New Federal's Shange Festival Kicks Off Feb. 7

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07 Feb 2007

New Federal Theatre's festival Ntozake Shange: A Retrospective, kicks off Feb. 7 and will run through March 4.



A production of Shange's new one-act play It Hasn't Always Been This Way, directed and choreographed by Dianne McIntyre, will run Feb. 21-March 4.

The festival will also feature readings of a variety of Shange's works, including her adaptation of Mother Courage, in which S. Epatha Merkerson will star on Feb. 11.

Other Shange works getting readings include Boogie Woogie Landscape, A Photograph: Lovers in Motion, From Okra to Greens/A Different Kind of Love Story and Laila's Dream.

A poetry panel discussion on March 4 will include Amiri Baraka, who wrote the 1964 play Dutchman, now being revived at the Cherry Lane. A directors panel on Feb. 11 will include Avery Brooks, star of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine." Musicians, choreographers and academics will participate in other panels.

Shange is perhaps best known as the writer of the Tony-nominated 1976 play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When The Rainbow Is Enuf.

Merkerson received a Tony nomination for The Piano Lesson and has also appeared in Fucking A and Birdie Blue, among other plays. She has starred as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren on "Law & Order" and won Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for "Lackawanna Blues."

All of the events take place at the Abrons Arts Center at 466 Grand Street on Manhattan's Lower East Side. For reservations call (212) 353-1176. For more information visit 10pages.tripod.com.