The Public Theater in New York will be conducting its annual festival, “Under the Radar,” online this year. The all-new, all-free event kicked off on January 6 and will continue until January 17.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, The Public Theater seeks to continue its mission of supporting artists creating new work and sharing these with a growing global audience. The festival is a way of reimagining theater for the digital space and will feature the works of a mix of artists such as 600 HIGHWAYMEN, Javaad Alipoor, Inua Ellams, Trinidad González, Alicia Hall Moran, Piehole, and Whitney White and Peter Mark Kendall.
“Under the Radar” has been a traditional event of the Public Theater for the past 17 years. This year’s lineup has been curated by Festival Director Mark Russell and includes digital live streams and on-demand productions. Another highlight will be the “Under the Radar Symposium: A Creative Summit,” a half-day event consisting of artist conversations and panels.
Below is the list of events for the festival:
A Thousand Ways (Part One): A Phone Call
December 21-January 17 (a pre-festival event) – Live Phone Call
By 600 HIGHWAYMEN (U.S.)
Written and created by Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone
An interactive experience that leads the audience through a phone call and a thread of automated prompts that will reveal the profile of a mysterious partner.
January 6–17 – Streaming on Demand
By Whitney White and Peter Mark Kendall (U.S.)
Directed and produced by Taibi Magar and Tyler Dobrowsky
Inspired by the past year, Capsule tackles themes of isolation and longing, of breaking apart and breaking free and the impossible nature of connection. This piece also uses original text and music to explore race, the medium of film, and being caught up in the maelstrom of 2020.
January 6–17 – Streaming on Demand
By Teatro Anónimo (Chile)
Written and directed by Trinidad González
Performed in Spanish with English subtitles
The piece is a journey through diverse stories that happen during one night in an unknown city. Characters struggled with the crisis of consumerism and try to find the answers to their questions in things beyond money and material possessions.
Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran
January 7–10, 14–17 – Select Live Performances Online
Written by Javaad Alipoor (U.K./Iran)
Co-Created by Javaad Alipoor and Kirsty Housley
Produced by The Javaad Alipoor Company
This piece is about entitlement, consumption, and digital technology, also exploring the ubiquitous feeling that our societies are falling apart. In an innovative approach combining digital theatre and a live Instagram feed, it is the second part of a trilogy of plays from Alipoor about how digital technology, resentment, and fracturing identities are changing the world.
Borders & Crossings
January 7–10 – Select Live Performances Online
By Inua Ellams (U.K.)
Produced by Fuel
This piece explores the experience of poet, performer, playwright, graphic artist, and designer Ellams who was born to a Muslim father and a Christian mother, leaving Nigeria for England in 1996 at age 12, then moving to Ireland for three years before returning to London. This explores themes of migration and integrating his experiences with the wider global and political context.
January 7–11, 14–17 – Select Live Performances Online
Written by Tara Ahmadinejad (U.S.)
Created by Piehole
Chef Nargis decides to host a cooking class even as the U.S. is on the brink of war with Iran, hopefully using empathy to better respond to the prospect of doom and destruction.
the motown project
January 8–17 – Streaming on Demand
By Alicia Hall Moran (U.S.)
Presented by Joe’s Pub
This is Hall Moran’s meditation on the Motown songbook – a cinematic, movement-based aria fusing Sugar Pie Honey Bunch with Mozart while Marvin Gaye’s lyrical pathos finds solemnity in Purcell. Featuring Thomas Flippin (guitar), Steven Herring (vocals), Barrington Lee (vocals), and Reggie Washington (bass) in collaboration with choreographer Amy Hall Garner, the motown project reimagines Motor City poetics in a study of desire and infatuation only soul and opera embodied by one chanteuse could endure.
Devised Theater Working Group’s INCOMING!
January 6–17- Streaming on Demand
By The Devised Theater Working Group Cohort Members: Savon Bartley, Nile Harris, Miranda Haymon, Eric Lockley, Raelle Myrick-Hodges, Mia Rovegno, Justin Elizabeth Sayre, and Mariana Valenci This year, The PubIic Theater’s Devised Theater Working Group was challenged to create individual digital expressions for a group compilation video.
For more information about the festival, click HERE.