East Side Stories:
Plays About the History of the Lower East Side

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MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThe OBIE Award winning Metropolitan Playhouse will present the fifth annual East Village Theater Festival, a three-week celebration of the life and lore of New York City’s East Village.

The festival features four different evenings of new plays and solo-performances, as well as the work of local artists, and a panel discussion on the neighborhood’s changing identity.

East Side Stories includes six new short plays, six new solo performances, an opening night reception, and a lobby exhibition of the photographs of John Milisenda, born and raised on the Lower East Side. The event runs from April 14th through May 4th, 2014, Mondays – Sundays at 7:00 pm and Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm, at the Metropolitan Playhouse, 220 East 4th Street, in Manhattan. An opening reception will be held this evening, Monday, April 14th at 7:00pm.


The festival includes 2 series of new works, each in their 10th year: The East Village
Chronicles and the Alphabet City Monologues.

The East Village Chronicles are new plays inspired by the contemporary life, the lore and the history of the diverse neighborhood. This year’s collection, selected from submissions from around the country, includes plays by award-winning and prolific authors local and distant: one evening, entitled Outsiders, directed by Melissa Maxwell (American Slavery Project’s Unheard Voices and Nathan the Wise at The Pearl Theatre Co.) includes “Locked,” by David Vazdauskas (Brunswick,
ME); “gen-tri-fi-ca-tion, noun,” by Kathy Coudle-King (Grand Forks, ND); and “Man Legs Runs Free,” by Mercedes Segesvary (Los Angeles).

The second evening, entitled Ghosts, directed by Jason Jacobs (Winner Best Direction at Fresh Fruit Festival 2013 for After the Chairs) includes three plays by New York authors: “Ashes,” by Jane Prendergast; “Resistance,” by East Village resident Armand Ruhlman; and “Black Triangle,” by Lavinia Roberts.

The Alphabet City solo performances are unlike any other theatrical experience in their marriage of true-life and performance: derived verbatim from interviews with local residents, the monologues celebrate the lives and philosophies of current East Village neighbors in their own words, as portrayed by actor/interviewers. This year’s performers are Sari Caine as Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Theater for the New City, Crystal Field; Marie Louise Guinier, as community activist Annette Aberette; Chris Harcum, as legendary Larry Schulz, of the Sandra Cameron Dance Studio; Reynaldo Piniella, as dancer and speech pathologist as Brian Alejandro Scott; Amar Srivistava, as LES Prep English teacher Rian Keating; and Lenore Wolf, as actress April March. Past series have featured over 60 neighbors since 2003, including both prominent and unknown artists and advocates; entrepreneurs and street figures, drug dealers and care-givers. Better known partners include Hilly Christal of CBGB’s; photographer Marlis Momber; street philosopher and artist de la Vega; Bill diPaola of Time’s Up; Eddie Boros of Avenue B Garden; and “Mosaic Man” Jim Power. This year’s series is directed by Yvonne Opffer Conybeare.


A new exhibition of heretofore unseen photographer by John Milisenda, born and raised on the Lower East Side will run throughout the festival in the theater’s lobby (shared with the Connelly Theater.)

Metropolitan Playhouse explores America’s theatrical heritage through forgotten plays of the past and new plays of American historical and cultural moment. Winner of a 2011 Village Voice OBIE award for “For helping us see, theatrically, where we’ve been and where we are”, a 2014 Victorian Society in America Award for preservation of heritage, as well as numerous New York Innovative Theatre awards.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for students and seniors, and $10 for Children under 18.
Discount passes are available for multiple events. For more information and to purchase tickets online visit www.metropolitanplayhouse.org or call 800-838-3006

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