From May 30th through June 24th the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, New York's premiere eco-friendly/socially-conscious theatre festival will occupy both theater spaces (Upstairs and Downstairs) at Culture Project (45 Bleecker Street) and will also be offering film and music festivals, 14 free play readings & other special events. This summer, the festivity will also feature nearly forty full productions including new comedies, dramas and musicals, riveting docu-theater and solo pieces, and one-acts. During the festivity, each show partners with a charity and some of the ways they offer support are soliciting donations at shows, holding special benefit performances, fundraisers and/or talkbacks after performances with representatives from the charity.
The free reading series schedule is as follows: Jennie on Monday 6/4 at 1pm, Men Who Let Women Do Too Much on 6/5 at 1pm, La Strega on 6/6 at 1pm, Killing Time on 6/7 at 1pm, Habibi on 6/8 at 1pm, Velvet Rope on 6/11 at 1pm, Heather Feldman's Predicament on 6/12 at 1pm, Dirty Water on 6/13 at 1pm, The Hypocrite on 6/14 at 1pm, Murder at the Prop Table on 6/15 at 1pm, O Rumbles of Joy! on 6/18 at 1pm, Coyote On a Fence on 6/20, at 1pm, Searching For A New Sun on 6/21 at 1pm, and The Highwayman on 6/22 at 1pm.
On Thursday, May 31st at 8pm at the Upstairs Theatre will be the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity Opening Night Party which will include performances from festivity productions including Trafficked, The American Play and A Dance for Rylie.
This year, Planet Connections ventures into the realm of live music with the Roc-elle Records Music Fest, curated by Rachel Mary Cox. On Friday, June 1st there will be live music from 10:30pm-3am at Sullivan Hall (214 Sullivan Street); tickets are $10 advance and $12 at the door. On Friday, June 8th there will be live music from 7pm-12am at Pianos (158 Ludlow Street); tickets are $10.
Taking place on Sunday, June 3rd at 7pm will be the Tenement Street Workshop's 2nd Annual Snowballs Film Festival, showcasing a cutting edge collection of film, video and animation work from new and emerging artists across the globe. Tickets are $8. And on Sunday, June 10th at 7:30pm at Culture Project the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity will host a special event, "Our Climate Crisis" in partnership with Al Gore's The Climate Project. The event will be pairing Al Gore's influential presentation with a beer tasting and some music so be prepared for an environmentally rockin' good time. Tickets are $10.
Among the featured talents and productions in this summer's theatre festivity are three-time Tony award-winner Hinton Battle who is overseeing the musical arrangements for What We Do for Love, a musical revue about relationships, looked at through Top-40 hit songs of the past four decades; the powerful docu-theater drama Trafficked which was constructed by actual interviews tells the story of sex slavery and child exploitation through the eyes of fifteen young women across the globe; Stephan Davis' moving new musical A Dance for Rylie¸ a gay love story which focuses on the declining health of Rylie and the hospital policy that keeps his partner, Matthew away; Pageant Princess, the Musical,which is inspired by the TLC show Toddlers & Tiaras and showcases three young aspiring pageant princesses and their off-beat families in their quest for the crown; and The American Play which focuses on two male college students who are damagingly inspired by the work of author Brett Easton Ellis as they try to define themselves as men and wreak havoc on campus.
Fostering a diverse cross-section of performances, the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity seeks to inspire artists and audiences both creatively and fundamentally, in a festive atmosphere. At the heart of the Festivity are like-minded individuals striving to create professional, meaningful theatre, while supporting organizations which give back to the community. "Green Theatre" is also an important aspect of Planet Connections; each year they educate participating artists on how they can make a difference by continuing to create great art while reducing their carbon footprint. For more information on the festivity, the full lineup and scheduling information, and to purchase tickets for all events, visit www.PlanetConnections.org.