Past Theatre Events

2009  |  2008  |  2007

Free Event Updates

May 3 - 26

Back From The Front

Presented in collaboration with Working Theater Founded in 1985, the Working Theater exists to serve the working men and women of New York by creating theater for and about this underrepresented majority. Working people deserve access to the life-affirming and transformative experience of live theater just as much as the traditionally more affluent theater-goer. The goal of the Working Theater is to portray the lives and concerns of working people on stage and to change the face of New York's theater audience so that it reflects the full socio-economic diversity of New York.

Lynn Rosen's smart, funny play, Back From The Front, directed by Working Theater Artistic Director, Connie Grappo, paints an absurd picture of America at war, a hilarious and finally, tragic portrait of desperate love. It looks at the current war from the vantage point of the imitation-wood paneled Walker family living room, as they plumb record depths of denial to avoid the unbearable prospect of loss. Back From The Front uses broad and absurd humor to illustrate the falsehoods we have been fed about the current crisis in the Middle East. It reveals a dark truth about our potent ability to deceive ourselves, and our government's ability to deceive its citizens.

June 2 - 30

New York Family Arts Festival

  • South African Cultural Village featuring Juxtapower (South Africa' Song & Dance)
  • Trinidad & Tobago Cultural Village featuring Something Positive, Inc.
  • Venezuelan Cultural Village
  • The Reign of the Puppet Master featuring Dr. Glory's Youth Theatre
  • African Diaspora Family Film Fun
  • The Gorgeous Mosaic and The Children's Requiem
  • The Power of the Drum: Women
  • Forces of Nature
  • Batoto Yetu
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Sept 22

Forces of Nature

Salaam's Solos Seven

"Mr. Salaam has become a sophisticated melder of dance forms... "
The New York Times

"...Fantastic...consistently brilliant choreography..."
Times Union

"...amazing, vital, fantastic...with beauty, imagination and powerful dancing..."
The Village Voice

This evening of solo works choreographed by Abdel Salaam, co-founder and Artistic Director /Choreographer of the Forces of Nature Dance Theatre Company, will be the first such evening. Selecting from an expansive repertoire, Abdel has curated an evening of captivating works that speak to the human condition in all its facets. With a reputation for spectacular innovation in his choreography, this evening of solo works is not to be missed.

Join us for an outstanding evening of solo works and performers:

  • Diane Harvey performing "Ascension"
  • Nathan Trice performing "The Seeker" an excerpt of "Word Made Flesh"
  • Maia McKinney performing "Forest Guardian"
  • Natia Kesevadze performing "From Mud Below"
  • Oneika Phillips performing "October Ashes"
  • Sarae Garcia performing "Pride, Passion and Prejudice"

Nov 25 - Dec 4

Living With "The Other"

Village Forum: Living in Peace With "The Other."
Sunday, November 25 � 1pm � In collaboration with Education at Riverside and The Center for the Study of Science & Religion.

Seeing Ourselves Seeing: Our Faiths, and how they impact the way we see the world � Part 1
Workshop: Image Theatre
Thursday, November 29 � 7pm � a participatory workshop, using the techniques of Theater of the Oppressed, led by Jeremiah Kyle Drake. No theatre experience necessary. Free

Eclipse: Visions of the Crescent and the Cross
Forces of Nature Dance Theatre
Sunday, December 2 � 3:00pm & Monday, December 3 � 7:00pm

"...a sprawling visionary piece, astonishing in its ambition, hope and faith"
Jennifer Dunning NY Times

Eclipse is a dance theater epic that explores Islam and Christianity. Blending ballet, modern dance, West African dance, and even a bit of hip-hop and martial arts, "Crescent and Cross" examines the cultural similarities and conflicts between people of Islamic and Christian faith.

Seeing Ourselves Seeing: Our Faiths, and how they impact the way we see the world � Part 2
Workshop: Cop In The Head
Thursday, November 29 � 7pm � a participatory workshop, using the techniques of Theater of the Oppressed, led by Jeremiah Kyle Drake. No theatre experience necessary. Free

Nov 30

African Diaspora Film Festival

November 30 - 12:00
Ghana/US, 2007, 49mins, doc, English, Tresubira Whitlow, dir.
Living in a housing project in Atlanta, Georgia, 17-year old Sylvia Dorsey is frustrated by the violence and drug abuse that surrounds her. Determined to transcend this environment, Sylvia soon finds herself on a soul-searching mission to define who she is and what will become of her life. Black to our Roots is the inspirational story of the journey that Sylvia embarks upon with her peers to Ghana, West Africa to explore her ancestral homeland. Fri. Nov. 30 at 12 noon at The Riverside Theatre. Q&A with Tresubira Whitlow after screening. Part of School Program.

November 30 - 3:00
USA, 2007, 95mins, drama, English, Jerry Lamothe, dir.
In summer 2003, America experienced the largest blackout in its history-widely reported as peaceful. But in Brooklyn's forgotten East Flatbush neighborhood, mayhem unfolded when the power shut down. This is the untold story of the blackout-a place where, as night fell, looters emerged, violence surfaced and residents feared for their lives. Jeffrey Wright plays "Nelson" the owner and pillar of the local barbershop. Zoe Saldana plays "Claudine" an ambitious writer for "Uptown" magazine. Also featuring Melvin Van Peebles and Latanya Richardson. Fri. Nov. 30 at 3:00pm at The Riverside Theatre.

November 30 - 6:00
USA, 2005, 79mins, doc, English, Nick Doob / Linda Atkinson, dirs.
Carmen & Geoffrey, about the careers of wife-and-husband dancers, actors and choreographers Carmen De Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder, "stands as a fitting tribute to a pair of extraordinary overachievers and as a touching portrait of over a half century of black-on-black love and of lives very well lived." Kam Williams - www.EuroWeb.com. Fri. Nov. 30 at 6:00pm at The Riverside Theatre. Q&A after the screening.


November 30 - 8:00
Germany, 2006, 45mins, doc, English/French/German with English subtitles, Annette von Wangenheim, dir.
Josephine Baker: Black Diva in a White Man's World is a tender, revealing documentary about one of the most famous and popular artist of the 20th century. Her legendary banana belt dance created theatre history; her song "J'ai deux amours" became a classic, and her hymn. The film focuses on her life and work from a black perspective. It portrays the artist in the mirror of European colonial clich�s and presents her as a resistance fighter, an ambulance driver during WWII, and an outspoken activist against racial discrimination involved in the worldwide Black Consciousness movement of the 20th century. Fri. Nov. 30 at 8:00pm at The Riverside Theatre. Panel discussion after the screening followed by a reception. Part of �Arts & The African American� Program.

Dec 1

African Diaspora Film Festival

December 1 - 3:00pm
France, 2007, 118min, doc, French/English/Portuguese/Russian/Spanish with English subtitles, Jihan el Tahri, dir.
The enthralling documentary Cuba, An African Odyssey plots the intensive Cuban support for African revolutionary movements. Beginning with Che Guevara's mission into the Congo to avenge the death of Lumumba and then Cuba's support of Am�lcar Cabral's uprising in Guinea-Bissau, the film traces the pivotal role played by Cuba's international policy in helping independence struggles on the Africa continent. Cuba's military engagement in Angola involved 450,000, who fought alongside Angolan troops including in the battle of Cuito Carnavale. This collaboration was central to the demise of apartheid and gives clue to why Fidel Castro was the first person outside the African continent to be visited by Nelson Mandela upon his release from Robben Island. Tue. Nov. 27 @ 4:00pm at Anthology Film Archives and Sat. Dec. 1 @ 3:00pm at The Riverside Theatre.

December 1 - 5:30pm
US, 2007, 65min, doc, English, Jeremy Rocklin, dir.
Dollars and Dreams is a documentary film focused on the pursuits and challenges of numerous West African immigrants as they confront the idea of the American Dream and the reality of the New York experience. Including additional perspective from scholars, authors, and community leaders, the film creates a vibrant portrait of African achievement throughout the city, while exploring the complicated issues African immigrants face as they balance their deep connections to Africa and their enthusiastic commitments to America. Sat. Nov. 24 @ 5:50pm at Anthology Film Archives and Sat. Dec. 1 @ 5:30pm at the Riverside Theatre. Q&A after the screenings.

December 1 - 8:00pm - DOUBLE BILL
US, 2006, 23min, doc., English, Gucci Man, dir.
Critically acclaimed documentary Girls Night Out by late rapper turned Director Gucci Man explores the world of young urban lesbian women as they discuss their lives from family to relationships. Sat. Dec. 1 @ 8pm at Riverside Theatre. Shown with How Do I Look?

December 1 - 8:00pm - DOUBLE BILL
US, 2006, 80min, doc., English, Wolfgang Busch, dir.
"A documentary 10 years in the making about the over 35 year old Harlem "Ball" community, How Do I Look picks up from where Paris Is Burning left off, the new school of Vogue champions play fast and loose with their fierce identity. The rollcall of participants in this extraordinary testimony to difference reads like a Who's Who of fabulousness. Kevin Aviance, Jose Xtravaganza, Mystery Royale, China Blue, the legendary Willi Ninja, who died in 2006. My favourite line - 'Truth cannot change no matter how much they cut it off' - is delivered as part of the gritty/ glamorous testimonies of trans people of colour, including Tracy Africa, the Irvin Penn-discovered 70s supermodel, until she was found out. At which point the doors closed. Voguing is arguably one of the most powerful expressions of Black and Latino identity. Personal. Powerful. Inspirational." ~ Topher Campbell Sat. Dec. 1 @ 8:00pm at Riverside Theatre. Shown with Girls Night Out. Q&A after the screening.

Dec 5 - 8

NuDance Festival

Present up-and-coming dance artists, with innovative new and original choreography. This four-day program, presents between 8-12 choreographers in three evenings of performance. The Festival also includes a Choreographers in Creation Workshop, an informal sharing of the works in process with a participatory segment for audience members.

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Dec 14 - 15


In collaboration with Mooney/Cooley Dance. Experience the magic of this timeless children�s ballet, telling the story of one little girl�s enchanted Christmas with dancing soldiers, life-size dolls, and dancing fairies.