NJ Agwuna, who directed the world premier of Megan Bandelt’s what she found at the 12th Annual FRIGID Festival in 2018 has been awarded a fellowship in film and television directing from the Drama League. Chloe Rabinowitz for Broadway World reports: “Selected from hundreds of applicants worldwide, they will be publicly introduced to the professional theater community during the 88th Annual Drama League Awards, which will be held on Friday, May 20, 2022 at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City. More information can be found at www.dramaleague.org.” Read more about the 2022 Drama League Directors Project Recipients here. Read more about what she found here.
by Stephi Wild for Broadway World Join us for The Squirrel’s presentation of America’s longest running talk show that’s somehow still on, Gut Reaction Live, with this episode’s host, Avery Meow-Mix (Laura Ornella). This episode breaks down the events in Topeka, Kansas, where the unthinkable has happened: Someone stole the teacher’s prized broach during a field trip to the local waste treatment facility. Who could do such a horrible thing? Fear not, because Gut Reaction Live is here to pick up the pieces and investigate the truth. At the reins of this hour-long talk show on the fritz is new daytime host (the show just can’t seem to hold down a host for very long!) and narrative genius Avery Meow-Mix, and she’s asking the important questions. As a series of live interviews unfold, get to know the eyewitnesses, students, teachers, workers, and passersby who were at the scene of the crime that fateful field trip. Meow-Mix is everything you want in a daytime TV host: nosy, unhinged, and willing to put in the work to get to the bottom of the situation! It’s just too bad everyone quits this show because they can’t handle its twists and turns. Part improv, part characters, and 100% antics, this show masterfully turns the quotidian into hilariously high drama. Read the full article here.
By Stephi Wild for Broadway World On February 10, 2022 New York City’s Obie Award-winning The Fire This Time Festival will release an anthology entitled 25 Plays from The Fire This Time Festival: A Decade of Recognition, Resistance, Resilience, Rebirth and Black Theatre. The book, published by Methuen Drama an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing, contains 25 10-minute plays originally produced by the eponymous festival, which has become the destination for emerging and early career playwrights from the African diaspora. While the past decade proved to be some of the most tumultuous times in modern US history, the resilience and will of the Black community has continually pushed forward by opening up dialogues and sustaining advocacy. Nowhere has this been more apparent than at the Obie Award-winning The Fire This Time Festival in New York City. From inequality in education and healthcare, skewed and negative images of Black people in mainstream media, racism in policing, widespread gentrification and its effects on multi-generational Black neighborhoods, and the growth of Black love, The Fire This Time Festival was there and has borne witness. This page in their Black history is now documented in the pages of this anthology. Together, these pieces bookend the Black experience in the U.S. from 2009 to the present day: from the hope for further progress and equity under the Obama administration, to the existential threat faced by Black people under the Trump presidency. Click to read the full article.
New York City – Nov 2021 — FRIGID New York is happy to welcome our new Resident Artistic Director, Kevin R. Free, an old friend of the family from the early Horse Trade days. Kevin has been the Producing Artistic Director of The Fire This Time festival, the curator of our Queerly festival; he started The Reparations show together with FRIGID in the summer of 2020, sponsored this fall by a NYSCA REstart NY Grant and we are very happy to be taking our professional relationship to a new level this season.
Kevin R. Free has been an actor in over 100 professional productions, director of over 30 professional, semi-professional, and educational theater productions, narrator of over 400 Audiobooks, the voice of Kevin on “Welcome to Night Vale,” voice of Terry Elder on “Give Me Away,” Resident Artistic Director, Frigid New York, co-creator and star of award-winning web series “Gemma & The Bear!” former Producing Artistic Director of Obie Award-winning Fire This Time Festival, former Curator of Queerly Festival. SemiFinalist, Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference, 2013, Doric Wilson Independent Playwright, 2014, FluxForward 2015, FringeNYC Overall Excellence in Playwriting, 2016, NYSX Diversity Cohort 2018. www.kevinrfree.com; @kevinrfree
Kevin will be directing FRIGID New York’s Resident program, Including Something From Abroad, another NYSCA REstart NY Grand recipient; Infinite Variety Productions, currently embarking on a small Italian tour; and Saudade Theatre the first and only theatre company in the United States dedicated to producing original and thought-provoking work grounded in the Portuguese-American consciousness.
Kevin will be stepping into the role vacated by Kelley N. Girod, FRIGID’s new board president and The Apollo Theatre’s new Director of New Works. We wish Kelley the best in her amazing new job and look forward to taking yet another professional relationship to a new level.
FRIGID New York will present the 10th Annual Gotham Storytelling Festival at The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Avenue and Bowery), November 2-14. Performances will also be available to livestream from home. Tickets are available on a sliding scale ($20 in-person; $15 online, suggested) and are available for advance purchase at www.frigid.nyc/tags/gotham. Not even an ongoing pandemic can stop the tenth annual Gotham Storytelling Festival! This year’s fest is sure to touch on the good, the bad, and the most outrageous of 2021. Whether you’re looking to escape into someone else’s story, to commiserate with an artist, or to dive into what makes this year so insufferable, Gotham has something for you. Join legendary hitters and new friends for an international event that’s sure to alleviate some of the year’s aches. Read more at Broadwayworld.com!
By Dan Meyer for Playbill Zhailon Levingston (Jenny Anderson) The lineup for the 13th annual The Fire This Time Festival, inspired by James Baldwin and his novel The Fire This Time, has been revealed. Zhailon Levingston (Chicken & Biscuits) will direct six world premiere short plays written by Agyeiwaa Asante, Rachel Herron, Fedna Jacquet, Marcus Scott, Phillip Christian Smith, and Lisa Rosetta Strum. Presented by Frigid New York at The Kraine Theatre, The Fire This Time will run January 17–February 6, 2022, with performances also available to live stream. The festival was founded in 2009 by Kelley Girod to provide a platform for playwrights of African and African-American descent to write and produce evocative material for diverse audiences. Click to read the full article.