PUBLIC THEATER NEWS! 15th Annual Under the Radar Set For Jan 3-13



11-Day Festival Includes Penny Arcade, Lola Arias,  The Chekhov Project, Tania El Khoury, Ifeoma Fafunwa,  The Illustrious Blacks, James & Jerome, The Kilbanes,  Manual Cinema, Meow Meow, Peter Mills Weiss & Julia Mounsey, Flaco Navaja, New Saloon, Plexus Polaire, Rude Mechs

Under the Radar + Joe’s Pub: In Concert, UTR Professional Symposium and INCOMING! Series  Return for UTR 2019

Single Tickets Start at $25 and UTR Packs Available Now

October 30, 2018 – The Public Theater (Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis; Executive Director, Patrick Willingham) announced the full line-up today for the 15th annual UNDER THE RADAR FESTIVAL, running January 3-13, 2019. This popular and highly-anticipated festival of The Public’s winter season will include artists from across the U.S. and around the world, including Argentina, Australia, France, Lebanon, Nigeria, Norway, Palestine, and the UK. Curated by UTR Festival Director Mark Russell, this year’s UNDER THE RADAR FESTIVAL continues to expand to venues throughout New York City in addition to The Public Theater’s home at Astor Place. Tickets start at $25 and are on sale now.


Exciting new work by innovative artists Penny Arcade; The Chekhov Project; Tania El Khoury; Ifeoma Fafunwa; The Illustrious Blacks; Manual Cinema; Meow Meow; Peter Mills Weiss & Julia Mounsey; Flaco Navaja; New Saloon; Plexus Polaire; and Rude Mechs will be featured at UTR 2019. The festival will also include works by Lola Arias; James & Jerome; and The Kilbanes at partner venues throughout New York City.


The line-up for the Devised Theater Working Group’s INCOMING! Series includes Sean Donovan, Aya Ogawa, Lorelei Ramirez, Sam Schanwald with Caitlin Ryan O’Connell, Eva von Schweinitz, and Whitney White. The 11-day festival will also include the return of Under the Radar + Joe’s Pub: In Concert performances and the Under the Radar Professional Symposium.


“The most exciting two weeks in New York theater will be coming again this January. Under the Radar dazzles, shocks, provokes, excites, and always, always surprises!” said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis.


“Under the Radar is celebrating 15 years of bringing the most adventurous independent theater from around the world to New York City,” said UTR Festival Director Mark Russell. “The Festival features artists that question the rules of theater and break them, giving us a new perspective on the world. Intense and immersive, the Under the Radar Festival is a muscle-building exercise in finding common values and imagining a future.”


Under the Radar + Joe’s Pub: In Concert returns this year with performances by Penny Arcade, The Chekhov Project, Meow Meow, and The Illustrious Blacks. This exciting series highlights the multidisciplinary music/theater hybrids emerging from this renowned venue’s programming. The Library at The Public will also be open nightly for food and drink, beginning at 5:30 p.m.


Public Theater Member and Partner tickets for the 2019 UNDER THE RADAR FESTIVAL start at $20 and are available now. Single tickets to UTR shows start at $25 and tickets can be accessed online at; The Taub Box Office at The Public at 425 Lafayette Street; or by phone at 212-967-7555, beginning Thursday, November 8. Tickets for partner venue events at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and NYU Skirball can be purchased directly from the venues. All tickets are subject to facility and service fees. The “UTR Pack” is back by popular demand. Purchase five or more UTR shows and save $5 dollars off each ticket. Good for all UTR shows at The Public and BRIC House. 


Over the last 15 years, The Public’s UNDER THE RADAR FESTIVAL has presented over 255 companies from 45 countries. It has grown into a landmark of the New York City theater season and is a vital part of The Public's mission, providing a high-visibility platform to support artists from diverse backgrounds who are redefining the act of making theater. Widely recognized as a premier launching pad for new and cutting-edge performance from the U.S. and abroad, UTR has presented works by such respected artists as Elevator Repair Service, Nature Theater of Oklahoma, Gob Squad, Belarus Free Theatre, Guillermo Calderón, and Young Jean Lee. These artists provide a snapshot of contemporary theater: richly distinct in terms of perspectives, aesthetics, social practice, and pointing to the future of the art form. 




Hear Word! Naija Women Talk True
January 3, 5-7 (Running Time: 90 minutes)
Presented by The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival and iOpenEye in association with the American Repertory Theater

Directed by Ifeoma Fafunwa (Nigeria)
Tickets: $30


HEAR WORD! NAIJA WOMAN TALK TRUE is inspired by multi-generational stories of inequality and transformation. Staged by director and writer Ifeoma Fafunwa, the show grapples with the issues affecting the lives of women across Nigeria, and the factors that limit their potential for independence, leadership, and meaningful contribution in society. Combining song and dance with intimate portraits of resilience and resistance, the show celebrates the women who have broken the culture of silence, challenged the status quo, and moved beyond barriers to achieve solutions.


January 3, 5-7, 10-12 (Running Time: 60 minutes)
By Manual Cinema (USA)


Adapted from the novel by Mary Shelley

Concept by Drew Dir

Devised by Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace, and Julia Miller

Original music by Kyle Vegter and Ben Kauffman
Tickets: $30


Love, loss, and creation merge in unexpected ways in this thrilling classic gothic tale conceived by Manual Cinema. Stories of Mary Shelley, Victor Frankenstein, and his Monster expose how the forces of family, community, and education shape personhood—or destroy it by their absence. Internationally-renowned multimedia company Manual Cinema stitches together the classic story ofFRANKENSTEIN with Mary Shelley’s own biography to create an unexpected story about the beauty and horror of creation. Manual Cinema combines handmade shadow puppetry, cinematic techniques, and innovative sound and music to create immersive visual stories for stage and screen.


Chambre Noire
January 10-13 (Running Time: 65 minutes)
Created by Plexus Polaire (France/Norway)
Tickets: $30


CHAMBRE NOIRE is a wild hallucination around the death-bed of Valerie Jean Solanas (1936-1988): the most beautiful girl in America, the talented psychology student who spent her life going in and out of mental institutions, the first intellectual whore, writer, radical feminist, creator of the SCUM Manifesto, the woman who shot Andy Warhol… A character that is complex, multi-sided, outrageous, and absolutely human.


Evolution of a Sonero
January 9, 12-13 (Running Time: 75 minutes)
Written and Performed by Flaco Navaja (USA)
Directed by Jorge Merced
Tickets: $30


The first full-length show by acclaimed poet, singer, and actor Flaco Navaja, original member of the UNIVERSES and Def Poetry Jam cast: With unabashed love for The Bronx, a gift for crafting memorable characters, and genuine good humor, Navaja and five top-notch musicians—aka The Razor Blades— bring on the charm, the rhythm, and the soul essential to a Bronx Sonero. Paying homage to many great musical icons —from Janis Joplin to Menudo, from The Doors to Héctor Lavoe, from Jimi Hendrix to Rubén Blades— the play is as much about Navaja’s creative evolution as it is about the wild mix that gives life to a rhyme, a people, and a culture.


[50/50] old school animation
January 4-7, 11, 13 (Running Time: 60 minutes)
Created by Peter Mills Weiss & Julia Mounsey (USA)
Tickets: $30


A classical ghost story for our contemporary moment, this deceptively simple confessional transforms into an unnerving reflection on womanhood, memes, and our capacity for cruelty. Created by Peter Mills Weiss and Julia Mounsey, [50/50] OLD SCHOOL ANIMATION flirts with the horrific and dips into the surreal. 


Minor Character
January 4-6, 9, 11-13 (Running Time: 90 minutes)
Created by New Saloon (USA)
Directed by Morgan Green
Tickets: $30


New Saloon’s irreverent mashup of English-language translations of Uncle Vanya — from the dusty 1916 edition to Google Translate’s profoundly whack results—is a kaleidoscopic amplification of Chekhov's depressing comedy. Each character is interpreted by multiple actors and through multiple translations, in an athletic attempt to say one true thing. “I’ve been made a complete fool,” Vanya says, “foolishly betrayed,” Vanya agrees, “stupidly cheated,” Vanya clarifies.


The Cold Record
January 4-7, 9-13 (Running Time: 60 minutes)

By Rude Mechs (USA)
Written and Performed by Kirk Lynn

Directed by Alexandra Bassiakou Shaw

Tickets: $30


A secret performance. A one-man show. The story of a 12-year-old boy who tries to set the record for leaving school the most days with a fever and in the process falls in love with the school nurse and breaks his heart on the punk rock. You must promise never to speak about what you witnessed or else you'll get kicked out. Kirk Lynn is a novelist and playwright living in Austin, TX. Lynn is one of five artistic directors of the Rude Mechs theatre collective. With the Rudes, Kirk has written and adapted many plays, including Lipstick TracesMethod Gun, and Not Every Mountain, which premiered in 2018 at the Guthrie in Minneapolis. 


As Far As My Fingertips Take Me
January 4-7, 9-13 (Running Time: 15 minutes)
By Tania El Khoury (UK/Lebanon/Palestine)

Performed by Basel Zaraa

Tickets: $30


Our fingertips facilitate touch and sensations, but are also used by authorities to track many of us. In today’s Europe, a refugee’s journey can be set as far as their fingertips take them. The Dublin Regulation mandated a fingerprinting database across Europe for all refugees and migrants. This regulation often means that a refugee is sent back to where their fingertips were first recorded, without any regard to their needs, desires, or plans. Tania El Khoury commissioned musician and street artist Basel Zaraa who was born a Palestinian refugee in Syria to record a rap song inspired by the journey his sisters made from Damascus to Sweden. Through touch and sound, this intimate encounter explores empathy and whether we need to literally “feel” a refugee in order to understand the effect of border discrimination on peoples’ lives. 



Re-engineering the intersection of music and theater

This exciting series highlights the multidisciplinary music/theater hybrids emerging from this renowned venue’s programming. These artists are exploring the intersection of music and theater to bring their unique stories to the stage. These performances are not open for review.


Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore! - The Penny Arcade Sex and Censorship Show

January 3, 6, 10, 12-13 (Running Time: 90 minutes)

By Penny Arcade (USA)
Tickets: $35


Penny Arcade is New York’s undisputed queen of the underground, and her world-famous sex and censorship show is among the most exuberant performances to ever emerge from New York’s East Village. Penny Arcade's BITCH! DYKE! FAGHAG! WHORE! blends her trademark warmth, comedy, humanism, and razor-sharp satire, with New York’s best erotic dancers in an uplifting audience dance break. Originally created as a brilliant retort to the Senator Helms NEA Censorship Crisis of 1990, BITCH! DYKE! FAG! WHORE! is now a timeless and passionate rock n’ roll anthem celebrating free speech. It is a political provocation for our times. Come early for the erotic go-go pre-show with drinks.


Meow Meow

January 2, 5 (Running Time: 90 minutes)

By Meow Meow (Australia)
Tickets: $30


A performer who gleefully tramples the barriers of genre, Meow Meow defies easy description. International siren and comedienne extraordinaire Meow Meow brings her glorious brand of subversive and sublime performance to Joe’s Pub. The spectacular crowd-surfing queen of song creates an unforgettable evening of exquisite music and much mayhem. Prepare for Piazzolla tangos, Weill, Brecht, Brel, even Radiohead alongside original chansons. If your idea of cabaret is a smoky-voiced chanteuse crooning into a microphone, prepare to have your preconceptions exploded.



January 4, 12-13 (Running Time: 90 minutes)

By The Illustrious Blacks (USA)
Tickets: $25


The Illustrious Blacks have arrived to save the world one beat at a time! Once upon a time in a galaxy not far away, there lived two kings. Each was the ruler of his own deliciously glorious planet. The first king, Manchildblack, was well known throughout the cosmos for his ethereal vocals, celestial sonics and earthy musical messages. The other king, Monstah Black, was a star in the solar system for his gravity-defying performances, gender bending fashions, and spacey disposition. One magical night, an inexplicable ultra-magnetic pull forced the two planets to collide. A technicolored explosion occurred, turning night into day, with a feast of aural and visual delights. It was then that the universe was changed forever. Manchildblack and Monstah Black united and became The Illustrious Blacks! The acclaimed duo fuse music, dance, theater, and fashion as the main ingredients to expand minds, shake bootys, and encourage all to be bold, be brave, and be you!  #LiveTheHypeLife 


Astrov’s Lounge: Music From The Chekhov Project
January 5 (Running Time: 90 minutes)

Conceived by Melissa Kievman and Brian Mertes (USA)

Music by The Chekhov Project
Tickets: $25


ASTROV’S LOUNGE: MUSIC FROM THE CHEKOV PROJECT re-assembles the musicians of The Chekhov Project. Each summer, for one week, theater directors Brian Mertes and Melissa Kievman open their Rockland County New York home to a grand experiment: A group of sixty, all professional theater-makers and musicians, gather in the house, yard and neighborhood to explore and explode a Chekhov play. The cramped garage, known as “Astrov’s Lounge,” becomes home to the eclectic group of musicians who respond to the work generating original songs and soundscapes for each performance. ‘Astrov’s Lounge: Music from The Chekhov Project’ re-collects these musicians for a multifarious musical set inspired by the rhythms of Chekhov’s words and folks.


I Am a Seagull

January 5 (Running Time: 95 minutes)

Conceived by Brian Mertes and Melissa Kievman

Created by The Chekhov Project (USA)

Rita & Burton Goldberg Theatre

721 Broadway, 7th Floor, New York, NY

Tickets: $10


I AM A SEAGULL follows a community of actors in their frenzied and loving attempt to stage a Chekhov play in their house, yard and neighborhood. This hybrid film documents The Chekhov Project: an annual, immersive, open-frame performance event created by Brian Mertes and Melissa Kievman. Like the project itself, the film dissolves boundaries between audience and performer, representation and reality. Life and rehearsal blend together in this portrait of The Project’s production of The Seagull. Chekhov’s text is embodied by a handful of actors from New York City as they converge in an upstate lakeside retreat. Through juxtaposing phases of rehearsal, live performance, and pure cinema this experience captures the idealism, contradictions and raw instinct that fuels theater-making itself.



January 11-13 (Running Time: 1 hour 40 minutes)
By Lola Arias (Argentina)
Co-Presented by The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival and NYU Skirball
NYU Skirball 
566 LaGuardia Place, New York, NY 
Tickets: $30 |

In MINEFIELD, Argentine and British veterans from the Falklands/Malvinas war are transported into the past to reconstruct their experience of the war, its aftermath, and their memories. The only thing they have in common is that they are all veterans. But what is a veteran; a survivor, a hero, a madman? Digging deep into the personal impact of war, MINEFIELD confronts different visions of history, bringing together old enemies to tell one single story. This collaboratively created new work merges theatre and film to explore the minefield of memory, where truth and fiction collide. Buenos Aires-based visual and performance artist Lola Arias returns to Under the Radar after her memorable performance in 2014 “El Año en Que Nací.”

January 11-13 (Running Time: 75 minutes)
By The Kilbanes

Directed by Becca Wolff (USA)
Co-Presented by The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival, BRIC, Z Space, and piece by piece productions

BRIC House
647 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY
Tickets: $30 |

Part Concert, Part Play, Part Dream, WEIGHTLESS by The Kilbanes weaves together myth with evocative indie rock to tell a story of sisterhood, love, betrayal and rebirth. WEIGHTLESS is inspired by the story of Procne and Philomela from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Through intimate storytelling and The Kilbanes’ celebrated indie rock sound, WEIGHTLESS explores the bonds of sisterhood and the power of the female voice. It’s equal parts blistering rock show and bleeding edge experimental theater. Rock 'n' roll meets myth as only The Kilbanes can deliver.


January 5-6 (Running Time: 75 minutes)
Created and performed by James & Jerome in collaboration with Shawn Duan

Directed by Rachel Chavkin and Annie Tippe (USA)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 
Tickets: $25 |
Bonnie J. Sacerdote Lecture Hall in the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education

INK is an art lecture, live personal essay, and electronic music concert all in one. With stunning visuals by media designer Shawn Duan, musician-storyteller duo James Harrison Monaco and Jerome Ellis perform a lush live score as they lovingly analyze works from around the world, exploding the traditional art lecture into a unique theatrical experience—one that’s at once playful, intellectual, and spiritual. Together, they guide us through a meditation on calligraphy and illuminated manuscripts, on music and silence, and on Jerome’s intimate relationship to the spoken and written word, in this first ever collaboration between Under the Radar and MetLiveArts, the performance series at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.



A Festival within a Festival. Rapid Response. Controlled Chaos. New Work.


This year, The PubIic Theater’s Devised Theater Initiative (DTI) hosts the fifth cohort of the Devised Theater Working Group. These artists will be presented as part of the 2019 Under the Radar Festival’s INCOMING! Series, a platform that features in-process works of formal investigation and artistic ambition. Works-in-process are not open for review.

Twin Size Beds

January 6, 11 (Running Time: 70 minutes)

Sam Schanwald with Caitlin Ryan O’Connell (USA)

Tickets: $25


In an abandoned tree house, a limp-wristed boy hides during the neighborhood game of hide-and-seek. While he waits for a gang of metal-mouthed peers to find him, Sam’s newfound solitude spurs songs about nihilistic desire, and fuzzy hallucinations of his sexual future. TWIN SIZE BEDS is a concert-play that fuses deadpan stand-up with a hormone-fueled musical blitz. Grab a juice box. You might be stuck in that splintered hiding place forever.



January 6, 12 (Running Time: 45 minutes)

Sean Donovan (USA)

Tickets: $25


CABIN is the reconstruction of a memory—the story of three queer men in a poly-amorous relationship who move from Brooklyn to a cabin in upstate New York, and of the violence that befalls them. Through monologue, film, dance, and live music by Heather Christian,CABIN surveys the lines between myth and memoir, the complexity of intimacy, and the magnitude of loss.


Macbeth in Stride

January 5, 7 (Running Time: 75 minutes)

Whitney White (USA)

Tickets: $25


MACBETH IN STRIDE is a live concert and theatrical event that excavates the underbelly of female ambition. With throbbing orchestrations of vintage rock, White traces the fatalistic arc of Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth while exorcizing demons of her own. One in a five part series on Shakespeare's women, this concert-play is a battle cry for black female power and desire.


The Nosebleed

January 5, 9 (Running Time: 85 minutes)

Aya Ogawa (USA)

Tickets: $25


THE NOSEBLEED is an intimate autobiography that explores playwright/director Aya Ogawa’s fractured relationship with her long-deceased and enigmatic father. Through a series of turbulent, absurd, and poignantly comic vignettes, Ogawa reveals the seemingly insurmountable cultural and generational gap between herself and her father, and the questions she faces in her own motherhood today.  A theatrical memorial and healing ritual for the audience, this darkly humorous, tender, and inventive play considers how we inherit and bequeath failure, and what it takes to forgive.


The Space Between the Letters

January 5, 10 (Running Time: 70 minutes)

Eva von Schweinitz (USA)

Tickets: $25


A dot of light turns into a line, into a shape, into words. Writing becomes a physical, virtuosic feat. Easels swirl in an intersectional flipchart ballet that unpacks the legal, social, and political dimensions of adult literacy in the United States. In this ensemble lecture, performers weave personal stories, handmade infographics, and histories of discrimination and disenfranchisement.


Lorelei Ramirez: ALIVE! (For Now)

January 6, 13 (Running Time: 60 minutes)

Lorelei Ramirez (USA)

Tickets: $25


Take note: this may be the last time we will all be assembled in this room—some of us might die someday. Ramirez's playful morbidity seeps through in this multi-media comedy special, which invites us all to be unsettled together in this unsettling moment. Crafting at the intersection of art and comedy, Lorelei perverts the familiar and profanes the sacred—all in pursuit of one last laugh.




The Under the Radar Professional Symposium is a three-day event on January 3-5, featuring a chance to see full productions of festival shows as well as keynote speakers and featured artist speakers. Attendance at the Symposium is strictly limited to presenting and producing professionals in the field. For more information on the UTR Symposium, please email


The Under the Radar Professional Symposium is a pre-conference event of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (formerly the Association of Performing Arts Presenters) and is held in conjunction with the APAP|NYC 2019 conference. APAP is the national service, advocacy and membership organization for presenters of the performing arts and the convener of APAP|NYC, the world’s leading gathering of performing arts professionals, held every January in New York City. For more information on this year’s APAP conference, visit



Every January in New York City, more than 45,000 performing arts leaders, artists, and enthusiasts from across the globe converge forJanArtsNYC. A partnership among eleven independent multidisciplinary festivals, indispensable industry convenings, and international marketplaces, JanArtsNYC is one of the largest and most influential gatherings of its kind.  For more info visit, support provided by the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.



named for The Public Theater’s founder Joe Papp, opened in 1998 and plays a vital role in The Public's mission of supporting young artists while providing established artists with an intimate space to perform and develop new work. Under the new leadership of Director Alex Knowlton, this fall begins Joe’s Pub’s 20th Anniversary Season of presenting the best in live music and performance nightly, committed to diversity, production values, community and artistic freedom. The venue also offers opportunities like New York Voices, an artist commissioning program that provides musicians resources and tools to develop original theater works; Joe’s Pub Working Group, an artist development initiative; The Vanguard Award & Residency, a yearlong series that celebrates the career of a prolific and influential artist, who leads their own artistic community; and nationwide programming partnerships. Commissioned artists include Mx Justin Vivian Bond, Bridget Everett, Daniel Alexander Jones, Ethan Lipton, Toshi Reagon, Allen Toussaint and more. The venue’s food and beverage partner is NoHo Hospitality Group, helmed by acclaimed chef Andrew Carmellini. With its intimate atmosphere and superior acoustics, Joe's Pub presents talent from all over the world as part of The Public's programming downtown at its Astor Place home, hosting approximately 800 shows and serving over 100,000 audience members annually.




THE PUBLIC is theater of, by, and for all people. Artist-driven, radically inclusive, and fundamentally democratic, The Public continues the work of its visionary founder Joe Papp as a civic institution engaging, both on-stage and off, with some of the most important ideas and social issues of today. Conceived over 60 years ago as one of the nation’s first nonprofit theaters, The Public has long operated on the principles that theater is an essential cultural force and that art and culture belong to everyone. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, The Public’s wide breadth of programming includes an annual season of new work at its landmark home at Astor Place, Free Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, The Mobile Unit touring throughout New York City’s five boroughs, Public Forum, Under the Radar, Public Studio, Public Works, Public Shakespeare Initiative, and Joe’s Pub.  Since premiering HAIR in 1967, The Public continues to create the canon of American Theater and is currently represented on Broadway by the Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda.  Their programs and productions can also be seen regionally across the country and around the world. The Public has received 59 Tony Awards, 170 Obie Awards, 53 Drama Desk Awards, 54 Lortel Awards, 32 Outer Critic Circle Awards, 13 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards, and 6 Pulitzer Prizes.





Public Theater Member and Partner tickets for the 2019 UNDER THE RADAR FESTIVAL start at $20 and are available now. Single tickets to UTR shows start at $25. Tickets can be accessed online at; The Taub Box Office at The Public at 425 Lafayette Street; or by phone at 212-967-7555, beginning Thursday, November 8. Tickets for partner venue events at TheMetropolitan Museum of Art and NYU Skirball can be purchased directly from the venues. All tickets are subject to facility and service fees.


The “UTR Pack” is back by popular demand. Purchase five or more UTR shows and save 5 dollars off each ticket. Good for all UTR shows at The Public and BRIC House. Visit to purchase your “UTR Pack” online. Each “UTR Pack” purchased over the phone and online is subject to a $1 per ticket package fee per performance. All sales are final, no refunds or cancellations. Exchanges must be made at least 24 hours before a performance. Good for all Under the Radar shows at The Public Theater, Joe’s Pub, and BRIC House.


Food and beverage service will be available during Under the Radar + Joe’s Pub: In Concert performances, but there is no minimum purchase required. The Library at The Public will also be open nightly for food and drink, beginning at 5:30 p.m.


For more information, please visit or;