Check Out the Public's 2019 Under the Radar Festival | Playbill

Off-Broadway News Check Out the Public's 2019 Under the Radar Festival The 15th annual festival of cutting-edge work will feature Ifeoma Fafunwa, New Saloon, Flaco Navaja, Tania El Khoury, and more.
A scene from New Saloon's Minor Character

The Public Theater has unveiled the lineup for its 15th annual Under the Radar festival, running January 3–13, 2019. A showcase for cutting-edge theatre, the 11-day event will take place in the Public as well as partner venues, and will feature artists from across the U.S. and around the world.

A scene from Hear Word! Naija Women Talk True

“Under the Radar is celebrating 15 years of bringing the most adventurous independent theatre from around the world to New York City,” said UTR Festival Director Mark Russell. “The Festival features artists that question the rules of theatre and break them, giving us a new perspective on the world. Intense and immersive, the Under the Radar Festival is a muscle-building exercise in finding common values and imagining a future.”

Among the works on offer will be Ifeoma Fafunwa’s Hear Word! Naija Women Talk True, a dance and performance piece inspired by multi-generational Nigerian stories of inequality and transformation. The show had a sold-out debut at the Harvard Dance Center in 2016 and was remounted at A.R.T (which is co-presenting) earlier this year. UTR performances will be January 3 and January 5–7.

New York-based company New Saloon will remount Minor Character, directed by co-founder Morgan Green. The show, which launched the Sharon Playhouse's season last summer, is a mash-up of six translations of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya performed at the same time. Performances will run January 4-6, January 9, and January 11-13.

Palestinian musician and street artist Basel Zaraa will perform As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, commissioned by Tania El Khoury, which uses touch and sound to intimately explore the effect of border discrimination and the refugee finger print database on people’s lives. Performances will run January 4–7 and January 9–13.

An image of As Far As My Fingertips Take Me

Poet, singer, and actor Flaco Navaja, original member of the UNIVERSES and Def Poetry Jam cast, will perform his first full-length show, Evolution of a Sonero, directed by Jorge Merced. Joined by five musicians known as The Razor Blades, Navaja will bring to life a Bronx Sonero while paying homage to musical icons like Janis Joplin, Menudo, The Doors, Héctor Lavoe, Jimi Hendrix, and Rubén Blades. Performances will run January 9 and January 12–13.

The UTR lineup at The Public also features Plexus Polaire's Chambre Noir; Peter Mills Weiss and Julia Mounsey's [50/50] old school animation; Manuel Cinema's Frankenstein; aned Rude Mechs' The Cold Record, written and performed by Kirk Lynn, directed by Alexandra Bassiakou Shaw.

In partner venues, UTR will co-present Minefield by Argentinian artist Lola Arias at NYU Skirball (January 11–13); Weightless by The Kilbanes, directed by Becca Wolff, and co-presented with BRIC, Z Space, and piece by piece productions, at BRIC in Brooklyn (January 11–13); and Ink, created and performed by James & Jerome in collaboration with Shawn Duan, with direction by Tony nominee Rachel Chavkin and Annie Tippe, presented at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (January 5–6).

The UTR + Joe's Pub: In Concert will also return as part of the 15th annual festival, featuring artists exploring the intersection of music and theatre. The slate includes Penny Arcade's show Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore! - The Penny Arcade Sex and Censorship Show; Australian artist Meow Meow; The Illustrious Blacks; and The Chekhov Project.

For the complete lineup visit

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