TNC’s 28th Annual Lower East Side Festival of the Arts 2023

With the roster still building, Theater for the New City has currently scheduled over 200 performing arts organizations, independent artists, poets, puppeteers and film makers for its 28th annual Lower East Side Festival of the Arts, which will be mounted May 26 to 28 in and around Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. (at E. 10th Street). Admission is free but donations will be gratefully accepted.

This year, the festival is mounted with a theme addressing climate change: “The Heat Is On” followed by an exhortation taken from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Act Now in the Living Present.” The subject will be addressed in some of the playlets and acts written for the festival.

Lower East Side Festival of the Arts show page HERE

Read full Press Release below.

Obsessed Cancelled

Due to unforeseen circumstances, “Obsessed” a new play by David McDermott and Andy Halliday is cancelled.

Theater for the New City Looking To Bring Improvements To Its Summer Festival In 2024

Theater for the New City (TNC) will not be accepting applications and will have no performances for Dream Up Festival in summer 2023. The theater will be taking the calendar year of 2023 to raise more money for the Dream Up Festival and is in the process of doing so. The goal next year is to add greater technical and production value to each show and to update TNC’s equipment for multi-disciplinary use . In addition, TNC is planning to bring the festival to a greater number of New Yorkers. It will expand its digitally based publicity and increase its festival staff. The monetary efforts will provide opportunities to refresh the summer showcase and tangible resources to serve participants and audiences. 

August 2024 will mark the 15th year of Theater for the New City’s summer festival known as Dream Up Festival. The festival started in 2010 took a 2 year hiatus in 2020 and 2021, performances in 2022 and now 2023 the reboot season. The theater would like to invite anyone interested in working at the Theater for New City to join the cause. Join the mailing list for updates about seasonal programming and news about Dream Up Festival 2024.

Theater for the New City was founded in 1970 with a focus on innovative theater arts, playwrights not preoccupied with commercial pressures and to merge theater and the community. 

A quote from Crystal Field, Theater for the New City’s Co-Founder and Artistic Director “Theater for the New City has always been committed to providing pathways to talented performing artists and experiences to those that visit us at 155 First Avenue” “We felt the timing was right to relaunch the summer festival in 2024 bigger and better than ever”.
Stay tuned for news about the award-winning Theater for New City by going to

TNC’s Arts-in-Education Program – Spring 2023

Our after school spring semester will begin March 20th. The Offer is only for children from the East Village and the Lower East Side neighborhoods.

NY ACKER Awards 2022

Sunday, December 11, 2022
Theater for the New City
155 First Avenue (between 9th & 10th Street)
Doors open 6 PM – Starts @ 7 PM to 10 PM
RIP Joe Zolkowski. Joe made the box this year.  Died later.  The box, like the others, is a  keeper for sure.  Loads of creative treasures.  Talked to Max Schulman at Printed Matter.   PM will in a specific topic newspaper let different ephemera collectors see the boxes and a list of content.  Would like to see a couple of complete sets in well traveled archives.  HOWL should have a set.  Cover so many of the same creators and communities – a  large overlap.  Zitos’s cups are over the top.  Jordan King gets Candy Darling Award for keeping the history of Candy Darling alive as well as Jeremiah Newton’s contribution.  Jordan will get a rare copy of Candy Darling Diaries.  So much amazing history is saved and collected.

LES Arts & Culture Open House


On Saturday October 22, 2022, the theater will be open from 2 PM – 5 PM

Theater for the New City is part of LES Arts & Culture Open House. Organized by FABnyc with 20+ Lower East Side organizations, a special event organized for Open House NY

TNC’s Village Halloween Costume Ball 2022

Theater for the New City’s Costume Ball is coming back this Halloween October 31st!

More Info

A celebration of the life of George Bartenieff at Theater for the New City

Theater for the New City (TNC) will host a memorial for George Bartenieff on Monday, September 19. The gathering is at 7:30 PM and speakers and performances at 8 PM. Among those who will speak are: Penny Arcade, Phoebe Legere, Briana Bartenieff, Eduardo Machado, Crystal Field, Margo Lee Sherman, The Thunderbird American Indian dancers will perform as well as The Fabulous Amazing Grace. Phillip Hacket will MC. At the end of the ceremony there will be an open mic although RSVP is recommended for those who would like to say a few words.


The White Blacks are coming back to Theater for the New City later this year! Nov 10-27, 2022




All events at Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. (at E. 10th Street)

August 28 to September 18, 2022

From August 28 to September 18, 2022, Theater for the New City (TNC), under the direction of Crystal Field, will resume its annual Dream Up Festival, a feast of adventurous theater that had been suspended in 2020 and 2021 during the disruptions of Covid. The annual event is an ultimate new works festival, dedicated to the joy of discovering new authors and edgy, innovative performances.

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