Presented over two weekends on the verdant island located in New York harbor, the New Island Festival offers an array of theatre, music, dance, installation and performance art. The festival runs Sept. 10-13 and Sept. 17-20.
Theatrical highlights include Ivo van Hove's interpretation of Cocteau's La Voix Humaine (The Human Voice), a solo work which "centers on a woman’s last desperate phone call to her ex-lover." Actress Halina Reijn stars in the 70-minute work performed in Dutch with English subtitles.
Director Jetse Batelaan stages his environmental work Broeders (Brothers) in which a unique structure is built to house both the audience and performers. The 70-minute presentation is performed in English.
Compagnie Dakar's 55-minute piece Braakland, staged by Lotte Van den Berg, "tells a tale of nine figures wandering about a forgotten land. They surrender to the laws of living and dying, without defense. Is this an existence that they have chosen – or one they merely failed to escape?"
In their American debut, De Jongens presents Under Construction. Festival notes for the 50-minute presentation read: "Using a ridiculous number of old refrigerators, washing machines, and microwaves - and everything else they can get their hands on - Under Construction brings slapstick to a zany and enthralling new level." De Veenfabriek's Orfeo offers a version of the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice that incorporates Monteverdi's opera Orfeo, actor-singer Jeroen Willems, improv ensemble Track and a Mediterranean dinner from André Amaro. The 75-minute production is performed in English.
Additional highlights include TUIG's towering outdoor spectacle Salto Vitale, the U.S. premiere of Silent Disco, the Boulevard of Broken Dreams (a 500-foot culinary family table that serves as a mini-stage), Theo Botschuijver's Waterwalk on the Hudson, the crash course in Dutch history Zap Holland, Iris Hond's Flying Grand Piano, singer-songwriter Ellen ten Damme's Impossible Girl and a series of original pieces from American acting students and Dutch theatre makers Orkater.
The New Island Festival is open Thursday–Sunday on the following schedule: Thursday and Friday noon-midnight; Saturday 10 AM-midnight; and Sunday 10 AM-10 PM.
A number of festival events are free to the general public. A general festival pass (priced $35) allows entry to most events; however, passports do not guarantee seating for performances, which are on a first-come, first-served basis. Guaranteed seating for specific productions increases the passport rates from $45-$60.
The New Island Festival is accessible via a free ferry from southern Manhattan. Visit NewIslandFestival.