Public Theater's Under the Radar 2008 Kicks Off Jan. 9

News   Public Theater's Under the Radar 2008 Kicks Off Jan. 9
The Public Theater officially launches its fourth annual Under the Radar festival of innovative new works for the theatre Jan. 9.

The 12-day festival, running through Jan. 20, features works from international and U.S. theatre artists in an effort to promote the dynamic craft of theatre professionals currently working today. The offerings include site-specific productions, poetry, adapted classics, movement and performance art. Productions are staged in various venues across New York City, including the Public Theater.

Mark Russell – who produces the Under the Radar festival in association with Public Theater artistic director Oskar Eustis and Public executive director Mara Manus – commented on the fourth-annual festival, saying, "The work is provocative, funny, twisted, and sexy. These are some of the bravest artists working today – in every sense of the word. Every piece on the festival is available to anyone ready and willing to take a theater thrill ride."

The works presented in the 12-day festival include:

Written and directed by Young Jean Lee
Presented by Young Jean Lee's Theater Company
"Young Jean Lee transforms her life-long struggle with Christianity into an exuberant church service designed to test the expectations of the religious and non-religious alike." (Jan. 9-19)

Performed by Reggie Watts
Directed by Tommy Smith
"Anthropological humorist Reggie Watts utilizes absurdist storytelling, improvisational movement and sound to comment on humanity's refusal to accept an eventual global shift towards unimaginable destruction." (Jan. 10-20) Generation Jeans
Presented by Belarus Free Theatre
"Driven 'underground' for their outspokenness against their government, the Free Theatre is welcomed by UTR for their American debut of this semi-autobiographical story about living under a repressive political system." (Jan. 11-20)

How Theater Failed America
Created and performed by Mike Daisey
Directed by Jean-Michele Gregory
"Master storyteller Mike Daisey returns to UTR, sinking his razor-sharp wit into a subject he knows well: the American theater, from the sublimely crass to the genuinely ugly." (Jan. 13)

In Spite of Everything
Presented by the Suicide Kings
Directed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph
"The Bay Area's most dynamic spoken word collective pushes the boundaries of hip-hop theater, with this raw, electrifying story about school violence and their own journey from the streets to teaching in the public school system." (Jan. 10-20)

Low: Meditations Trilogy Part 1
Conceived, written and performed by Rha Goddess
Directed and developed by Chay Yew
"Fusing hip-hop punch and poetic flow, Goddess gives a riveting portrayal of one woman's struggle with mental illness that is at once furious, funny, dark and hopeful." (Jan. 10-20)

Poetics: A Ballet Brut
Conceived and directed by Kelly Copper and Pavol Liska
Created and performed by Nature Theater of Oklahoma
"Nature Theater of Oklahoma returns to UTR with this awesome and awkward dance manifesto that grows exponentially through to the piece's final takeover of the entire performance space." (Jan. 10-20)

Conceived, written and performed by Michel Melamed
Directed by Alessandra Colasanti, Marco Abujamra and Michel Melamed
"Demolishing the fourth wall, audience reactions are captured and transformed into electric shocks to the performer's body, as he presents a poetic and painful protest against a culture that hammers us with torrents of excess information." (Jan. 10-20)

Stoop Stories
Written and performed by Dael Orlandersmith
"Weaving new tales, with the best from her Obie Award-winning acclaimed solo work, Stoop Stories offers a glimpse into the lives of people from Dael Orlandersmith's past, present and imagination." (Jan. 10-19)

Written and directed by Mark O'Rowe
Presented by the Abbey Theatre, Ireland
"The ordinary turns extraordinary when three people are thrown into a fantastical world of singing serial killers, avenging angels and love-sick demons in this thrilling and vivid play from the writer of Howie the Rookie." (Jan. 9-20)

This Place is a Desert
Conceived and directed by Jay Scheib
In collaboration with media artist Leah Gelpe
"Partially seen and partially screened, this Antonioni inspired piece follows four lovers as they destroy each other in an attempt to defy their irreparable loneliness." (Jan. 9-20)

The Under the Radar festival also offers numerous partner events with theatre companies in the New York area, including Of All the People In the World: USA (Stan's Café); BIG, 3rd Episode (happy/end) (Superamas); Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (1927); Etiquette (The Foundry Theatre and Rotozaza); and Trojan Women (Classical Theatre of Harlem).

In addition, the participating theatre companies will take part in the free and open-to-the-public talkback sessions throughout the 12-day festival.

For tickets and complete scheduling information phone (212) 539-8750 or visit The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan.

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