The Lower East Side Festival of the Arts (LES)

May 28 – May 30
MDW @ TNC May 28 - May 30; 6PM - 11PM; Sat Outside 1PM- 5PM

Crystal Field, Executive Director, with
The LES Committee, Presents:

The Lower East Side Festival of the Arts 
26th Annual LES

FREE! Memorial Day Weekend @ TNC
6 PM EST – 11 PM EST
Friday, May 28
Saturday, May 29
Sunday, May 30
(Saturday, May 29; Outside Portion 1 PM EST- 5 PM EST)

Listen below for LES on WINS!

LES is home again! to celebrate its return to live audiences and the reopening of TNC’s performance complex. Over 180 artists of all disciplines will be participating in the three-day event.

Friday, May 28: Indoor performances will take the stage from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM each day, utilizing two of TNC’s four theaters. An art show will grace the TNC lobby spaces.

Saturday, May 29: Inside 12PM – 6PM Film Program; 6PM – 11PM Performances. Cultural Festival Outside on E. 10th Street 1:00PM – 5:00PM vendors, food sellers, booths from nearby restaurants, and an outdoor stage adjoining the theater will offer music and multi-discipline performances

Sunday, May 30: Performances inside 6PM – 11PM. Poetry Program 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

Date Johnson Theater Cabaret Theater Community Space Theater Outside on

East 10th Street

Fri, May 28 Performances

6pm – 11pm


7pm – 11pm

Sat, May 29 Performances

6pm – 11pm

Film Program

12pm – 6pm

Cultural Festival, Performances, Food, Vendors and More 1pm – 5pm
Sun, May 30 Performances 6pm – 11pm Performances

7pm – 11pm

Poetry Readings

4pm – 7pm

TNC has always prided itself on being a safe space, and is zealous to guarantee that everyone will feel secure while performing and watching its performances. All the theater’s staff are fully vaccinated and its HVAC systems have new air filtration systems. Masks and temperature checks will be required for both performers and theatergoers, all of whom must present either proof of vaccination or negative COVID test results from the last 3-5 days for admission. Seating will be socially distanced, employing every other seat in every other row. Pods of seating are available for audience members who have quarantined together. Hand sanitizer stations are numerous and available at the entrances.

In all performance events, the theater is honoring the policy of Actors Equity Association that members of a show must be fully vaccinated and cannot come into contact with unvaccinated performers or crew. Onstage microphones will be sterilized between acts by the running crews.

Special guests appearing will include: James Rado (composer of “Hair”), Penny Arcade, Phoebe Legere, Vinie Burrows, and Reno. David Amram, Art Lillard, Mister Pablo, and Rob Varcony/Star 69 will head the list of 36 musical acts. There will be over 25 works of theater, 30 mixed-performance events, and 11 modern dance events. Eleven films, curated by Eva Dorrepaal, will be screened. A “poetry jam with prose on the side,” curated and hosted by Lissa Moira, will offer readings by 36 literary artists. There will be various cabaret, comedy, and magic acts. Works by 40 visual artists, curated by Caroline Ratliffe, will be displayed in the lobby. Elected officials appearing will include Brad Hoylman (State Senator, 27th District) Friday at 8:15, Harvey Epstein (State Assembly Member, 74th District) Friday at 9:00 PM, Carlina Rivera (City Council Member, 2nd District) Saturday at 7:15 PM, and Gonzalo Casals (NYC Commissioner of Cultural Affairs) Sunday at 7:30 PM.

Disciplines presented have always included theater, music, dance, poetry, puppetry, cabaret, visual art, film, and children’s programming. With the need to rely on vaccination and testing in order to preserve the theater as a “safe space,” it was decided to forego children’s audiences this year.

Last year, due to the exigencies of quarantine, the entire festival was presented virtually. This year, the festival is dedicated to the return of live audiences, but in order to offer it to the widest possible following, selected performances will be live-streamed on the TNC website,


Festival Director, Crystal Field. Assistant Directors: Katharine Dreves, Milton Tran, Devorah Shubowitz, J.C. Augustin and Anika Prager. Emcees of the 2021 Festival are: Crystal Field, Robert Gonzales Jr., Melanie Goodreaux, Susan Hemley, Alberto Minero, David Slone Esq., John David West, and Eva Dorrepaal.

The LES Festival is created and organized by The LES Committee: David Aronson, Alex Bartenieff, Briana Bartenieff, Bill Bradford, Roy Chang, Walter Corwin, Eva Dorrepaal, Myrna Duarte, Carol Dudgeon, Crystal Field, Matthew Fitzgerald, Andrea Fulton, Robert Gonzales Jr., Melanie Maria Goodreaux, Robert Greer, Susan Hemley, Barbara Kahn, Dan Kelley, Anne Lucas, Donna Mejia, Lissa Moira, Stephan Morrow, Brian Park, Emily Pezzella, Carolyn Ratcliffe, Liana Rosario, Ramiro Sandoval, Ed Shea, Jonathan Slaff, David F. Slone, Esq., Claude Solnik, Mackenzie Surbey, Mary Tierney, Jenne Vath, Jimmy Walker, Jonathan Weber, Richard Weber, Peter Welch, John David West, and Richard West. Press Representative is Jonathan Slaff.