11.01.23

UNDER THE RADAR FESTIVAL, A TIMELY CITY-WIDE CELEBRATION OF NEW THEATER AND PERFORMANCE FROM AROUND THE WORLD, LAUNCHES TICKET SALES AND ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL PROGRAMMING

Festival Returns January 5–21, 2024, as an Expansive Collaborative Effort by Under the Radar Founder and Director Mark Russell, Creative Independent Producer ArKtype, and Cultural Institutions Across NYC and Beyond

Tickets, Performance Schedules, Detailed Event Descriptions, and Other Information Available Today at UTRFest.org

The Under the Radar Festival today launched ticket sales and announced the addition of three bold works to its lineup, as well as its Under the Radar – On the Road program, extending its reach beyond New York. All detailed descriptions of performances and other events, schedules, and tickets are available on the festival’s just-launched website, UTRFest.org. Reimagined in 2024 as a new, citywide annual festival of theater and performance emerging from New York and around the world, this iteration of Under the Radar is curated in collaboration with an array of New York arts organizations and curators, rather than being tied to a single host institution. Each harnesses the community-building, connective, celebratory nature of the festival format to introduce some of today’s most innovative voices to wider audiences. The festival sets an example of how ​​collaboration can get the American theater through this moment of existential crisis: reinvigorated and ready to create a theater that can embrace diversity, risk, and reinvention.

Added to this year’s bountiful roster are two gripping new works presented by BRIC: a limited encore of Krymov Lab NYC’s celebrated interpretation of Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin, from Russian director Dmitry Krimov, “one of the world’s finest theater-makers” (The New York Times), currently residing and creating in exile in New York; and Sister Sylvester’s The Eagle and the Tortoise, a collective reading of a book written for that very purpose. At the BAM Fisher, MART Foundation, Arlekin, and BAM present visionary Ukrainian director Igor Golyak’s production of Tadeusz Słobodzianek’s chilling play following ten Polish classmates through eight decades, Our Class. Legendary Downtown performer Salty Brine will subvert the typical artist talkback format with offbeat interviews and engagements with Under the Radar artists throughout the festival in Teatime with Salty Brine.

The festival also announced three keynote speakers for its Symposium/Gathering (January 12) discussing the obstacles facing American artists and the presentation of international work: acclaimed theater artist Jeremy O. Harris, Kaneza Schaal and Hana Sharif, Artistic Director of the Arena Theater in Washington, D.C. The symposium is organized and presented in collaboration with IPC (International Presenting Commons), CIPA (Creative & Independent Producer Alliance), NYU Skirball, and HowlRound.

The festival features previously-announced presentations from Abrons Art Center and Ping Chong Company with Nile Harris’s this house is not a home; Fisher Center at Bard and The Invisible Dog Art Center with Tania El Khoury’s Cultural Exchange Rate; Japan Society with Yu Murai and his company Kaimaku Pennant Race’s Hamlet|Toilet; La MaMaExperimental Theatre Club with MotusOf the Nightingale I Envy the Fate and John Jarboe’s Rose: You Are Who You Eat in collaboration with The Bearded Ladies Cabaret; Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts with Jessica L. Hagan’sQueens of Sheba in partnership with Factory International and Soho Theatre, Inua EllamsSearch Party, and Pan Pan Theatre’s The First Bad Man; Performance Space New York in collaboration with Mabou Mines with Peter Mills Weiss and Julia Mounsey’s Open Mic Night; New York Live Arts | Live Artery, with Albert Ibokwe Khoza’s The Black Circus of the Republic of Bantu and Dynasty Handbag’s Titanic Depression; NYU Skirball with William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, A Radical Retelling by Cliff Cardinal;St. Ann’s Warehouse in association with Irish Arts Center with Luke Murphy’s Volcano; and Theatre for a New Audience and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s presentation of the Soho Rep and NAATCO National Partnership Project’s production of Shayok Misha Chowdhury’s Public Obscenities. These visions collect in a prism of forms and styles, asking—with risk, community, outrage, and joy—what it means to be human at this time in the world.

Inaugurating the Under the Radar – On the Road program, following an eight-night Radar run at Lincoln Center, Queens of Sheba will travel to the Oklahoma City Repertory Theater (Jan 25-27). The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland in the Washington, D.C. metro area will host Search Party (January 26-27) and follow that with their own staging of Queens of Sheba (February 2-4). Under the Radar plans to further expand its mission of supporting theater works across the U.S. in the coming years.

2024’s Under the Radar doubles down on the roots of the original festival as a community gathering space with additional programming addressing challenges ahead of an imperiled industry in need of substantial change. Alongside the Symposium, these programs include: Coming Attractions at Chelsea Factory (January 13), connecting artists pitching new work—with open submissions available for a portion of the pitch slots—with consultants; U.F.O.’s, a series of encounters with new works-in-progress from a few of today’s most vital experimenters; and the 7-day Atelier for Young Festival Managers New York.

Honoring their shared commitments to foregrounding the needs of artists, building a more stable coalition of arts presenters, and platforming emerging and experimental theater creators, Under the Radar is proud to name the NYC-based non-profit The Tank as their fiscal sponsor. A portion of all donations go toward The Tank. Radar Director Mark Russell says, “The Tank’s robust ongoing work in fiscal sponsorship and creative producing as a way to support emerging art and artists has proven pivotal in quickly facilitating a project of Under the Radar’s frankly outrageous scope. We’re deeply appreciative of their expertise and vision.”

Russell, in collaboration with festival producers Thomas O. Kriegsmann and Sami Pyne of ArKtype, continues to evolve the legacy of the beloved festival. St. Ann’s Warehouse presented the inaugural Under the Radar in 2005. When Oskar Eustis assumed the role of Artistic Director of the Public Theater, he invited the festival to be a part of his inaugural season, in 2006. Under the Radar quickly earned the reputation as one of the most significant and adventurous festivals in New York, known for providing a breakout platform for many artists. On June 1, 2023, the Public Theater announced that for financial reasons—in the midst of near-ubiquitous hardship within the American theater—it could no longer produce the Under the Radar Festival, after 18 editions, 17 of them at the Public.

Many in the worldwide theater community mourned the recent closure of the festival, emphasizing the unique place Under the Radar held for experimental artists—along with the audiences who cherish and are curious about their work. Now, Under the Radar reemerges with the enthusiasm of New York City’s most adventurous presenters and artists, bringing together special programming beneath Under the Radar’s banner. The Festival’s resurgence speaks to the importance of collaboration as part of the solution for the theater world in its post-pandemic crisis while uplifting the historic impact of experimental work on New York City culture. In a tumultuous era for the performing arts, Under the Radar is a bold new proposition for a festival founded on inter-institutional collaboration, a testament to the vitality of New York’s cultural organizations, and work continuing to be made worldwide under challenging conditions. By engaging numerous leaders in the arts and the visionary organizations they run as curators, Under the Radar welcomes a kaleidoscopic understanding of today’s boldest work.

Says Under the Radar Festival Director Mark Russell, “Festivals are celebrations. They mark harvests and other moments of abundance or recognition. Under the Radar is a festival that each year celebrates the vibrancy of new theater, in New York and internationally. At this moment, even in very challenging times, there is still innovative work rising from communities around New York and in far-reaching parts of the globe. Under the Radar aims to spotlight this work for audiences—not only those ‘in the know,’ but from a wider stretch of communities, diverse in all respects, that could benefit by engaging with these creative leaders.”

Newly Announced Under the Radar 2024 Events

Teatime with Salty Brine

Salty Brine

Venue TBD
January 6-14
Downtown bon vivant and versatile cabaret star Salty Brine spills the tea with Under the Radar writers, curators, and performers at this in-person and live streaming conversation series.  Artists, dates, and times TBA!

 

Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin: In Our Own Words

Dmitry Krimov/Krymov Lab NYC (US)

Presented by BRIC

January 10 to 21

Dmitry Krymov, “one of the world’s finest theater-makers” (NYT), leads his new US company in a raucous, inimitable retelling of Alexander Pushkin’s immortal classic.

 

The Eagle and the Tortoise

Sister Sylvester (US)

Presented by BRIC

January 11 to 21

A participatory experience of journalism, mythmaking and empathy, The Eagle and the Tortoise begins when you open the book and become one with the story.

 

Our Class

Arlekin Players Theatre (US)

Presented by MART Foundation, Arlekin, and BAM (Fisher Space)

January 12 to 21

Based on real life events around a horrific 1941 pogrom in Poland, this New York premiere follows ten young people — five Jewish, five Catholic — through love, friendship, hatred and betrayal, in a contemporary new production helmed by Ukrainian-born Jewish director Igor Golyak.

 

Previously Announced Under the Radar 2024 Programming

The Black Circus of the Republic of Bantu
Albert Ibokwe Khoza (South Africa)

Presented by New York Live Arts | Live Artery

January 11 to 13

A healing ritual of movement, sound and sheer physicality, The Black Circus wields theater as a weapon to counter centuries of dehumanizing spectacle.

 

Cultural Exchange Rate

Tania El Khoury (Lebanon/US)

Presented by Fisher Center at Bard and The Invisible Dog Art Center

January 11 to 21

An interactive live art project in which artist Tania El Khoury shares her family memoirs of life in a border village between Lebanon and Syria.

 

The First Bad Man

Pan Pan Theatre (Ireland)

Presented by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

January 5 to 13

The real story at this book club isn’t the novel, it’s the funny, profane, and worryingly confusing cast of characters that showed up to read along.

 

Hamlet:Toilet

Yu Murai and his company Kaimaku Pennant Race

Presented by Japan Society

January 10 to 13

Notoriously iconoclastic and scatological director Yu Murai’s Hamlet | Toilet runs the Bard’s highbrow tale of existential woe through the poop chute.

 

Of the Nightingale I Envy the Fate

Motus (Italy)

Presented by La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club

January 10 to 15

An ancient story finds raw, exquisite life in this intense and challenging one-woman retelling of the Greek Cassandra myth.

 

Open Mic Night

Peter Mills Weiss and Julia Mounsey (US)

Presented by Performance Space New York and Mabou Mines

January 5 to 18

An experimental theater piece about the end of an experimental theater, Open Mic Night says goodbye to what it is at its beginning.  And things only get stranger from there.

 

Public Obscenities

Shayok Misha Chowdhury (US)

Presented by Theatre for a New Audience with Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Soho Rep, and NAATCO

January 17 to 21

A bilingual play from the visionary writer-director Shayok Misha Chowdhury about the things we see, the things we miss, and the things that turn us on.

 

Queens of Sheba
Jessica L. Hagan (UK)
Presented by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

January 5 to 13

Through laughter, tears, song, dance and sisterhood, the powerful Black Queens of Sheba upend misogynistic and racist narratives to share their own story.

 

Rose: You Are Who You Eat

John Jarboe (US) in collaboration with The Bearded Ladies Cabaret

Presented by La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club

January 10 to 14

In this true story of gender cannibalism, singer and performer John Jarboe charts a wildly original path toward self-actualization, giving whole new meaning to the phrase “you are what you eat.”

 

Search Party

Inua Ellams (UK)

Presented by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

January 5 to 13
Playwright and poet Inua Ellams opens his archives for an interactive peek inside the creative process where you decide what he chooses to share.

 

this house is not a home

Nile Harris (US)

Presented by Abrons Art Center and Ping Chong Company

January 6 to 14

A gingerbread minstrel, Dimes Square vape fiends, and a beloved children’s movie cowboy howl frenzied rants of Afropessimism from within a brightly colored bounce house.

 

Titanic Depression

Dynasty Handbag (US)

Presented by New York Live Arts | Live Artery

January 14 to 20

All aboard queer alt-cabaret artist Dynasty Handbag’s surreal Titanic, where that sinking feeling in your gut is for the global disaster.

 

Volcano

Luke Murphy (Ireland)

Presented by St. Ann’s Warehouse in association with Irish Arts Center

January 10 to 21

Erupting with passion, intrigue and beauty, this futuristic dance theater – part mini-series, part sci-fi – offers audiences multiple paths to its experience.

 

William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, A Radical Retelling by Cliff Cardinal
Cliff Cardinal (US/Canada)
Presented by NYU Skirball
January 12 to 13
It’s Shakespeare like you’ve never seen it before, but playwright Cliff Cardinal just needs to do a little housekeeping before we start.

 

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Instagram: @utrfest / X: @utrfest / Facebook: Under the Radar Festival

For more information, please contact Blake Zidell or Adriana Leshko at Blake Zidell & Associates: [email protected], 917.572.2493; [email protected], 917.294.0544.

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