Love n’ Courage 2024

February 12 – February 12
Mon 6:00pm

Executive Director, Crystal Field


Love n’ Courage

Theater for the New City’s Annual Benefit for its Emerging Playwrights Program



You can still make a contribution down below


Cocktail Hour Entertainment – 6 PM – 6:45 PM
The Head Peddlers
Peter Dizzoza
Human Kinetics Movement Arts

Monday, February 12, 2024
at The Players Club • 16 Gramercy Park South

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Donation Total: $200.00

Theater for the New City’s Emerging Playwrights Program will be beneficiary of the theater’s 21st annual Love ‘n Courage benefit Monday, February 12, 2024 at The Players, 16 Gramercy Park South. The evening honors actress, performance artist and playwright Penny Arcade.

Theater for the New City (TNC) is a four-theater complex at 155 First Avenue. Its awards include the Pulitzer Prize, 43 Village Voice OBIE Awards, nine Audelco Awards, two Bessie Awards, five ASCAP Awards, ten Rockefeller Playwrights Fellowships, The Mayor’s Stop the Violence Award, the Manhattan Borough President’s Award for Public Service and Artistic Excellence in Theater, and a NY City Council Proclamation that pays tribute to TNC’s contributions to improving the quality of life in the City by its “rich tradition of bringing theater to people in underserved neighborhoods.”

The Emerging Playwrights program is integral to the theater’s mission, which includes being a center for new and innovative theater arts, discovering relevant new writing and nurturing new playwrights. TNC does not believe that readings are enough to help an artist to grow into the American playwriting mainstream. So the theater gives emerging artists full productions, with a minimum run of three weeks, with full lighting, sets, costumes and overall professional production values. The theater staff does marketing and ticket prices are kept low to ensure good attendance.

Each year there are between 20 and 30 emerging playwrights presented. No other theater approaches the volume of work by emerging playwrights that TNC has presented in the 53 years since its founding.

Playwrights are selected for the quality of their work and their historical and social vision. Executive Director Crystal Field declares, “That is our ballast.   Everything else is just decoration.” Many colleges have playwriting programs, but the process at TNC is different from what happens in university theaters because at TNC, the playwright is involved in all aspects of the production and has final say on everything including budget, casting, designers and choice of director. Once the play is selected, the producer cannot fire the writer and there is no censorship in any way. It’s a nurturing relationship in which the author is also invited to create a new work for the following season.

Emerging playwright productions get to use the theater’s set and costume shops and its vast inventory of set pieces. Each theater space is fully equipped and since Covid began, TNC has added streaming capabilities.

“Love ‘n Courage” will be hosted by songwriter/playwright/performer Phoebe Legere and co-hosted by playwright Matt Morillo. Entertainment will include performances by Charles Bush and Accompanist Jono Mainelli, Phoebe Legere, excerpt from “Ella the Ungovernable” (bioplay on Ella Fitzgerald by David McDonald), Yip Harburg Rainbow Troupe, TNC Street Theater Ensemble, Carol Tandava (Belly Dance) and excerpt from “The Boy Who Listened to Paintings” by Dean Kostos and Paul Kirby, directed by Lissa Moira.

Penny Arcade (honoree) is one of America’s most influential theater and performance innovators and an iconic figure in theater and performance art. Born Susana Ventura, she adopted the moniker “Penny Arcade” as a declaration of her rebellious spirit and commitment to pushing artistic boundaries. A multifaceted artist, she captivates audiences with her unapologetic approach to storytelling. Her 30+ plays transcend conventional narratives, delving into the complexities of human experience and societal norms. Her most noted plays include “Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore!,” “Bad Reputation,” “The Lower East Side Biography Project,” “Longing Lasts Longer” and “The History of the World (According to My Mother).” Her performances often illuminate cultural taboos and address LGBTQ+ rights, feminism, and the loss of cultural identity. Beyond the stage, she is a passionate community activist. She will also perform at the event.

The benefit committee includes Mary Tierney (Chair), F. Murray Abraham, David Amram, Alexander Bartenieff, Charles Busch, Janet Piontek, Myrna Duarte, Carol Dudgeon, Renee S. Edelman, Crystal Field, Matthew Fitzgerald, Andrea Fulton, Assembly Member Deborah Glick, Robert Gonzales, Jr., Robert Greer, Philip Hackett, Alan Hanna, Deena & Ernie Harburg, Celia Kornfeld, Anne Lucas, Eduardo Machado, Nancy and Allan Manocherian, Mark Marcante, Audrey Heffernan Meyer, Louis Mofsie, Lissa Moira, Stephan Morrow, Emily Pezzella, Richard Ploetz, Tim Robbins, Liana Rosario, Michael Scott-Price, Jonathan Slaff, David F. Slone, Esq., Founder Betsy von Furstenberg (in memoriam), Jenne Vath, Joel Vig, Jonathan Weber and Patricia & Dr. Jay Weiner.

Cocktails are at 6:00 PM with a seated dinner at 6:45 PM.

Performances begin at 8:00 PM. Tickets are $200 (individuals) and $1800 for a table of ten, available online at For info call (212) 254-1109. RSVP by February 5. Dress is festive.