Open ‘Tho Shut with The Manhattan Beat

The Theater for the New City Presents Live Weekly Variety Shows

Full Article Here!

“State and city government mandated that all theaters close in March. Darkness covered the theater world, with no promise of a re-opening date. Over time, many productions turned to live streams. In recent months, the Theater for the New City, led by its executive director, Crystal Field, launched an innovative weekly pop-up series featuring live music and spoken-word performances. The tightly-run one-hour variety show, called “Open ‘Tho Shut,” happens live on Saturdays at 2 p.m. in the venue’s set shop, renamed the ChopShop Theater.

The staging area features full stage lighting and a four-microphone sound system, and Mark Marcante and Lytza Colon created a colorful backdrop specifically for this series. A live socially-distanced audience on the sidewalk watches the shows through an open garage door. Cameras simultaneously broadcast the shows to home viewers via the venue’s website. Both the in-person performance and the live-stream are free of charge to the public. All installments of “Open ‘Tho Shut” are accessible on the Theater for the New City’s website.

The Theater for the New City’s health protocol requires that all “Open ‘Tho Shut” performers test for COVID before their appearances. Staff takes the temperatures of the performers as they arrive and offers hand sanitizer. Stage hands sanitize the communal microphones between performances, and the emcee uses a separate microphone.

Snowflakes drawn in chalk on the ground indicate where audience members should stand in order to remain socially distant. Staff provides masks to audience members who arrive without their own.

Today’s “walk-by theater” was the ninth installment of Open ‘Tho Shut. Crystal Field was the mistress of ceremonies. The performances began with COBU, the all-female Japanese Taiko drumming and dance troupe comprised of Yako Miyamoto, Ayaha Otsuka, Mayu Yamashita, Micro Fukuyama, and Kana Matsui. Mark Marcante, Dan Kelly, and Arthur Abrams led a vaudevillian British music hall sing-along set. Cheryl Gadsden sang pop standards and Robert Homeyer recited monologues by William Shakespeare.

“Open ‘Tho Shut” will continue throughout the winter as a weekly event. In inclement weather, the live audience will be able to shelter under tents.”

by Everynight Charley Crespo

Art Gallery Lens on the Lower East Side

East Village: Lens on the Lower East Side by Lower East Side Preservation Initiative’s A Photo-journal Essay

This remarkable collection of contemporary photographs, shot by photographers whose artistic roots in the East Village, shows unique and beautiful portraits of a now familiar neighborhood. This collection reminds people of our neighborhood’s beauty, wonder, and individuality and calls out for the preservation of its invaluable, irreplaceable legacy, for our own and future generations.

Click Here to View!

Mark Your Calendar!
East Village: Lens on the LES will lead a Zoom Discussion on December 29th @ 6:30PM EST.

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Click Here for More!

Photos from The ChopShop Theater, Open ‘Tho Shut

Check out The ChopShop Theater, Open ‘Tho Shut Performances Here!

Photos from Open ‘Tho Shut on 11.14.20

Photos from Open ‘Tho Shut on 11.21.20

After-School Arts-in-Education

John David West interviews our very own Michael David Gordon, Director of Arts-in-Education
Watch below!

Theater For The New City’s Arts-in-Ed After-School Theater Arts program has returned!

We shall begin the ten-week session beginning Tuesday, December 1st. Classes will be conducted via Zoom – kids will have to have access to the technology, including camera capability – sessions will run for 90 minutes (3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.).

In the Tuesday and Thursday workshops, the children will train to present a special hour-long culminating zoom production, written, crafted, and performed for family, friends, and community members!

Michael-David Gordon, Director

Justin Rodriguez
Celestina Bradsher
T. Scott Lily
Juan Villegas

* Spot session’ teachers:
Matt Angel (music, improv) and Michael Sanders (mime, storytelling)

New lessons for this session include!
Mime and Storytelling

Please email and for inquiries.

Lower East Side Festival of the Arts

May 22 – May 25, 2020 TNC celebrated its Lower East Side Festival of the Arts Virtually with 145 theater groups, artists, painters, sculptures, dancers, actors, puppet makers, poets, musical comedy stars, kid performers, and Street performers, in an extraordinary experience as New York’s finest artistic talents grace the Festival Stage, reaching out to the public with the passionate embrace that only the arts can provide.

Click on the image to watch!

Street Theater 2020

This summer, for the first time ever, TNC held its Street Theater Virtually from August 2020 – September 2020. Click on the below image to watch!

“LIBERTY Or JUST US, A City Park Story” is an oratorio that honors New York City parks for being sites of activism for many 20th and 21st century progressive causes, from the Triangle Shirtwaist protests to Occupy Wall Street. It revisits these movements through the eyes of a contemporary Parks Manager in songs featuring him and the multi-ethnic, multi-abled ensemble. The piece celebrates the idea that the USA can be a country of all its people, that moral aspiration can be reinvented to harness energy to overcome our problems, and that our vision can focus on dignity rather than power, equality rather than wealth and solidarity rather than competition. The audience is invited to sing along, both in new songs and in new lyrics for old tunes.

44th Annual Halloween Ball

TNC hosted its 44th Annual Village Halloween Costume Ball Virtually with a pop-up Chop Shop Theater of LIVE performances! There were over 100 performances of all new works.

Click on the below image to watch!

New Look for the Website

Theater for the New City’s website has a fresh new look. We’ve realized that our website now IS our theater and have the new look is a step in that direction. We will continue updating the look and functionality of the site over the next weeks. Please comment and tell us what you think!

Whadaya Gonna Do This Christmas?

A Poem By Crystal Field 
Executive Director
Theater for the New City

Oh My Friends, ‘Tis the Christmas season
The Best time of the Year.
The Season of Good Fellowship
of Joy and Love and especially Good Cheer!
But this Xmas things look pretty Bleak
No Protection for the Homeless and the weak.
Kids Kidnapped from their Parents
put in cages, at the Border
The Blanket denial of Climate Change
A world Bequeathed to Sister, Son-Granddaughter
And so I say, to you, my Comrades, Friends and Lovers,
Whadaya Gonna Do This Christmas, as the world around
us, Hovers
On the Brink of Catastrophic Floods
and Earthquakes-Climate immigration
a Country divided-Filled with Hate
That’s coming Straight
from the very top of this
Our Home, Our Nation
A world where “The Few” Can Sit inside a plastic
While the Rest of us Die Younger
In a Topsy Turvy History, of Pain and Fear
and Trouble
Whadaya Gonna do This Christmas
That’s What I’m asking you
Whadaya Gonna do
Just Whadaya Gonna Do

Part II
I’m Gonna Call My Congressperson
Tell ‘em Get your Ass out of your Seat
And Scream and Roar
On the Senate Floor
Impeach! Impeach! Impeach!
And If I can hold my Pee, I’ll be Marchin,
in the Street
I’ll be Marchin
I’ll be Marchin
I’ll be Marchin in the Street
Remembering The little baby Born of a Homeless
Father and Mother
Refugees from Danger and Harm
Born in a Barn
with only Swaddling Clothes, and a stack of
Hay, for cover.
I’m gonna write my letters and sign online
And if I’m young and old but Strong, as I
walk along
I’ll be knocking on Doors,
on all the Floors
Tellin “It’s time”
Tellin “It’s time”
It’s time to fight ‘gainst poverty
It’s time to for a cry for Earth
This is the Time of Christmas and Love’s
And in the year to come
I’ll say “That’s what I did done”
That’s what I did for Christmas and the
whole of the New Year through
I did it for me
I did it for you
I did it for “Them”
‘Til we come to our Census
Stand up to be counted
Like joseph in Bethlehem
So Whadaya Gonna do This Christmas?
Come along with me
And before we snuggle up to our Radiator
Or on a Bear rug, by a fireplace we’re curled
We’ll say, we did it this Christmas
And Saved the world!