The Downtown Arts Festival celebrating New York's famous (infamous?) downtown art scene will present plays, performance art, puppetry and site- specific work in the "On the Edge" festival, September 11-21.
Performances by Karen Finley and numerous others will be presented at off-off-Broadway venues such as: HERE, La MaMa E.T.C., PS 122 and St. Mark's Church.
Highlights of the festival include:
Karen Finley: The American Chestnut at PS 122, Sept 11-14, 18-21. Performance Artist Karen Finley once again crossbreeds the mediums of theatre, performance, literature and visual art in her new piece, The American Chestnut. The illnesses which beset the Chestnut tree and other plant life are the central metaphor for social ills. (See Theatre News story on Playbill On-Line)
King Lear at La MaMa E.T.C., Sept 18-21. 24-year-old Thaddeus Phillips conceived, adapted, directed and stars in his own one man/puppet show take on Shakespeare's classic tragedy. At This Point in Space (one and two) at the Ohio Theatre, Sept 19-21. Richard Nash-Siedlecki and Craig Hensala curate performances and installations varying in length from 15 minutes to six hours. Artist/performers include: Performance Artist Judy Elkan's Playstation, Yasuko Yokoshi, Shumka Dance Theatre, Cynthia Hopkins, Alex Radocchia, Miranda July, Wayne Frost, Robert Parington, Heather Raikes, Elvis Sinatra, and Doug Fitch.
Symphonie Fantastique at HERE, Sept 13. Selections from Basil Twist's "work in progress" underwater puppet piece loosely based on Berlioz's 1830's masterpiece.
Hospital at Axis Co., Sept 11-13, 17-20. An original multi-media production in six episodes tells the story of a modern day Job looking for medical assistance in an urban hospital where things appear to be a bit askew.
Admission to all Downtown Arts Festival events is available through the ArtCard for $10 which can be used to gain free or reduced price access to all Festival events. For further information on the Festival call (212) 925-4200.
-- By Sean McGrath