Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
Catch an interactive investigation of the impact of AI, a new musical about mental illness, a surreal curtain raiser 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.
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Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street between Ninth and Dyer Avenues in Midtown West
Previews begin September 2. Opens September 6. Closes September 23. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $15 tickets.
A pop musical about mental illness? Hey, the last one won a Pulitzer. Relapse takes place in a group therapy setting as characters grapple with addiction, loneliness, depression and the intrusive voices in their heads who enjoy bursting into song—literally.
28th Street Theater, 15 West 28th Street between Fifth Avenue and Broadway in NoMad
Previews begin September 5. Opens September 12. Closes October 29. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $27 tickets.
Emerging Artists Theatre is presenting a trio of thematically disparate shows in rep this month, including this intriguing piece of historical future fiction, which imagines that the world's most famous diarist survived the Holocaust and decided to rewrite her own story. As Frank argues with her editor about her changes, she relives the horrors of her past.
Soho Playhouse, 15 Vandam Street between Sixth Avenue and Varick Street in Soho
Begins September 6. Closes September 23. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $15 tickets.
When Oxford art history grad and self-dubbed "zinger-songwriter" Caitlin Cook started taking pics of outrageous bathroom graffiti, she saw the makings of a solo musical. Set in the john of a dive bar, The Writing on the Stall showcases Cook's irreverent original songs, which feature authentic scrawls like, "Life ain't all burritos and strippers, my friend," as lyrics. Proof that wit and wisdom can be found in the crappiest places.
A.R.T./New York Theatres, 502 West 53rd Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues in Midtown West
Previews begin September 6. Opens September 10. Closes September 23.
A New York Times Critic's Pick, Christina Masciotti's engaging character study centers on Agata (award-winning stage vet Kellie Overbey), an ailing Russian immigrant looking to pass on her Queens tailoring business to a worthy successor. But her assistant Janice (Carmen Zilles) is reluctant to pick up the thread. It's a finely observed examination of one woman's life, work and legacy.
Steve and Marie Sgouros Theatre, 115 MacDougal Street between West 3rd and Bleecker Streets in the West Village
Previews begin September 7. Opens September 14. Closes September 24. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $15 tickets.
A darkly comic, feminist riff on Shakespeare's greatest tragedy, alt Hamlet finds twin sisters tasked with avenging their mother's murder by proving their father's guilt. But that's only part of the story. Subtitled "a post-Roe satire," this vaudevillian play weaves bodily agency, polarizing politics and copious abortions into the Bard's bloody tale as the siblings keep popping pills to end their many pregnancies. Madness, mayhem, mifepristone and Misoprostol ensue.
122CC, 150 First Avenue at 9th Street in the East Village
Previews begin September 7. Opens September 18. Closes September 30. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $13 tickets.
It's important to read between the lines at Abhishek Mujamdar's powerful 9 Kinds of Silence about a mother and child reuniting in an oppressive country where communication is monitored. At the end of a multi-year war, she is processing returning soldiers when her son shows up fresh from combat. The only way they can have an honest conversation about what they've been through is by not saying what they really mean. PlayCo presents this world premiere about the power of language and silence.
The Tank, 312 West 36th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues in Midtown West
Begins September 8. Closes October 1. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $15 tickets.
Christine Stoddard's bilingual coming-of-age tale centers on a Salvadoran-American teenager in Phoenix, Arizona, who's being raised by a depressed single mother and is regularly visited by the ghost of her deceased abuela. Racism, sexism and rape are explored in this surreal meditation on cultural and familial inheritance.
Culture Lab LIC, 5-25 46th Avenue near 5th Street in Long Island City, Queens
Previews begin September 9. Opens September 14. Closes September 24. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $15 tickets.
AI seems to be on everyone's mind, especially theatre-makers. Tjaša Ferme's BIOADAPTED fuses testimony from scientists, speculative fiction and GPT-3 text to investigate what our future may look like in an AI-dominated world. At the end, the audience interrogates GPT-3 directly in real time, so come prepared to participate.
HERE, 145 Sixth Avenue at Dominick Street in Soho
Begins September 12. Closes September 30.
Normandy Sherwood's mind trip of a puppet show is like a Russian nesting doll as curtain after curtain rises to reveal various mesmerizing vignettes. Patrons even enter through a curtain, traveling a labyrinthine path to arrive at an intimate, eerie theatre where the boundaries between art and audience become blurred. Commissioned and developed by HERE's lauded Dream Music Puppetry Program, Psychic Self Defense is a fabulous fabric-filled fantasia.
36th Street Studio Theatre, 312 West 36th between Eighth and Ninth Avenues in Midtown West
Begins September 13. Closes October 8. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $12 tickets.
Playwright-performer Daniel Damiano's new one-man play focuses on the humans behind the January 6 headlines. A North Carolina husband, father and store owner goes on a fishing trip with a childhood friend and ends up participating in one of the most notorious events in US history. Previously seen at 2022's Dream Up Festival, One With the Current shows how a good man with good intentions can be convinced to do horrible things in the name of politics.
59E59 Theaters, 59 East 59th Street between Madison and Park Avenues in Midtown East
Previews begin September 14. Opens September 19. Closes September 30.
Ahsan Ali and Lisa Jill Anderson wrote and star in this two-hander about a pair of NYC transplants clashing and connecting across a cultural divide one drunken evening in Brooklyn. Pendragon Theatre and New Light Theater Project coproduce this new play about the misunderstandings and misassumptions that divide us.
Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand Street near Pitt Street on the Lower East Side
Previews begin September 14. Opens September 17. Closes October 8 If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $11 tickets.
Performed in Spanish and English with supertitles in both languages, Zoetrope is a surreal, multimedia journey from the bilingual Brooklyn-based collective Caborca. The play switches focus and tongues as a tale about a military postal officer expands to encompass the story of his extended family, playwright René Marqués and Puerto Rico's one full day of independence. Better experienced than described!
36 Street Theatre, 312 West 36th between Eighth and Ninth Avenues in Midtown West
Previews begin September 21. Opens September 23. Closes October 8. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase $11 tickets.
What Tom Stoppard did for Hamlet's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, T.J. Elliott does for the jester and his wife, the ancillary players in the story of 7th-century Irish Saint Dymphna, who was beheaded by her father the king for refusing to succumb to his evil desires. Allegedly the jester and his wife lived to impart her tale, but how did the events impact them? This dark comedy imagines what they went through as it explores mythmaking, martyrdom and survivor's guilt.
Wild Project, 195 East 3rd Street between Avenues A and B in the East Village
Previews begin September 27. Opens September 29. Closes October 21.
Cyrus Aaron's new play puts a personal face on a polarizing political crisis as the mother of a Black man lost to gun violence decides to finish something he started as the one-year anniversary of his murder approaches. She wants his death to have meaning, but how can she grieve, honor his legacy and move on?
Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie Street between Rivington and Delancey Streets on the Lower East Side
Previews begin September 28. Opens September 30. Closes October 21.
Inspired by interviews and historical events, this docu-musical chronicles the rise and fall of Picher, Oklahoma. Once the world's largest producer of lead and zinc, the town became an EPA Superfund site and all residents were forced to leave. Through the lives of Picher citizens and the experiences of the Quapaw Nation, The Picher Project explores the struggles of illness, pride, love and loss.
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Top image: Zoetrope running at the Abrons Arts Center this month. Photo by Marcos Toledo and Juan Carlos Malavé.