Ever roll your eyes at a story about New York that obviously wasn’t written by a New Yorker? There’s a romanticism to it that anyone who actually lives here knows is purely fiction.
But when you ask the locals, that’s when real stories emerge.
That’s the goal of Under the Radar, the Public Theater’s 12-day festival of over 70 shows representing the best of international theater. “These works are very intimate, so often they’re telling the stories that are more close to the ground than the larger pieces that come over,” says festival co-director Mark Russell.
Along with his co-director Meiyin Wang, Russell spent all year seeing productions all over the world, collecting recommendations from their “spy network,” watching video tapes and interviewing the artists.
Though Under the Radar is billed as a theater festival, the artists come from the worlds of film, dance, stand-up comedy and music, with performers arriving from as close as Brooklyn’s 600 Highwaymen to works from Canada, Chile and France; all but two of the shows are presented in English.
Accessibility is vital to the festival, with most tickets going for $25 and new ways to engage with the works.
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Besides post-show talkbacks, the Public's mezzanine level is turning into a pop-up library of books chosen by the artists that influenced their work. Beginning at 5 p.m. each night, head to The Library to grab a drink with the artists and discuss their work, and swing by Joe’s Pub for post show music performances. Entry to all of these events is free.
We picked four shows sure to inspire some late-night discussions.