FRIGID New York presents the 13th annual The Fire This Time Festival at the Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Avenue and the Bowery) July 7-10 with performances on Thursday, July 7 at 7 p.m., Friday, July 7th July 8th at 7pm, Saturday July 9th at 2pm, Saturday July 9th at 7pm and Sunday July 10th at 3pm. The performances will also be available as a live stream from home. The 10-minute world premiere plays are co-directed by Zhailon Levingston (Chicken & Biscuits on Broadway; Patience) and actress, writer, director and TFTT graduate Tracey Conyer Lee.
The 2022 festival, which has been postponed due to Covid, was originally scheduled to take place from January 17th to February 6th, 2022. Full-length play readings will be presented in September 2022. The full cast and creative team for the 10-minute plays will be announced in June.
Wildest Dreams by Agyeiwaa Asante
For over 187 years, Maybelle and Jimmy Dale have haunted Mason Plantation, which is now a popular tourist attraction and entertainment venue. Tired from their time on that plane, they wonder what it will take to get them to the other side.
Red wine by Rachel Herron
Somm was on track to become the world’s first black master sommelier, but she gave up everything to produce her own wine label. Now she has enlisted the help of her mentee Mel to help grow the brand. The only question is, will Mel still be on board when she learns the secret ingredient in her best-selling red?
Gurlfriend (Black is Black) by Fedna Jacquet
Two black girls drinking wine and living their best lives. #BlackGurlMagic #UnapologeticAF. We see SHE jokes and bruises on the display. By keeping the world outside, these best friends are able to bond in fresh and delightful ways… but what happens when the ever-shrinking classification of blackness threatens to exclude one of them? We ride the bold and excruciatingly confusing rollercoaster of identity, friendship and regret to a new destination unknown to both Lea and Tonya. #Theatre
Wookies in the Wilderness by Marcus Scott
Bishop and Smokey are best friends. Smokey will do anything for Bishop who is recovering from recent trauma. Bishop will do anything for Smokey, including the mountain wilderness of the Lake of the Ozarks, to prepare him for his upcoming Wilderness Survival test for the Eagle Scouts. But as the sun sets and night falls, the boys are reminded to really be prepared for anything. Wookies in the Wilderness is a buddy drama about race, class, wasted potential, retribution, Star Wars and equal opportunity in Trump’s America.
Gladys and Minerva, occasional chemo friends, in Room A, discuss life, the South, kids, and the handsome cancer patient.
By Lisa Rosetta Strum, by the way
Two best friends have been quarantined for the past month. When one of the friends reveals their true feelings to the other, perceptions, prejudices and fears are exposed and a friendship could be changed forever.
Zhailon Levingston is a Louisiana-raised storyteller, director, and activist.
He is a board member and creative director of the Broadway Advocacy Coalition, which he co-founded, and teaches the Theater of Change course at Columbia University. He is a Music Mentor Fellow and has worked with Idina Menzel’s A Broader Way Foundation. His directing credits include: Neptune (Dixon Place; Brooklyn Museum), The Years That Went Wrong (Lark; MCC), The Exonerated (Columbia Law School), Chariot Part 2 (Soho Rep/The Movement Theater Company), Mother of Pearl ( LaGuardia Performing Arts Center). He is associate director of Primer for a Failed Superpower with Tony Award-winner Rachel Chavkin and Runaways at The Public Theater with Sam Pinkleton. Last. he directed Chicken and Biscuits, which premiered on Broadway last fall. Zhailon is also resident director of Tina: The Tina Turner Musical on Broadway and associate director of Hadestown in South Korea.
Tracey Conyer Lee is the director and choreographer of the reimagined return of Sistas! The musical currently playing Off-Broadway. As a playwright, her plays have been produced in NYC, Chicago, DC, Boston and Nashville. As an actress she has performed around the world and has won the Carbonell, NAACP and Barrymore Awards. She is a proud member of the 2019 Tony Award-winning Broadway Inspirational Voices Choir and is currently appearing as Detective Ross on Seasons 3 and 4 of CBS’s “FBI.” This summer she will be starring in the US premiere of Serving Elizabeth directed by Cezar Williams and in her 6th production of Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar & Grill directed by Kevin R. Free. Lee is an audiobook narrator for Black fiction and non-fiction writers and co-founder of Be Ready, who takes the face-to-face professional training she teaches in America’s corporations and offers it free to Black youth preparing for higher education or the job market .
Fire This Time Festival was founded by Kelley Girod in 2009 to provide a platform for playwrights of African and African American descent to write and produce impactful material for a diverse audience. Since the debut of the first 10-minute theater program in 2010, presented in association with FRIGID New York, Fire This Time Festival has produced and developed the work of more than 80 playwrights, including Katori Hall, Dominique Morisseau, Radha Blank and Antoinette Nwandu, Jocelyn Bioh, Korde Arington Tuttle, Stacey Rose, Aziza Barnes, CA Johnson, Kevin R Free, Charly Evon Simpson, Angelica Cheri, James Anthony Tyler, Jordan Cooper and Nathan Yungerberg. In 2022, Bloomsbury Books published the anthology 25 Plays From The Fire This Time Festival: A Decade of Recognition, Resistance, Resilience, Rebirth and Black Theater which contains 25 10-minute plays produced over the past 11 seasons of The Fire This Festival . Fire This Time Festival has partnered with Center Theater Group and Watts Village Theater Company to launch the Not A Moment, But A Movement initiative to empower Black artists through three virtual events bringing together playwrights, visual artists and musicians come together in 2021. www.firethistimefestival.com
FRIGID New York’s mission is to provide both emerging and established artists with the opportunity to create and produce original works without limitation in content, form or style and to amplify their diverse voices. We do this by presenting a range of monthly programs, mainstage productions, an artist residency and seven annual theater festivals that create an environment of collaboration, ingenuity and innovation. Established in 1998, the goal was and remains to form a structure that would allow multiple artists to focus on creating and staging new work, and to provide affordable rental space for numerous independent artists. Now in our third decade, we’ve produced a tremendous amount of stimulating downtown theater. www.frigid.nyc