Queens Theatre unveils its Fall 2020 Online Programs
Queens, NY – Queens Theatre (QT) unveiled its upcoming virtual programs and performances for Fall 2020 under its Queens Theatre at Home umbrella, including three new play readings, a three part holiday web series, the return of the Queensboro Dance Festival, a feature-length film based on the Queens Memory Project, and more. All performances and events are presented free of charge, some events have limited space available and require advance registration.
“Since we closed our doors in March due to COVID-19, we have worked to connect with audiences by offering original programming online that is as compelling, diverse, community-focused and accessible as the work that we put on our stages. In the process, we’ve shown that Queens Theatre is more than a building. We’re proud and excited for the stories we’ll be telling this Fall, and anticipate announcing additional events throughout the season,” said Queens Theatre Executive Director Taryn Sacramone.
The fall season kicked off with Our Story on September 18. Our Story is a limited three performance storytelling series presented entirely live on Zoom, featuring three of our favorite storytellers from the Queens Storytellers Online series presenting long-form stories. The first performer was David Lawson performing his story Nazis and Me to a sold out virtual audience. Our Story continues every Friday at 7pm through October 2. On September 25, Marc L Abbott performs Love African American Style, about his journey to find the one person in the world to share his life and fall in love with. The series concludes on October 2 with Michele Carlo’s Fish Out Of Agua about growing up as a red-headed, freckle-faced Puerto Rican growing up in an Italian/Irish Bronx neighborhood. Our Story is presented entirely live with no replay available, advance registration is required to join the audience.
The Queensboro Dance Festival returns to Queens Theatre to conclude its 2020 festival season on the virtual stage for three nights of performances featuring all twenty-four Queens-based dance companies on October 3-5. Each performance will feature a completely different program, representing dance cultures from Hula to Hip-Hop, West African to Chinese, Ballroom to Street Jazz, and many more. The performances will be debuted on the Queens Theatre and Queensboro Dance Festival’s YouTube channels and websites, and will only be available for 24 hours! Every performance will be followed by a live Q&A on Zoom with the choreographers and QDF Executive Director, Karesia Batan. Visit www.queensborodancefestival.com for more information about QDF, and register for the performances on www.queenstheatre.org for reminder emails and direct links.
Following a successful summer series of virtual play readings, the New American Voices Reading Project returns with three new plays performed and presented online. The Fall series opens with Poolside on October 14 at 8pm on the Queens Theatre YouTube and Facebook pages. Written by T. Cat Ford and directed by Susanne Boulle, and presented in collaboration with the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, VA. In Poolside, Ann and Brenda sit poolside at the Oakland Georgia Golf and Country Club, watching their children play while struggling to ignore nature’s internal and external warning signs while focusing on that compelling yearly goal – the perfect tan. Dirty Linen, by Ofem Ajah will premiere on November 18. In Ajah’s provocative new play, a white female nurse in Brooklyn, desperate to prove to her Black female friend that she’s not racist, meets her friend’s husband in the laundry room, exploring cultural issues and exposing raw wounds with savvy comedic insight. The Fall reading series closes with J’oy Vey on December 16, marking the return of playwright Lojo Simon to the Queens Theatre stages after the production of Relic, presented in the Studio Theatre in 2018. In J’oy Vey, Gammy Leigh has big plans for Christmas with her grandbabies, but Bubbie Arlene shows up unexpectedly armed with Chanukah gifts galore and a know-it-all attitude. Celebrate the holidays with these two outspoken elders, coming to terms with aging, changes, and the ups and downs of blended, modern families. New American Voices performances will remain publicly available for replay for four days following the premiere, and all performances will have captions available on demand.
Playwright to Playwright is an ongoing interview web series hosted by QT Director of New Play Development, Rob Urbinati. New episodes premiere on the third Thursday of every month, featuring in-depth interviews with playwrights who have had their works developed at Queens Theatre. Upcoming guests include Qui Nguyen on October 15, Caridad Svich on November 19, Rajiv Joseph on December 17, and Jelisa Jay Robinson on January 13.
Queens Storytellers Online returns this fall with two five-part series featuring fifty storytellers. The first five episodes will debut every Thursday at 7pm on the Queens Theatre YouTube channel starting on October 22, through November 19, and the final five episodes will debut weekly January 7-February 4, 2021. Host and series curator, David Lawson, will also host a live Watch Party for each episode debut with the storytellers and community members. Each episode on YouTube will have captions available on demand.
Just in time for the holidays, Gifted, a three episode web series, will premiere on Thursday, December 3 at 7pm, with new episodes on December 10 and 17. Written and directed by playwright and screenwriter, Topher Payne, Gifted tells the story of Matteo and Becca, a couple spending their first Christmas together in their Queens apartment, trying to honor each other’s family traditions in a socially distanced holiday season. Told in Hallmark-Christmas-movie style over Zoom, their separate quests for the perfect gift require video calls with an ever-expanding collection of family and friends. Even in the most unusual times, there’s still magic to be found at the holidays. Gifted will be released on the Queens Theatre YouTube and Facebook pages, and captions will be available on demand.
I See You and You See Me: A Queens Memory Project is a feature length film written and directed by Harris Doran (pictured at left) from source material submitted to the Queens Memory Project oral history archive at the Queens Library. I See You and You See Me tells the stories of Queens residents during the time of the coronavirus. From stories of isolation to moments of celebration, from cultural shifts to navigating race in America, this socially distanced filmed theatre piece shows that no matter what our experience, no matter what our differences, we are all in this together. This work was made in community collaboration with Queens residents and the Queens Memory Project at the Queens Library. I See You and You See Me will be released on the Queens Theatre YouTube channel on Friday, December 4 and will have captioning available on demand.
In November, the third annual Theatre For All professional training program for disabled actors moves online this year. The program is offered as part of QT’s Theatre For All Initiative to advance the inclusion of people with disabilities in the performing arts. More information on the program, including how to apply, can be found on the Queens Theatre website at www.queenstheatre.org.
Visit the Queens Theatre website at www.queenstheatre.org for more information about these programs and future announcements about upcoming performances, workshops, and community events. Visit Queens Theatre’s YouTube channel to view past performances, and to subscribe. Follow Queens Theatre on Facebook at (www.facebook.com/queenstheatrenyc), Twitter (@QueensTheatre) and Instagram (@QueensTheatre).
About Queens Theatre
Founded in 1989, Queens Theatre is a performing arts center located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Queens Theatre’s mission is to provide high quality performances and programs that are accessible to the 2.4 million residents of Queens, the most diverse county in the nation, and the surrounding metropolitan region. To foster greater cultural awareness and appreciation, the Theatre presents and produces programs that reflect this diversity and features international, national and local artists. Queens Theatre’s facilities, located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, have been closed since early March due to COVID-19. During the closure, the Theatre has launched Queens Theatre at Home, a digital programming initiative providing cultural, community, and educational activities, including moderated discussion groups, workshops and seminars for students, live performances, and play readings. Season funders include the COVID-19 Impact Fund, Howard Gilman Foundation, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Con Edison, the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the Shubert Foundation, and the Pierre & Tana Matisse Foundation.