The first annual two-week festival presented by Tribeca Film Festival co-founders Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, with the Drama Dept., will feature a short play series called The Downtown Plays as well as "Stage on Screen" film screenings, theatre panel discussions and a "Tribeca All Access Open Stage" development program.
"Like the Tribeca Film Festival, we hope that the Theater Festival will help draw crowds back downtown," stated De Niro in a release. "We hope to create a new kind of theatre festival experience that will appeal to everyone and help create new audiences for theatre in the city that serves as the world's theatre capital."
The 10 actors set to perform various roles in the nine different plays that comprise The Downtown Plays includes Joel de la Fuente (Face Value), Ross Gibby (Music from a Sparkling Planet); Josh Hamilton (Proof, The Waverly Gallery), Jackie Hoffman (Hairspray), Peter Jacobson (Picasso at the Lapin Agile), Chris Messina (Salome, Far Away), J. Smith-Cameron (Our Country's Good, Tartuffe), Marilyn Torres ("Maid in Manhattan"), Maria Tucci (The Night of the Iguana) and Julie White (Fiction, Dinner with Friends).
Tony Award-winner John Rando (Urinetown) directs The Downtown Plays, which include works by Jon Robin Baitz, Douglas Carter Beane, David Henry Hwang, Neil LaBute, Warren Leight, Kenneth Lonergan, Frank Pugliese, Paul Rudnick and Wendy Wasserstein.
Broadway directors Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun, the upcoming Gem of the Ocean) and Michael Greif (Rent, Never Gonna Dance) will also stage readings of new works by six selected playwrights as part of the Tribeca All Access Open Stage. David Hare's Stuff Happens kicked off the "Downtown Readings" series in which downtown theater companies will present staged readings of new and developing works at Tribeca Cinemas. (The Hare work performed Oct. 18 at the NYTW's space at 79 East 4th Street.)
Other readings (with presenting company in parenthesis) include Anne Washburn's The Internationalist (The Vineyard Theater), directed by Ken Rus Schmoll; Zina Camblin's Her Hair Went With Her (The Culture Project), directed by Leigh Fondakowski; Lucy Thurber's Bottom of the World (Women's Expressive Theater, Inc.), Daniel Voll's Dear Mr. President (Naked Angels), directed by David Warren; Nicole Burdette's Yes! We Have No Pajamas (Naked Angels), starring Tim Hutton and Bill Sage as directed by Brian Mac Devitt; Megan Mostyn Brown's The Secret Lives of Losers (LAByrinth Theater); Caryl Churchill's This Is a Chair (New York Theatre Workshop), directed by Michael Sexton; and Rich Orloff's Cripperella or The Cracked Glass Slipper (The National Theatre Workshop Of The Handicapped) with music and lyrics by John Spalla, directed by Rick Curry.
For tickets and more information, call (212) 941-2450 or visit www.TribecaTheaterFestival.org.