FRIGID New York presents the 2024 Little Shakespeare Festival

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FRIGID New York will present the 4th annual Little Shakespeare Festival (winner of the 2024 Young-Howze Theatre Award for Festival of The Year) at UNDER St. Marks (94 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009), August 1-17. Tickets ($25 in-person; $20 streaming) are available for advance purchase at Most performances will also be available to livestream from home.
The Little Shakespeare Festival is FRIGID New York’s annual 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.
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.
But community is easy to find at UNDER St. Marks, with the audience just beyond your grasp, close enough to catch a winking eye or whispered word. It’s a reminder for us 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 he would have felt quite at home.
My Own Private Shakespeare
Written & Performed by Justin Hay, Directed by Mona Zaidi
Presented by Modern Classic Theatre
From a single fateful phone call taken reluctantly from the toilet, a Shakespearean actor finds his world collapsing around him. As the story unfolds, the unforgiving realities of his shattered life intertwine with Shakespeare’s radiant, immortal text, while the man teeters dangerously close to the brink. The play draws on some of the greatest and most powerful passages from Shakespeare to ask: Is it possible to find peace with the impossible paradoxes of life?
The Lark and the Nightingale
Written by Mindy Mawhirter & Alyssa Cokinis
Juliet and Desdemona, two characters canonically destined for tragic endings, break away from their scripts and attempt to find happiness in each other. Desdemona battles duty with love while Juliet struggles to let love consume her entirely. When confronted with their scripted ends, they must advocate for one another and prove that their love is worth fighting for.
When My Cue Comes
Presented by Hamlet Isn’t Dead
When My Cue Comes is an original devised piece by Hamlet Isn’t Dead that takes place in Waiting Room Z, the holding room in which often forgotten characters are forced to wait until their brief moment in the spotlight. The play includes Reynaldo (Hamlet), Jaques de Boys (As You Like It), Boatswain (The Tempest), Messenger (Throughout the Shakespeare Canon), and an original character (named The Playwright) who serves as the front desk attendant,  providing cue sheets to each character.  The show follows these characters as they comedically confront the realities of being continuously cut or replaced by other characters in contemporary productions. After a series of heartbreaks, this band of misfits set out to derail a production of The Tempest and discover that the heart and joy of theater comes from the people we share the stage with – not how long we have in the spotlight.
Fools in the Forest
Presented by Ladies & Fools
Written by Natalie Kane
Ever wondered what would happen if the exiled ladies and fools of As You Like It never reconnected with the Duke and his lords? In fact, what if the male love interests of the play vanished altogether? Fools in the Forest reframes the sparkling comedy and wry commentary of Shakespeare’s text to focus more intimately on the most witty, unconventional, and fascinating figures of Arden: Rosalind, Celia, Touchstone, Jaques, and Phebe. In a tight one-hour romp performed by an ensemble of five female+ and non-binary actors, this reimagined story becomes a tale of finding community, opening yourself up to new connections and new adventures, and – as always – hanging a great deal of letters on trees.
Much Ado About Nothing
Presented by Megan Lummus
Much Ado About Nothing is a classic Shakespeare tale of love, trust, and deceit. Claudio is madly in love with Hero. However, he is tricked into believing she is unchaste, and that is nearly their undoing. Meanwhile, enemies Benedick and Beatrice are tricked into falling in love with each other through their friends.
Walter Schlinger’s Romeo and Juliet
Written & Performed by Sean Gordon
Presented by Glow-Worm Theatre Company
Walter Schlinger candidly shares a live reading of his senior thesis. Watch as he attempts to explore the themes in Shakespeare’s iconic play while breaking down the complexities and contradictions he encounters as he navigates post grad life. An intimate and introspective piece of solo performance that explores youth, self reflection, and validation.
As You Will 
Created by Conor D Mullen, David Brummer & George Hider
Friends, foes, fools! Do you ever bemoan the fact that the 884,647 words William Shakespeare wrote have been performed already? Do you yearn for the experience of seeing The Bard’s works for the first time? Then celebrate the glad tidings of As You Will and our Unscripted Shakespeare Show! These Shakespearean Scholars are here to present all the monumental works the immortal Bard would’ve written if he hadn’t gone and died. With just the title given by the audience the players of As You Will bring a Shakespearean comedy to life complete with Shakspeare’s themes, language, poetic verse, and some scholarly footnotes thrown in for good measure. As You Will have performed such classics as “Eight Merry Spiders,” “That Doth Not Go There,” “1601: A Space Odyssey” and though those shows will never be seen again, there’s always a Shakespearean world premiere in our makeshift Globe Theatre at UNDER St Marks.
FRIGID New York’s mission is to provide both emerging and established artists the opportunity to create and produce original work of varied content, form, and style, and to amplify their diverse voices. We do this by presenting an array of monthly programming, mainstage productions, an artist residency, and eight annual theater festivals that create an environment of collaboration, resourcefulness, and innovation. Founded in 1998, the aim was and is to form a structure, allowing multiple artists to focus on creating and staging new work and providing affordable rental space to scores of independent artists. Now in our third decade we have produced a massive quantity of stimulating downtown theater.

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