The first annual two-week event presented by American Express will feature a short play series called The Downtown Plays as well as "Stage on Screen" film screenings, theatre panel discussions and a "Tribeca All Access Open Stage" development program.
"Like the Tribeca Film Festival, we hope that the Theater Festival will help draw crowds back downtown," stated De Niro in a release. "We hope to create a new kind of theatre festival experience that will appeal to everyone and help create new audiences for theatre in the city that serves as the world's theatre capital."
The Downtown Plays will be an evening of world premiere short plays by playwrights including Douglas Carter Beane, Peter Hedges, David Henry Hwang, Neil LaBute, Warren Leight, Kenneth Lonergan, Frank Pugliese, Paul Rudnick and Wendy Wasserstein. Tony Award-winning director John Rando (Urinetown) will stage the production to perform at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University.
Among the selected theatre-related films to be screened at the festival include the documentary "Broadway, The Golden Age," directed by Rick McKay and a look at his upcoming follow-up "Broadway, The Next Generation." Elia Kazan's "A Streetcar Named Desire" and Christopher Guest's "Waiting for Guffman" are also among the titles.
For tickets and more information about the first annual Tribeca Theater Festival, visit www.TribecaTheaterFestival.org. Tickets will go on sale through the website during the week of Sept. 20.