The New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW) conducts its annual Community Day on July 16. The special NYTW program fosters local awareness and support for the theatre, where the original productions of such shows as Rent, Dirty Blonde and Blown Sideways Through Life were launched.
As reported, NYTW has planned a carefully scheduled day of discussions, reunions and sneak previews for July 16. The free event is open to the public and will feature free food, entertainment, discussions and tours of the theatre facility in an effort to provide an opportunity “for the various communities of NYTW to intermingle and become better acquainted with the work and mission of the theatre.”
At 11:30 AM, NYTW kicks off the day with free coffee, donuts and breakfast treats.
At noon, a “Conversation with Claudia Shear” will be conducted by director Christopher Ashley who has worked with Shear at NYTW—Ashley directed Shear in her first success, the NYTW production of Blown Sideways Through Life. Shear’s Dirty Blonde was a hit at NYTW last season and successfully transferred to Broadway in time to earn multiple Tony nominations.
A 1 PM reunion of the original Rent cast will be led by artistic director James C. Nicola. The cast will discuss “the process and phenomenon that began at NYTW.” At 2 PM, NYTW will present “Sneak Peek: Scenes from Everything That Rises Must Converge," adapted (and directed) by Karen Coonrod from Flannery O’Connor’s short stories. This project is under consideration by NYTW.
At 2:30, NYTW presents “O Solo Mio,” a mini festival of solo pieces, written and performed by Michael John Garces, Judith Jackson, Linda Mancini, Johnnie Moore and Rob Nash.
The Jim Henson Foundation presents a “Puppet Making Workshop” at 3 PM. An informal, family oriented workshop will deal in sock and spoon puppets. NYTW is preparing for its initial co-production with the Henson International Festival of Puppetry, Ronnie Burkett’s Street of Blood which runs in August.
At 4 PM, writer and composer Paul Scott Goodman will perform selected works-in-progress as well as favorites from his production of Bright Lights, Big City.
Scenes from Up Against the Wind, which is also under consideration by NYTW, takes place at 4:30 PM. Selected readings from this Michael Develle Winn story comprise this insight to a “black rapper’s struggle to realize a dream.”
At 5 PM, free snacks and libations will be served at the “Piano Bar and Sing Along” featuring musical guests Mark Bennett, Nicky Paraiso and the cast of Butch It Up. NYTW sources report that local business have come on board, pledging door prizes that will be awarded at the end of the day.
Admission is free. Information on the NYTW Community Day event is subject to change. NYTW is located 79 E. 4th Street. For additional information call (212) 780-9037.
-- By Murdoch McBride