Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Summer Festival Previews

Every year at nytheatre.com we face the challenge of how to showcase all of the amazing work appearing in summer festivals. As you probably know, we work hard to review as many of these shows as we can. But in a way, that comes after the fact; we want also to provide interesting and insightful coverage BEFORE the fact--so that readers and potential audience members can make good decisions (and get enthused) about the myriad festival offerings IN ADVANCE.

We've got a number of tricks up our sleeve this summer to try to make some of that happen.

For the Jewish Theater Festival and TeatroStageFest (both coming to NYC in May/June), we'll be podcasting. Trav S.D. interviewed Edward Einhorn, the artistic director of the Jewish Theater Festival, along with Julia Pearlstein, a former member of the Ridiculous Theatre Company who has written a play called Rat Bastard that is featured in this festival. (Eureka, another Ridiculous alumna, is the director.) The three of them had a great conversation, which we will be presenting to you on our very next nytheatrecast episode, to be posted within the next 24 hours. (Visit www.nytheatrecast.com to check this and other podcasts out.)

Javier Gomez has been working with us to create both English- and Spanish-language versions of our annual preview podcast of TeatroStageFest, the festival of Latino theatre. In addition to artistic director Susana Tubert, we'll have some exciting special guests on hand. Details about the Teatro podcasts will be available in about a week, and I'll keep you posted.

We did a different sort of audio feature for the soloNOVA Arts Festival this year--a multimedia preview that I'm quite proud of, that you can check out here: http://www.nytheatre.com/nytheatre/solonova_2009.php

Next month brings the Brick's annual themed summer shindig, The Antidepressant Festival. For this event, we're asking participants to answer 20 questions about their shows. The results will be posted for your enjoyment and edification in about 10 days. I hope you like the questions I asked.

Following that is the brand new Planet Connections Festivity. This is a pretty ambitious event, wtih two dozen full productions along with readings and other events. It's also a socially conscious (and green) festival, with each production promoting a specific charitable cause or organization. We've asked each of the participants to tell us about their chosen causes -- and they've already started responding, eloquently and incisively. I'll be collecting their responses and posting them right here on the Good News Theatre Blog in a few weeks.

We're also doing a standard festival preview feature for Planet Connections, which you'll be able to see on nytheatre.com very soon.

What's next? Obviously, the big daddy of summer festivals, FringeNYC, is on our radar. The Town Meeting happens soon; that's the event where the festival kind of officially "kicks off." We've got some ideas for some new stuff to help make FringeNYC more manageable and fun than ever this year -- I'll share those after the Town Meeting.

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