The 21-day event, which takes place in four venues within the same block, features fully staged performances, world premieres, revivals, staged readings, solo shows, multimedia presentations and talkbacks.
Some of the plays selected for the Midtown International Theatre Festival follow:
• Love and Israel, compiled/edited by Sissy Block & Ilana Lipski, "explores the human side of Israel through the eyes of different writers who have a personal relationship with the country. A series of funny, serious, sexy and soul-baring monologues are performed by an ensemble cast."
•Patriot Acts, a world premiere by Marshall Jones III, concerns "a pair of short comedies that examine the civil liberties of Americans in the post-9/11 world of today."
•Stray Dog Hearts: "When a mysterious dwarf crashes the office of a failing art book publisher, what unfolds is an irreverent black comedy with hothouse intensity and whip-smart humor. Glengarry Glen Ross meets 'Ab Fab!'" A world premiere by Padraic O'Reilly. •Take Me America: "A new musical about asylum in America, inspired by the documentary 'Well-Founded Fear.' Follow nine refugees in their quest for asylum in the U.S. and the three INS agents who decide their fate." Book and lyrics are by Bill Nabel with music by Bob Christianson.
•Twist: "A pop-rock musical based on 'Oliver Twist,' with a Drama Desk 2007-nominated score. A unique retelling of a classic, Twist entertains with exquisite drag, arch wit, a bit of kink and a catchy set of new contemporary songs." The creative team comprises Gila Sand, Paul Leschen and Garrit Guadan.
•A Line in the Sand, written and performed by Adina Taubman, is "a documentary-style play about the Columbine High School shootings. . . . a mesmerizing collage of a community struggling in the wake of horrific loss, based on interviews Adina Taubman conducted in Littleton, Colorado."
•WEBEIME by Layon Gray. "On Death Row, one man searches his soul for inner peace before his execution while his subconscious ruminates on how he arrived at this place in time."
•Those Whistling Lads: The Poems and Short Stories of Dorothy Parker, adapted and written by Maureen Van Trease, is "a staged reading that explores the stories, poems and life of Dorothy Parker."
•La Tosca! A New Melodramatic Comedy by Hector Lugo is "a new melodramatic comic re-telling of the sordid story of lust, lies and love in 1800's Rome, inspired by La Tosca, the tragic play by Victorien Sardou."
"We always have a wide-ranging and eclectic line-up to pick from. We naturally hope each of them will strike a chord with the audience, and each year more than a few do just that," said MITF executive producer John Chatterton in a statement.
Tickets are $18 and $15 for students and seniors. Venue and schedule information as well as a complete list of the shows taking part in the festival are available at www.midtownfestival.org
Inaugurated in 2000, the Midtown International Theatre Festival was created to offer an opportunity for productions and performances that might otherwise not be seen by as broad an audience as possible. Since its inception, the MITF has presented over 300 different works.