into participating in a performance at their local community center. Soon, these cranky old ladies find joy and rejuvenation in dancing, singing and sharing their life stories.
HERE, 145 Sixth Avenue at Dominick Street in Soho
Previews begin March 17. Opens March 27. Closes April 10.
Note: Proof of booster shot required.
Stefano Massini's history-inspired epic The Lehman Trilogy was a smash on Broadway and in London. Now celebrated companies Waterwell and Working Theater co-present another true-life story by the award-winning dramatist, 7 Minutes, which depicts an emergency meeting of 11 women and gender nonconforming individuals elected to the union council of their rural Connecticut textile factory. Directed by Mei Ann Teo and unfolding in real time, it's an incisive portrait of the challenges unionized factory workers face in our capitalist society, which undervalues human labor. In order to make the show accessible to all, sliding-scale tickets start at $10.
A.R.T./New York Theatres, 502 West 53rd Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues in Midtown West
Begins March 19. Closes March 26. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $11 tickets.
NYC-based theatre company Hunger & Thirst is known for reimagining classical works to give them contemporary relevance. With DISCUS, they illuminate the rarely told queer love story of Apollo and Hyacinth. Written by Becca Schlossberg and directed by Jenn Susi, this two-hander explores power, accountability and whether love can inspire individuals, even divine ones, to change.
Various venues in the East Village
Begins March 20. Closes April 3.
EstroGenius—NYC's longest-running festival showcasing the work of women, nonbinary, trans women and gender nonconforming artists—takes place over two weeks at three East Village venues: The Kraine Theater, Under St. Marks and the Great Hall at Cooper Union. The jam-packed lineup includes a slew of solo shows, eclectic dance performances, spoken word, performance art and music. You'll find anything and everything here... save for men! Can't make it in person? Many performances are also streaming to at-home audiences.
Gallery Players, 199 14th Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues in Park Slope, Brooklyn
Begins March 26. Closes April 10.
Even though we're only three months into 2022, it's been a fabulous year for Tony-nominated dramatist Dominique Morisseau. Her Obie-winning play Skeleton Crew recently enjoyed a critically acclaimed run on Broadway and her new drama Confederates is in previews at Signature Theatre Company. And later this month, Brooklyn's intrepid Gallery Players is presenting a revival of Pipeline, her thought-provoking play about a Black inner-city public school teacher fighting to ensure her son doesn't become a statistic of the school-to-prison pipeline. Well-received when it ran at Lincoln Center Theater in 2017, this searing work puts a personal lens on an urgent political issue.
Harlem Stage, 150 Convent Avenue at 135th Street in Harlem
Begins March 31. Closes April 2. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $12 tickets.
Note: Proof of booster shot required.
Tony-nominated stage and screen star Keith David (Jelly's Last Jam, Seven Guitars) has a lot of experience reading the words of Frederick Douglass. Known for his booming timbre, David has given voice to the great emancipator, abolitionist, writer and orator in three different documentaries, and even Tweeted about wanting to play the legend on screen. At least now he's doing it on stage in Douglass the Prophet, a brand-new play by writer and documentarian June Cross that imagines a resurrected Douglass schooling us on the racism and inequality that still plague our country, and challenging us to find a way forward.
La MaMa's The Downstairs, 66 East t4th Street between the Bowery and Second Avenue in the East Village
Begins March 31. Closes April 10. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $12 tickets.
You better give them those shoes!! Beloved drag theatre company Hell in a Handbag Productions presents the 20th anniversary mounting of The Drag Seed, an unauthorized parody of the 1956 psychological horror-thriller The Bad Seed. Penned by David Cerda who also appears as Miss Charles, it's the tale of a cross-dressing boy, Carson, who's deadly serious about crowns and pronouns. When they don't win the drag pageant at their very progressive school, Carson will stop at nothing to snag that sash. Cheryl Snodgrass directs this campy comedy.
Andrew Block is an Ovation Award-winning director who hails from New Orleans and now works primarily with the vibrant NYC independent theatre community. He also serves as TDF's Manager of Off & Off-Off Broadway Services.
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Top image: Keith David, who's playing Frederick Douglass in the world-premiere play Douglass the Prophet at Harlem Stage this month.