THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
Executive Director, Crystal Field
The Very Last Dance of Homeless Joe
A new play by Rich Courage
December 1 – 18, 2022
Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8:00 PM, Sunday at 3:00 PM
Running Time: 90 minutes
Tickets $18, Seniors/Students $15 – Box Office (212) 254-1109
Theater for the New City
155 First Avenue (between 9th & 10th Street)
There are no homeless people. Only people who happen to be homeless. A young woman named Charlie decides to write a story about people who are homeless. Charlie meets a variety of folks who make her cry, laugh, and open her mind and heart. The message of the play is simple yet profound. All we have in this crazy life is each other and each other is all we really need.
BIO: Rich Courage
There’s a saying. Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.
Having been hospitalized for mental illness over a dozen times in my crazy life, I’ve done my share of dancing. Thankfully, my life is pretty good today. I wrote The Very Last Dance of Homeless Joe because, well, I felt like it. I knew a guy who was homeless with his dog and we hung out some, and one day he was just gone. Got me thinking. All these folks who are homeless on Manhattan’s streets needed a voice. Someone to make people see them not as homeless people, but as people who happen to be homeless. And then, well, my play sort of wrote itself. I intentionally left out the swear words cause I’d like to see it in classrooms everywhere.
Kids need to learn early on that all lives are precious and we need each other now more than ever.
Oh, one last thought. I know now why I wrote this emotionally compelling, eye opening little play about folks who are homeless.
I wrote it to break folks’ hearts. To break them open, that is. To stir feelings of compassion, empathy and love for folks who need it most. I hope that folks who experience The Very Last Dance of Homeless Joe come away realizing that people who are homeless are, well, just people. And they have as much to offer us as we do them, if we just give them a chance.
There’s a lot of me and my gypsy past in the play, and a composite of many other folks I’ve run across. Broken dreams, voices in my head and nightmares in my bed. But, like I said, life is so much better nowadays, and my play could really shed much needed light on the lives and humanity of folks who are homeless. Please help me realize a dream. Come experience The Very Last Dance of Homeless Joe on stage this December at Theater For the New City.
I was laid off from my job as a Peer Counselor at Fountain House, a clubhouse for folks recovering from mental illness, where I am also a member. I worked at a kiosk in Times Square serving up coffee, conversation and resources to folks who are homeless. I began selling my tarot themed three dimensional collages from a table in Hell’s Kitchen and it has done pretty darn well. I live in Washington Heights, otherwise known as Manhattan’s Dominican Republic. I sing blues and folk rock. I love me my bacon cheddar burgers but, alas, they don’t love me back. My beagle Snoopy passed away in 2019 and I still cry every so often when I look at his smiling face. I’ve quit smoking many times. I go from thin to overweight, every day it fluctuates (That’s an Ed Sheeran line.) My favorite painting is Starry Night.
My play, The Very Last Dance of Homeless Joe, was performed at the New York Theater Winterfest 2021. The play will have its world premiere from Dec/1/2022 through Dec/18/2022 at Theater for the New City in Manhattan.
And there’s a lot more to me.
Tim Bronkema (Modesto)
Samekh Resh (Banzini)
Valerie Johnson (Blind Sally)
Kiko Kennedy (Soul)
Selena Donayre (Charlie)
Rich Courage (Joe)
Robert Rishi Maffia (Jimmy Bag O Donuts)
Louis Courage (Pink Floyd)
Roger Rover (Q)
Herut Ashkenazi (Nobody)
Emma Littig (Charlie Understudy)
Elizabeth Smith (Blind Sally Alternate)
CREATIVE TEAM + TECH
Director – Emily Hausmann
Playwright and Producer – Rich Courage
Stage Manager – Izy Taylor
Set and Sound Design – Angelina
Lighting Designer – John Lance Harrison
Light Board Operator – Geoffery
As of September 26th, 2022, we are no longer requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for our audience upon entry.
Wearing of masks is suggested in the lobby, restrooms and performance spaces at Theater for the New City, but they are not required.