Theatre for a New City

Todays Date: 06/25/22
Last Update: 10/09/12 11:20:33 PM
Address: 155 1st Avenue

History of Productions View Current and Upcoming

The Tenant  | Open: 11/15/12 Close: 12/02/12
 "The Tenant" by Bill Donnelly is a play in which a working-class midtown couple take a Korean immigrant woman into their hearts.  Depending on how you see it, it becomes the tragedy of a lonely woman's unsuccessful act of kindness or the perilous seduction of an innocent couple by her mystic approach to love, life and healing.  It's a bittersweet everyday story of love and destiny with a "Twilight Zone" touch.  Theater for the New City will present the play November 15 to December 2, directed by Vincent J. Balzano.

Sam and Babe are the loving, hard working superintendents of a midtown apartment building, into which moves a waifish young Korean woman named Lucky Star.  She is deeply Catholic; she is also a numerologist and a healer.  She was raised by nuns in Korea and was imprisoned for fighting off her abusive husband with a knife.  She inspires pity and support in the American couple, who offer small favors to make her apartment more liveable and to help her start over in New York.

Lucky Star is in an odd state of grace, which Babe hopes to gain from and which Sam finds mysteriously alluring.  She worked in a "Barber Shop" (a front for a house of prostitution) in her past, but now in New York, she struggles to redeem herself with the purity of the Virgin Mother.  When Babe falls tragically ill, she seeks healing through Lucky Star's herbal potions and massages.  When Sam loses Babe, he seeks to replace the loss of his wife with the Korean newcomer; she wants to soothe his loneliness but not give him sex.  Love, sex and compassion are forces of Nature, but they are out of kilter, as ferociously narrated by Romeo, the pet parrot of Babe and Sam, who is played by a fourth actor.  Perceiving the events of the play from his roost in the kitchen, Romeo's dramatic role is that of an amusing, wise Greek Chorus.  He represents Nature in a play that artfully balances between the paranormal and the simply disturbing events of everyday life.

Heavily influenced by Peter Sloterdijk's Spheres Trilogy, especially Volume I: Bubbles, BUBBLES returns to the Lovesphere roots of improvised theater (Lovespheres 0-4, in the mid 90's, were improvised musicals.) Communophenomenology is an attempt to reverse the damage materialism did to the idea of communism, and the damage fascism did to phenomenology, by using the theater encounter to explore intersubjectivity. BUBBLES will straddle the line between dance, theater, musical improvisation, butoh and group meditation.
Director Cassandra Victoria Chopourian has performed with Naked Theater, Resistance Theater, Medicine Show Theater, Lovesphere, the Tender Buttons Band, is a founding member of the international Conscientious Mythmakers theater ensemble for whom she directed “Islands of Passion” in Leipzig in 2011. She is a signatory to the Neo-Protruberist Manifesto. Producer Gary Heidt, a co-founder of Lovesphere, infuses the production with his training in improvisation from Daniel Carter. The cast of experienced improvisors include Anne Bassen, Yascha Bilan, Steve Dworkin, Lauren Farber, Mark Gering, Rich Gross, Evan Laurence and John Zurek.

About the Company: Theater For The New City

THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY (TNC) is a Pulitzer Prize winning community cultural center that is known for its high artistic standards and widespread community service. One of New York’s most prolific theatrical organizations, TNC produces 30-40 premieres of new American plays per year, at least 10 of which are by emerging and young playwrights. Many influential theater artists of the last quarter century have found TNC’s Resident Theater Program instrumental to their careers, among them Sam Shepard, Moises Kaufman, Richard Foreman, Charles Busch, Maria Irene Fornes, Miguel Piñero and Academy Award Winners Tim Robbins and Adrien Brody. TNC also presents plays by multi-ethnic/multi-disciplinary theater companies who have no permanent home. Among the well-known companies that have been presented by TNC are Mabou Mines, the Living Theater, Bread and Puppet Theater, the San Francisco Mime Troupe and the Ma-Yi Theater Company, which won an OBIE Award for its 1996 TNC production, FLIPZOIDS. TNC also produced the Yangtze Repertory Company’s 1997 production of BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH, which was the only play ever produced in America by Gao Xingjian before he won the 2000 Nobel Prize for Literature. TNC seeks to develop theater audiences and inspire future theater artists from the often-overlooked low-income minority communities of New York City by producing minority writers from around the world and by bringing the community into theater and theater into the community through its many free Festivals. TNC productions have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and over 40 OBIE Awards for excellence in every theatrical discipline. TNC is also the only Theatrical Organization to have won the Mayor's Stop The Violence award.

Point Of Departure  | Open: 09/16/11 Close: 09/25/11
Smoke & Mirrors Collaborative presents POINT OF DEPARTURE Directed by Jonathan David Martin (Lincoln Center Theater’s WARHORSE), assistant directed by Katie Meister (Shakespeare in the Park's ALLS WELL THAT ENDS WELL), and originally conceived with Zoey Martinson (Shakespeare in the Park’s ALLS WELL THAT ENDS WELL) and MacKenzie Meehan (Classic Stage Company’s DOUBLE FALSEHOOD) as the highly –anticipated inaugural production of this Brooklyn-based theater company. Performances begin Friday, September 16 and play through September 25, two weekends only, at Theater For The New City (155 1st Ave, New York, NY).

POINT OF DEPARTURE follows a series of extreme characters through the absurd landscape of a post 9/11 airport terminal. Hidden baggage fees and security pat-downs merely scratch the surface of the obstacles each passenger has to overcome, finally to depart to their chosen destination.

This highly physical, multimedia production mines the dark humor of today’s airport experience. POINT OF DEPARTURE peeks into the wonder and frustrations of taking flight, as the audience is taken on a joyride of high-energy choreography, stimulating projections, and broad physical comedy.

POINT OF DEPARTURE features Johnson Chong*, Zoey Martinson*, MacKenzie Meehan*, Adam McNulty, and Court Wing. Has sets by Chris Morris with assistant David Meyer, costumes by Tilly Grimes, lighting by Gertjan Houben, video design by Katy Scoggin, and sound by Kortney Barber.

Tickets are $18 Adult and $15 Student/Senior with group discounts available, and can be purchased at For additional information on reservations and accommodations please email

Major funding for POINT OF DEPARTURE is provided through The Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund for the Performing and Visual Arts. A project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

*Actors appear courtesy of Actors Equity.       Equity Approved Showcase


Nobody Suspects a Butterfly  | Open: 10/23/08 Close: 10/24/08
Chris Henry & Royal Family Productions (RFP) presents a two-night benefit, remounted performance of the acclaimed multimedia work in progress, "Nobody Suspects a Butterfly." The story centers on a small town in New England reeling from the suicide deaths of five young athletes. In the aftermath, the media descends on the town to find the "truth." Instead, they accuse the football team and the coaches, tearing the community apart. Based on a true story, this multimedia production is told through flashbacks, dance, and football. Henry notes that the play is not a documentary, but rather "a story that passed through me and onto the page about boys whom I shared roots and a connection."

This mainstage production will benefit RFP's Afterschool with Chris Henry, which provides a quality drama experience for students of all socio-economic backgrounds. Henry continues the tradition of using theatre to build confidence, self-expression, focus and teamwork. Students choose what role they want to play in the production - we hold no auditions. John Cariani ("Fiddler on the Roof") joined the students for the show, allowing the kids to shine on stage with a seasoned actor. This year, the students are again working with Cariani as well as Jesse L. Martin ("RENT", "Law & Order").