The Little Shakespeare Festival

Welcome to The Little Shakespeare Festival at Frigid New York! This festival is a celebration of independent theatre and performance that takes inspiration from the immortal bard, William Shakespeare. Each year, companies are offered a different theme or idea to help guide their work. This year the festival’s theme is Camaraderie and Community. We are seeking shows that in some way explore the shared sense of belonging between people. Much of Shakespeare’s canon grapples with these subjects, from a broken community in Romeo and Juliet, to an eternal bond of trust forged between comrades on St Crispin’s Day in Henry V. These concepts too hold meaning in our modern world as well, where our digital connections paradoxically bring us closer together while also pushing us further apart. 

Applications for the 2024 festival are now closed.

Little Shakespeare is curated by Conor Mullen of As You Will.

When considering Shakespeare, we often get so caught up in his legacy we forget that, during his life, he was an independent, working artist, writing plays and trying to get by. His actors worked with all too little rehearsal time, learning the fights and dances sometimes while the audience was already lined up to enter the theatre. His casts often included his good friends–and himself when the need called for it. Even his costumes, which to us seem so extravagant, were donations from wealthy patrons, the Elizabethan equivalent of digging through clothing racks at Goodwill. 

Sitting in Under St. Marks, it’s not too hard for me to imagine William Shakespeare working here. He’d have used his words to turn this space into a Roman dungeon, a Scottish castle, or a moonlit Athenian forest. His actors would have loved having the audience so close they could speak with them directly. And, of course, he would have been very approving of a bar inside the theatre, since in his own time audience members who wanted a drink had to leave the theatre and visit a local bar. 

It’s a reminder for me that Shakespeare doesn’t just live on when performed in giant, open air amphitheaters or big, Broadway houses; he also lives in these most humble of places, where I think he would have felt quite at home. Here, with you and me, at The Little Shakespeare Festival.

-Conor D Mullen, Festival Curator

Thank you to everyone who participated in or saw a show at the 2023 festival; it was our best one ever!

Past festivals have included…

Two Households
I Fucking Hate Shakespeare Written by Gina Femia; directed/co-developed by Michele Travis
Romeo & Juliet
Brawls & Burlesque Double Bill
To Thine Own Self, or your taste in pancakes will reveal which shakespearean heroine you are (maybe): a one-person play by Dani Herd
Unspoken Garden/El Jardín Que Calla

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