15 Summer Theater Festivals in New York City 2012

New York Summer Theater Festivals 2012
Theater is abundant in New York City during the summer, when the regular theater festivals include Lincoln Center Festival, Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte, the New York International Fringe Festival, the New York Musical Theatre Festival, and many lesser-known festivals, such as the Brick Theater’s Game Play Festival.

Check out: 20 Summer Theater Festivals in New York City 2013

and my more general 2014 entry, 15 Summer Theater Festivals in New York City

Even New Yorkers who get out of town every summer know at least three of the most celebrated summer theater festivals in New York City (and the three do not include the New York Musical Theatre Festival):

Shakespeare in the Park, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary at the Delacorte Theater this summer, with Sondheim’s Into the Woods

Lincoln Center Festival, which this year includes Cate Blanchett in Uncle Vanya and Alan Cumming in a one-man Macbeth.

The New York International Fringe Festival, with some 200 plays, musicals and experimental works, half of which seem to be trying to repeat the success of Urinetown, which premiered at the fringe festival and became a hit on Broadway

But they are many other theater festivals in New York during the summer – so many that there is arguably more theater to see during July and August than during the regular theater season, and it is often cheaper (even free). Not all of it is worth seeing, of course, but that is true of the regular season’s offerings as well. Finding the right show takes time — but that’s what the summer is for, no, spending time on idle pursuits?

Below are some of the best-known and most obscure of the summer theater festivals in New York City, with links to  their websites to figure out what to see. The list is alphabetical. (Not listed here are some excellent theater festivals that took place in June, including Summerworks from Clubbed Thumb at Here Arts Center) Also include are the festivals’ or sponsoring theaters’ Twitter feeds.

Brick Theater’s Game Play Festival, July 6 to July 28,“cutting-edge works that lie at the intersection of video gaming and performance.” Twitter: @bricktheater

Delacorte Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park, celebrating its 50th anniversary, with an all-star cast for Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine fairy tale “Into the Woods” (July 23-Aug. 25), directed by Timothy Sheader; (212) 967-7555, Twitter: @PublicTheaterNY

 Dream up Festival, Aug. 19-Sept. 9. Presents some 20 experimental theater and dance shows at Theater for the New City. Twitter: @tncinnyc 

East to Edinburgh Festival, July 10-29. A preview of American productions that will be presented at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, at 59E59 Theaters. Twitter: @59E59

Fresh Fruit Festival, July 14 to July 29, celebrates LGBT culture.

Hot Festival, July 6 to 28, NYC celebration of queer culture

 Ice Factory Festival, June 27 to August 4, New Ohio Theater. Twitter: @IceFactoryFest

 Lincoln Center Festival features Alan Cumming  in a one-man “Macbeth” (July 5-14) directed by John Tiffany (“Once”). Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya” (July 19-28), with Cate Blanchett as Yelena. These are just two of a raft of offerings. Twitter: @LincolnCenter

Midtown International Theater Festival, 13th annual, July 16-Aug. 12. Twitter: @NYMITF

New York International Fringe Festival Aug. 10-26. About 200 shows in theaters all over downtown – and all mercifully air conditioned. The Fringe Festival’s website is the best for figuring out what to see. Twitter: @FringeNYC

New York Musical Theatre Festival, July 9 to 29, 21 full productions in this festival which has premiered some 300 works since 2004, including “Next to Normal,” “Altar Boyz” and “title of show” Twitter: @nymf

Performing Arts Marathon, July 26 to August 12. Twitter: @iati_theater

River to River Festival through July 15, includes theater among its many offerings. There is also music, dance, film, and visual art, in various locations from the Hudson River to the East River in the downtown financial district. Twitter: @RtoRFestival

Strawberry One-Act Festival, August 3 to August 18. Twitter @RiantTheatre

Underground Zero NYC Theater Festival, through July 29 Twitter: @ugznyc

Uptown Series, Second Stage Theater’s annual new works initiative features “Warrior Class” by Kenneth Lin, July 12-Aug. 12.  It is also presenting the new musical “Dogfight” (June 27-Aug. 12), based on the 1991 movie. Twitter: @2STNYC

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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