A Guide to Summer Theater FestivalsFriday, July 13th, 2012
by Josh Marmer
Uncovering “The Next Big Thing” at NYC’s plethora of summer festivals is as easy as buying a (surprisingly cheap) ticket!
With summer well underway, theater festivals are in full swing. From traditional musical theater to avant garde performances, there is a plethora of work to satisfy even the pickiest theatergoer. We’ve brought you a roundup of five of this summer’s hottest festivals. So beat the heat, and cool off in an air conditioned theater today!
NYMF 2012 (New York Musical Theatre Festival)
Founded in 2004, the New York Musical Theater Festival is geared towards showcasing new musicals to the public and potential producers. NYMF has been the launching pad for many Broadway and off Broadway productions such as Altar Boys, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Nerds, Shout! The Mod Musical, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Next to Normal. This year, 2012 Directors Project fellow Christopher Windom is directing the deep and soulful jazz musical Central Avenue Breakdown at The Pershing Square Signature Center. So if you want to see some great theater for cheap before it hits Broadway, check out NYMF this summer.
The New York International Fringe Festival
FringeNYC is the largest multi-arts festival in North America, and August marks its 16th anniversary. More than 200 companies from all over the world will produce over 1200 performances in 12 different venues over the course of this 16-day festival. Past Fringe shows include the Off-Broadway hit Silence! The Musical and Triassic Parq. FringeNYC is definitely the festival for the theatregoer who loves variety!
The New Ohio Theatre presents Ice Factory
Ice Factory is an OBIE Award winning theater festival that has run for 19 years in New York City. The festival invites both emerging and established theatre companies to test out new work that expands the imagination. This summer, Ice Factory is held at The New Ohio Theatre, and three of its six featured shows are helmed by Directors Project alums. From July 11th to the 14th see The Pilo Family Circus, a psycho-thriller directed by Joe Tantalo. From July 18th to the 21st catch Miss Lilly Gets Boned, a play about faith and its challenges directed by David F. Chapman. From August 1st to the 4th check out The Girl of the Golden West, an adaptation David Belasco’s 1911 novel directed by Jeremy Bloom.
Dixon Place’s HOT! Festival is the longest continually-running GBLTQ theatre festival in the world. It is one of the main pioneers of queer art and culture in New York City. Throughout the month of July, the festival asks audiences to support some truly OUTstanding and OUTrageous theatre. The Village Voice praises it as being “The Best LGBTQ Theater Festival in New York.”
The Strawberry One-Act Theater Festival
At The Riant Theatre’s Strawberry One-Act Festival, the audience is the judge in this competitive play series. The festival attempts to create theatre that is truly audience-driven. Various one acts perform during the summer and compete for audience votes in order to win a $1,500 prize, the opportunity to develop a full length version of the play, and a slot in The Riant Theatre’s upcoming season.