Five plays. One playwright. Four venues. One month (or so).
Welcome to Rattlestick Playwrights Theater’s new summer theatre festival in New York’s West Village.
theater:village is to be an annual event where multiple plays by the same playwright (or organized around a similar theme) run simultaneously in different Village venues.
This inaugural year it’s Lucy Thurber’s gritty and deeply felt cycle of plays about growing up in rural western Massachusetts, and the lingering impact of where you’re from on later life.
For diehard theatre fans the chance to see two or even three shows by the same playwright on the same day sounds pretty exciting.
And indeed, this welcome new event is one of the most vibrant and energetic undertakings in recent memory. It makes perfect sense and should quickly become a major item on the summer calendar in New York.
Old timers will recall New York’s beloved SPF, a summer festival at Theater Row that mysteriously died cold several years ago. Since that time, summer in New York has often been an in between time for exciting, off Broadway theatre.
Not any more.
Because theater:village is on the scene.
Rattlestick’s incredible logistical undertaking to get five plays by Lucy Thurber going on four different West Village stages at the same time looks to be a major success so far.
Though shows won’t open until September 5, based on preview performances of three of the five plays, this first version of the new festival promises to be challenging, rewarding, and exciting live art. With tickets around $25, the festival is also a great value.