6-12-21 and 6-19-21: Annual East Village Play Festival
Last Edit: Official_Press_Release 02:25 pm EDT 06/04/21
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 02:11 pm EDT 06/04/21

One Act Plays Celbrate Life and Lore of the East Village

Two Evenings of New One-Acts

16th Annual Play Festival

June 12 and June 19, 2021

Obie Award winner Metropolitan Playhouse presents two evenings of new live-streamed readings, free of charge, with a talkbacks to follow: EAST SIDE STORIES: UNMASKED, two evenings of readings of four new plays.

6/12/2021 at 8:00 pm (Eastern) through 6/23/2021 at 10:00 pm (Eastern)
Running Time: 1 hour
Free of charge.
Available at: www.MetropolitanPlayhouse.org/ESS2021

Each program will be available for four days following its premier on the Playhouse webpage, YouTube channel, and Facebook page.

The first evening of plays (6-12-21), "Welcome to the Neighborhood," includes POPPYSEED by Michael D. Dinwiddie--a story of an unexpected reception at an old-school bakery in 1976, and TALL BLONDE WITH A TOY GIRAFFE, by Armand Ruhlman--a nightmarish first night in a new neighborhood in 1981.

The second evening (6-19-21), "Stick Around," includes CARMEN PABON PRESENTE!, by Nina Howes--the life story of an incomparable activist and light, all in her own words, and IZZY STICKS WITH IT, by Rex McGregor--a whimsical encounter between Ava Astor and a young (and vocal) Irving Berlin.

Beginning in 2003, Metropolitan has presented new one-act plays celebrating the theater's neighborhood, Manhattan's East Village, and has premiered over 100 one-act plays inspired by its history.

Each evening will be followed by a question and answer with the playwrights.

CARMEN PABON PRESENTE!, directed by Gloria Zalaya, features Marisol Carrere as the inimitable activist; IZZY STICKS WITH IT is directed by Michael Hardart and features Aidan Eastwood, Michelle Geisler, and Sarah Hankins. POPPYSEED is directed by Linda Kuriloff and features Adrian Baidoo and Rosina Fernhoff; TALL BLONDE WITH A TOY GIRAFFE is directed by Rachael Langton with Amanda Jones, Michael A. Jones, and Jed Peterson.

MICHAEL D. DINWIDDIE is a playwright/composer and associate professor in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. His works have been produced in New York, regional, and educational theater, and he has served as playwright-in-residence at Michigan State University, Florida A&M University, St. Louis University and La Universidad de Palermo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, among others. His awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Playwriting and a Walt Disney Fellowship at Touchstone Pictures. In 2018 Michael was inducted into the College of Fellows at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Writers Guild of America, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education,ASCAP, and the Black Theatre Network.

NINA HOWES is a nurse, an activist, and a writer. Her plays have been produced off- off Broadway at The Metropolitan Playhouse, Theater for the New City, Clemente Soto Velez Center, and the Dorothy Strelsin Theater. Her book “Lower East Side Oral Histories” is available on Amazon.com.

REX MCGREGOR is a New Zealand playwright. His short comedies have been produced on four continents from New York and London to Sydney and Chennai. His most popular play, Threatened Panda Fights Back, has been produced over a dozen times.

ARMAND RUHLMAN, having lived in New Orleans, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, as well as Paris and Marseilles, has been based in the East Village since the 1980's. He has produced, directed, and performed theater and performance art at La Mama and other venues in downtown Manhattan. As a photographer and a cinematographer he is a creator of numerous film and video works, both abstract and documentary, with a particular emphasis on the East Village.


Metropolitan presents readings every Saturday at 8 pm, Eastern Time, and varied programing alternate Wednesday evenings as part of The Wednesday Alternative.

Wednesdays, June 9, 16, and 23: New plays from graduate student playwriting classes.

Saturday, June 26: MY WIFE'S MIRROR, by Edward G.P. Wilkins, a tale of husband taming from 1856.

The VIRTUAL PLAYHOUSE began on March 28, 2020, and has evolved in the year to be a video/stage hybrid that far exceeds the expectations of online readings. Exploring the possibilities of "remote" ensemble, Metropolitan has pushed the envelope of Zoom broadcasts, with increasingly sophisticated virtual settings and sound design. Each reading is enhanced by conversation with the artists and a guest scholar for an hour-long live entertainment every Saturday night. Reaching an audience across the country and around the globe, the presentation of the forgotten one-act plays is an ideal way to pursue the theater's mission exploring America's diverse theatrical history.

The Virtual Playhouse is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

The Virtual Playhouse is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York state Legislature.

METROPOLITAN PLAYHOUSE, in its 29th season, explores America’s diverse theatrical heritage through lost plays of the past and new plays of American historical and cultural moment. The theater received a 2011 OBIE Grant from The Village Voice for its ongoing productions that illuminate who we are by revealing where we have come from. Called "invaluable" by the Voice, Backstage and Talkin' B?oadway, Metropolitan has earned further accolades from The New York Times and The New Yorker. Other awards include a Victorian Society of New York Outstanding Performing Arts Group, 3 Aggie Awards from Gay City News, 21 nominations for NYIT Awards (3 winners), and 6 AUDELCO Viv Award nominations.

The Playhouse's virtual readings serve to help us compensate performing artists, so particularly hurt during this long ""pause.""
Information about the theater's ARTISTS RELIEF FUND may be found at
Link http://www.MetropolitanPlayhouse.org/ESS2021

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