Loading Events

Upcoming Events

April 27

Coffeehouse Chronicle: Witkacy

illus. Marta Przybył

Saturday, April 27
LaMaMa Ellen Stewart Theatre & The Downstairs
66 East 4th Street
(btw. Bowery & 2nd Ave)

3:00pm Readings + Panel            

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

Coffeehouse Chronicle #153 will focus on the work of turn-of-the-century Polish avant-garde playwright Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz (1885 –1939), known as “Witkacy,” who may well have been Europe’s most radical novelist, dramatist, painter, and philosopher in an era when artists competed fiercely to break away from all that had come before. Writing in Polish yet banned in Communist Poland, Witkacy may not have gained the international attention of the Surrealists, Dadaists, or other Absurdists, but his work remains a striking example of modernism.

Witkacy wrote over 30 plays between 1918 and his suicide in 1939. Despite his productivity, he was practically ignored in his time and left behind no direct disciples, yet mysteriously, has gone on to stir up more excitement among young playwrights than practically any other 20th-century writer, Eugene O’Neill notwithstanding. His influence is perhaps amplified by the enthusiasm of European scholars, but his status as progenitor of the Avant Garde is undeniable. His plays were rediscovered in the 1950s and ‘60s, when they were hailed as precursors of the European theatrical movement known as the Theater of the Absurd. Witkiewicz is known for his outrageously extravagant scenes influenced by all kinds of occultisms and philosophical speculations.

This edition of Coffeehouse Chronicles will include a panel discussion about Witkacy with invited guests: Jadwiga Kosicka-Gerould (writer and translator); Krystyna Lipinska-Illakowicz (Lecturer at Yale University’s Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures); Daniel Pinchbeck (writer); Natalia Korczakowska (theater director and Artistic Director of Warsaw’s Studio Theater); and Eri Nox (playwright).
The panel will be moderated by the Director of CUNY’s Segal Theater Center, Frank Hentschker.

This edition will also include four short stage readings directed by Zenon Kruszelnicki (Gyubal Wahazar), Daniel Irizarry (The Madman and the Nun), Natalia Korczakowska (Narcotics: Peyote), Eri Nox (They).

The afternoon also celebrates GC CUNY’s Segal Theatre Center’s most ambitious publishing project to date: four volumes of Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz’s Collected Plays. The anthology represents the very first complete edition of his 23 extant plays in English translation, including The Madman and the Nun, The Crazy Locomotive, The Water Hen, The Shoemaker, They, The Pragmatists, Tumor Brainiowicz, Gyubal Wahazar, The Anonymous Work, The Cuttlefish, The Beelzebub Sonata, and others. Thanks to this major event, Witkacy’s groundbreaking work is finally available to a global audience. The late CUNY theatre scholar Daniel Gerould (1928-2012) provided lively and well-researched translations paired with contextual introductions. The work is edited by Jadwiga Kosicka-Gerould (Gerould’s wife) and Frank Hentschker of the Segal Center. Graphic design and typography are by Grzegorz Laszuk & Anna Hegman; Biuro Warsaw.

La Mama Theater’s Coffeehouse Chronicles is an educational performance series exploring the history and development of Off-Off Broadway from its inception within the Village “Coffeehouse Theatres” of the 1960s through today. Part artist portrait, part creative event, part history lesson, part community forum, its mission is to continue the work of its founder Ellen Stewart by providing a home for personal and intimate engagement with art.




Start: Apr 27, 2019
End: Apr 27, 2019
Venue: LaMaMa Ellen Stewart Theatre & The Downstairs
, , ,

April 29

Harry Newman’s Dry Time

Monday, April 29
Segal Theatre
4:00pm Reading | 6:30pm Panel

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

Heat. The sun bearing down. People in line for food, for water at temporary camps. Elsewhere, a party, as if nothing’s changed in the world. A novelist is being celebrated. Set against a background of environmental collapse and economic crisis in the Midwestern US, Dry Time explores the personal and social consequences of intensifying climate change in an increasingly authoritarian society. Conceived as a narrative symphony, each scene is two scenes that overlap and play out simultaneously, revealing the contrasts and connections of those most affected by environmental events (mainly in patrolled encampments) and those largely untouched by events in their private homes. What happens when they come together?

Written in the early 1990s, Dry Time is most likely the first global warming related play. Considered too distant, abstract, and forbidding at the time, it now approaches realism. Informed by the original UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report and other studies, Dry Time builds on the impacts of climate catastrophe already apparent and takes them to an unflinching conclusion.

Photo by Ewa Orzech

Harry Newman’s plays include The Occupation, Dry Time, The Dark, and a translation of Patrick Süskind’s The Double Bass, and have been presented at the Contemporary American Theater Festival, The Public Theater, BACA/Downtown, the Guggenheim Works & Process series, and other theaters around the U.S. as well as, most recently, in Germany. Widely published as a poet, his work has appeared in Ecotone, Rattle, Asheville Poetry Review, and The New Guard, among many other journals. In 2016, a collection of his political poetry, Led from a Distance, was published by Louisiana Literature Press. Before working in theater, Harry studied Chemistry and Mathematics at MIT. More information is available at www.harrynewman.com.

Nathan John Steiger is an Associate Research Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. His work engages the fundamental problem of understanding the historical variability of the climate system and its relevance to human societies. In particular, he conducts research on the physical mechanisms of severe droughts and other climate extremes. Nathan majored in physics as an undergraduate, doing thesis work in theoretical quantum mechanics. In graduate school at the University of Washington he developed new methods for reconstructing past climate using data assimilation, a technique that fuses climate models with paleoclimate proxy data. He received his PhD in Atmospheric Sciences in late 2015 and came to Columbia University as a NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellow.

Benjamin Cook is a climate scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University in New York City. His research is focused on improving our understanding of drought dynamics in the paleoclimate record, during the historical period, and in response to anthropogenic climate change.



Start: Apr 29, 2019
End: Apr 29, 2019
Venue: Segal Theatre
, ,

May 6


The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presents World Voices: International Play Festival 2019. As part of the 2019 PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, the Segal Center presents play readings with some of the most significant theatre artists from Germany, all connected to the Gorki Theater in Berlin—a safe haven for immigrant, refugee and international theatre artists in Europe.

The International Play Festival generates a conversation on art, politics, dreams, war, and philosophy, meant to give American audiences a rich awareness of the greater global dialogue.

All readings will be followed by a discussion with the playwright. TBC.

2019 Participants:
Nora Abdel-Maksoud, Sibylle Berg, Necati Öziri, Falk Richter, Yael Ronen, and Sivan Ben-Yishai Shermin Langhoff (Artistic Director, Gorki), Jens Hillje (Artistic Co-Director, Gorki), and Christopher-Fares Köhler (Artistic Consultant, Gorki)

May 6, 7, 8, 9 PEN World Voices: International Play Festival

May 6 | 6:30pm with leaders of the Gorki Theater, Berlin: Shermin Langhoff, Jens Hillje, and Christopher-Fares Köhler
May 7 | 4pm + 6:30pm Yael Ronen: A Walk on The Dark Side + Sivan Ben-Yishai: Daddy Loves You
May 8 | 4pm + 6:30pm Nora Abdel-Maksoud: The Making Of + Falk Richter: Small Town Boy
May 9 | 4pm + 6:30pm Necati Öziri: Get Deutsch or Die Tryin’ + Sibylle Berg: The So-Called Outside Means Nothing to Me

The PEN World Voices: International Play Festival 2019 has been made possible by the support of Susan and Jack Rudin(†), The Hearst Foundation, and Marvin Carlson, Sidney E. Cohn Chair, The Graduate Center CUNY. The PEN World Voices: International Play Festival was conceived, created, and curated by Frank Hentschker since 2007 in collaboration with PEN World Voices Festival.

The 2019 Festival is produced by Mike LoCicero, in collaboration with Frank Hentschker.

Founded by Michael Roberts, Esther Allen, and Salman Rushdie in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, PEN World Voices is the only international literary festival in the world with a human rights focus. It attracts the world’s best-known writers and has garnered broad global acclaim as one of the world’s premier literary events. Since its founding, PEN World Voices has presented more than 1,500 writers and artists from 118 countries, speaking 56 languages. www.penworldvoices.org

Chip Rolley, Director, World Voices Festival, PEN America
Kim Chan, General Manager

Start: May 6, 2019
End: May 9, 2019
Venue: segal theatre
, , , ,

May 6

PEN World Voices: International Play Festival The Gorki Theater, Berlin with Shermin Langhoff, Jens Hillje, and Christopher-Fares Köhler

Monday, May 6
Segal Theatre
6:30pm Panel

Free & open to public. First come, first served

Join Frank Hentschker in conversation with the Gorki Theater’s
Shermin Langhoff (Artistic Director), Jens Hillje (Artistic Co-Director),
and Christopher-Fares Köhler (Artistic Consultant).

The Gorki Theater focuses on conflicts of a diverse society with attention to themes like migration, queerness, refuge, exile, and feminism. They ask: “What is the place of theatre in a society in transition? What work should theatre artists, faced with a permanent crisis in economy and politics, produce to reflect the severe social and cultural conflicts in our societies on the stage?” Join us to learn more about the unique and groundbreaking vision of one of the important theatres of the City of Berlin.


photo by Esra Rotthoff

Jens Hillje studied applied arts in Italy and Germany he moved to Berlin in 1996. Together with the director Thomas Ostermeier, founded the “Barracks” venue at the Deutsches Theatre, which was voted Theatre of the Year two years later. During his tenure as artistic co-director, the Maxim Gorki Theatre has been voted “Theatre of the Year” twice (2014 and 2016). The Preußische Seehandlung Foundation awarded him the Theaterpreis Berlin (Theatre Award Berlin) 2016 alongside Shermin Langhoff. In 2019 Hillje receives the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale honoring his lifetime achievements.


photo by Hoch

Shermin Langhoff, artistic director of the Maxim Gorki Theatre since 2013, began her professional life in publishing, film and television and then worked as a curator at Berlin’s Hebbel am Ufer (HAU). During her tenure as artistic director, the Maxim Gorki Theatre has been voted “Theatre of the Year” twice (2014 and 2016). Shermin Langhoff is a recipient of the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany) and was presented In 2016 she was presented with the prestigious Theatre Prize Berlin.



photo by André Wunstorf

Christopher-Fares Köhler, born in 1987, he was Falk Richter’s assistant dramaturge for productions such as Small Town Boy at the Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin and to Rimini Protokoll at Theater Oberhausen. He worked for the dramaturgy department at the Münchner Kammerspiele, Theater der Welt Festival 2017 in Hamburg, for the Zürcher Theaterpektakel, the Theater an der Ruhr, the Boat People Project, the Volksbühne Berlin, Münchner Kammerspiele and others. Since May 2018 he has been a dramaturge of the Exil Ensemble at the Maxim Gorki Theater and artistic assistant to the co-director Jens Hillje.

Start: May 6, 2019
End: May 6, 2019
Venue: Segal Theatre
, , , ,

May 7

PEN World Voices: International Play Festival Yael Ronen and Sivan Ben Yeshai

Tuesday, May 7
Segal Theatre
4:00pm + 6:30pm Readings + Panels 

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served

4:00pm Daddy Loves You
Written by Sivan Ben-Yishai
Directed by: Tina Satter

A high speed train approaches an unknown destination through the dark night under the earth. Nine older women are sitting neatly in a row on a bench on the train. The further the train speeds along, the more painful the memories become. The passengers recount the wars they survived, motherhood, sexual abuse and more.

6:30pm A Walk On The Dark Side
Written by Yael Ronen.
Translated by Anna Galt
Directed by Sarah Hughes

When astrophysicist, Immanuel, is awarded a significant prize, his wife, Mania, invites his brother for a trip. Mathias, also an astrophysicist and a rival, brings his girlfriend Magda along, who just attempted suicide. Dark matter against dark energy, structural harmony against a chaos that explodes the system.

Readings followed by a conversation with the playwright.

Photo by Esra Rotthoff

Yael Ronen, in-house Gorki director, was born in Jerusalem in 1976. She comes from a theatre family and is internationally considered as one of the most exciting theatre makers of her generation. The greatest tool at her disposal is black humor in the framework of historical conflicts. Along with the Austrian Nestroy Theatre Prize and numerous other awards, she received the 2014 Europe Prize for Theatrical Realities.




Photo by Merav Maroody

Sivan Ben-Yishai studied theatre direction and dramatic writing in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem before joining the Nissan Nativ Acting Studio and Centre for Improvisation in Tel Aviv. For the past five years, Ben-Yishai has been based in Berlin, where she works as an author, director, and leader of workshops for dance and performance students. In 2013, Ben-Yishai won the Assitej competition in the category Best Show, Best Play, and Best Direction of the Year in Israel.


Start: May 7, 2019
End: May 7, 2019
Venue: segal theatre
, , , ,

May 8

PEN World Voices: International Play Festival Nora Abdel-Maksoud and Falk Richter

Wednesday, May 8
Segal Theatre
4:00pm + 6:30  Reading + Panels

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served

4:00pm The Making Of
Written by Nora Abdel-Maksoud
Translated by Anna Kasten/PANTHEA

A film director wants to put together a superhero remake, made in Germany. But some crew members aren’t quite ready for the pressure of their roles. A wicked satire about the film business and theatrical ideals, a desperate hosanna to the paradox of acting and an optimistic swan song for roles that no one can really fulfill.

6:30pm Small Town Boy
Written by Falk Richter
Translated by David Tushingham
Directed by Adam Greenfield

What happens when young men leave the patriarchy behind? Is it possible to be a different kind of man? A different kind of woman? How will we define family, nation and belonging in the future? “You leave in the morning with everything you own… Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away” (Bronski Beat)

Readings followed by a conversation with the playwright.


Photo by Jan Krattiger

Nora Abdel-Maksoud was born in Munich in 1983 and began to study acting in 2005 at the Konrad Wolf Academy of Film and Television in Potsdam. She has worked extensively as an actor for stage and screen, and received the 2017 Kurt Hübner Director’s Award for The Making of. Also in 2017, she was named “Newcomer Director of the Year” by the German theater magazine TheaterHeute.



Photo by Esra Rotthoff

Falk Richter was born in 1969, in Hamburg, where he later studied philosophy and theatre direction. He is among the most important German playwrights and theatre directors of his generation. Since 1994, he has worked at renowned theatres across Europe, staging operas, his own works, and classic plays. Next to the Friedrich-Luft Prize, numerous awards, and a teaching position at the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin, Richter has been named a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France.

Start: May 8, 2019
End: May 8, 2019
Venue: segal theatre
, , ,

May 9

PEN World Voices: International Play Festival Necati Öziri and Sibylle Berg

Thursday, May 9
Segal Theatre
4:00pm + 6:30pm Readings + Panels

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served

4:00pm Get Deutsch or Die Tryin’
Written by Necati Öziri
Translated by Anna Galt
Directed by Ashley Tata

There are moments in which everything comes together. Arda Yilmaz’s
18th birthday, for example, where she searches for the fragments of a
language that recalls memories of childhood in Almanya and a German-
Turkish family history amidst the turmoil of “guest” work and the Turkish
putsch. Above else, Arda is searching for an unknown father. A fade-out
on the last track of the record of your life.

6:30pm The So-Called Outside Means Nothing to Me
Written by Sibylle Berg
Translated by Ben Knight
Directed by Andy Goldberg

Evening. A young woman alone in her apartment. Friends Skype her and
send chats, text messages arrive, her mother calls. A few floors below, in
the basement: a man is tied and gagged. Young women’s fears, desires,
and obsessions with success are expressed in their media-saturated lives
–but how do they actually want to live their lives?

Readings followed by a conversation with the playwright.

Photo provided by artist

Sibylle Berg was born in Weimar and now lives in Zurich. Her columns, novels, and plays are merciless in their narrations of misfortunes and the people that fall into them. She has been honored with multiple awards, including the Egon-Erwin-Kisch Prize and the Kassel Literary Prize.




Photo by Esra Rotthoff

Necati Öziri, born in 1988, studied philosophy, German studies, and literature in Bochum, Istanbul, Olsztyn and Berlin. Öziri worked as a dramaturg at Gorki Theater and writes short stories and theatre plays. In the theatrical season of 2014-2015, he was the artistic director of Gorki’s StudioЯ. Öziri is currently dramaturg at the Berliner Festspiele, where he directs the International Forum of the Theatertreffen.

Start: May 9, 2019
End: May 9, 2019
Venue: segal theatre
, , ,

May 13

Screening Performance, Performing Screens: New Projections in Theatre and Media

Photo provided by DTSA

Monday, Tuesday May 13, 14
Segal Theatre

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

May 13 | 4:30pm Panel + Performance | Segal Theatre
May 14 | All Day Panels + Performances | Segal Theatre

The Doctoral Theatre Students’ Association 2019 Conference
Opening Remarks by Edward Miller & Keynote by Sarah Bay-Cheng

In the streets, in our homes, in our hands; in public and private; in work, leisure, and social relations; ubiquitous and invisible, tangible or porous, screens are constructing a new reality. Artistic practices and critical theories are rapidly evolving to address this change of paradigm in communication, perception, and being. Gathering scholars and artists from multiple disciplines around the trope of the screen with its multiple resonances, Screening Performance, Performing Screens will reflect on the many collisions of theatre, performance, film, and other audiovisual media in scholarly, artistic, pedagogical, or performance-as-research works that engage with and challenge meanings of the word “screen,” as both noun and verb. How can historical conceptualizations of screens help us broaden the concept beyond the context of new media and interactive technologies? How has engagement with and on screens expanded or reshaped production and distribution of art and knowledge? In what ways have reception(s), spectatorship(s), and the discourses of marginalization been molded by screens?

Organized by Kyueun Kim, Curtis Russell, Christine Snyder, and Mara Valderrama.

Start: May 13, 2019
End: May 14, 2019
Venue: segal theatre
, , ,

May 16

Pathetic: Staging Women’s Desire with Julia Jarcho and Minor Theater

Minor Theatre
Photo by Minor Theatre

Thursday, May 16
Segal Theatre
6:30pm Reading + Panel

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

“I felt my whole body, and it was burning.”

This June, downtown NYC company Minor Theater presents Pathetic, a new take on Racine’s classic Phèdre at Abrons Arts Center. Racine’s queen destroys everything with her monstrous lust; in Pathetic, neoclassical hexameter meets contemporary teen drama as the heroine becomes a bored mom with an ax to grind. In anticipation of the premiere, OBIE-winning playwright/director Julia Jarcho invites fellow artists to consider what can happen when women’s desire gets a voice onstage. What new forms become possible when women appropriate the conjunction of sex and violence, which has traditionally been directed against us? How do we forge a lustful stage poetics of our own? And come to think of it, who is this “we”? The evening will feature readings from Jarcho’s plays, including Pathetic and Grimly Handsome (2013), followed by a discussion with choreographer, performer, and writer Okwui Okpokwasili (MacArthur Fellow, 2018) and other avant-garde luminaries, moderated by Frank Hentschker.

Start: May 16, 2019
End: May 16, 2019
Venue: segal theatre
, ,

May 20

New Theatre from Spain with Luz Arcas

Luz Arcas in La Phármaco’s Una gran emoción política 30 © Virginia Rota

Monday, May 20
Segal Theatre
4:00pm Readings / 6:30pm Panel + Performance

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served

New Theatre from Spain presents the works of Spanish contemporary artists
who defy the boundaries between disciplines, including Angélica Liddell, Sara Molina, Marc Caellas, and companies La Tristura, La Phármaco, and Vértebro.  Curated by Mara Valderrama, Ana Sánchez Acevedo, Daniel Valtueña, and Alexandra Viteri Arturo.

Positioned at the avant-garde of contemporary stage practices, these artists combine elements from theatre, dance, performance art, and visual arts, blurring the limits of playwriting and performing, and challenging the status of the text as the center of the theatrical experience. The event will feature reading-installations of works curated and newly translated by doctoral students of the Theatre and Performance Department and the Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures Department at The Graduate Center, CUNY. The evening will conclude with a performance by dancer and choreographer Luz Arcas.

Luz Arcas is a dancer and choreographer. Since 2009, she is founder and
director of the dance company La Phármaco with Abraham Gragera. She has received the Critic’s Eye Prize for Dance, the Best Female Dancer Award at the Lorca Awards, and she was a finalist for Best Female Dancer at the Max
Awards. Her work explores ideas of ceremony, where all theatrical languages
combine into a discourse led by dance.

Start: May 20, 2019
End: May 20, 2019
Venue: segal theatre
, ,
iCal Import
Need help with the Commons? Visit our
help page
Send us a message
Skip to toolbar