And so the The 32nd Annual Loisaida Festival, the 24th Annual Lower East Side Festival of the Arts and a host of other festivals and events happened this past Memorial Day weekend in that city of New York. And it was at that 24th Annual Lower East Side Festival of the Arts that I found myself at as one of those sign holders in Deb Lee’s A Squatter’s Opera by Michael Shenker. And that Facebook event invite for Theater for the New City’s 24th Annual Lower East Side Festival of the Arts reads something like as follows:
Memorial Day weekend kicks off the summer and there’s no more exciting way to mark the season than with a visit to the THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY’s 24th Annual Lower East Side Festival of the Arts. A FREE celebration that brings together over 70 groups for more than 270 performances. The shows reflects the neighborhood’s heritage and New York City’s incredible diversity. This year’s theme is 2020 Vision – SAVE Our Planet, Save Our Country, a call for a green revolution and a more welcoming nation.
MAY 24 – MAY 26
Friday 6PM – 1AM
Saturday NOON – 6PM Outside, 6PM – 1AM Inside
Sunday 6 PM – 1 AM
As Crystal Field, Executive Director puts it, “Art cannot move mountains, but it can move minds.”
And Deb Lee’s A Squatter’s Opera by Michael Shenker Facebook event invite reads something like as follows:
A SQUATTER’S OPERA – brought to you by Deb Lee
In the 1980’s before RENT, Michael Shenker created A SQUATTER’S OPERA, a gritty history of Squatting and our fight for the right to Housing on the Lower East Side. Originally performed in 1992 at TNC as the four-song cycle LIVE FREE OR DIE!, tonight we present one of these songs aptly named…Live Free or Die. Stay tuned for the full production in the future! This is a FREE event.
Writer & Composer: Michael Shenker
Co-Directors: Elizabeth Ruf Maldonado, Deb Lee, Anne “An Address” Edris, Dara Wishingrad
Musical Director: Elizabeth Ruf Maldonado
Musicians: Elizabeth Ruf Maldonado, Piano; Karl Bateman, Guitarist; Eric Blitz, Drummer
Singers: Joanie Fritz Zosike, Robert Hieger, Frank Morales, Marta VI, Karl Rosenstein, Elizabeth Ruf Maldonado, J. Gonzalez-Blitz, Kara Madeline, Wolfie and Alfie Rogers
Choreographer: Elizabeth Ruf Maldonado
Artists: Seth Tobocman, Anne “An Address” Edris, Rolando Politi, Fly!, Kathy Creutzburg, Jordan Worley, Aaron Sinifit
Sign-Holders: Barbara Lee, Carla Cubit, Ali Rogers, Ann “An Address” Edris, Fly!, Rolando Politi, Pete Missing? Ray of Rays Candy Store?, and many more fine folks to be confirmed.
Film Crew: Simeon Rose, Stefan Harshman, Paul DeRienzo
PA: Karen Souza
And if I must blogger say, Ray of Ray’s Candy Store left his store and he was there holding a sign also. And as one of those sign holders in that Squatter Opera, I didn’t exactly get to take photos of the actual performance, though Eden posted
Part of the squatter opera tonight at theatre for the new city. pic.twitter.com/YyP0GKutej
— EdenBrower (@edenbrower) May 27, 2019
a video of the play on her twitter page and Barbara Robin Lee‘s choir mate took a photo of the performance that finds itself posted in one of those photos above. And this Squatter Opera scene rocked and was really cool. And so what else is there that I can say about this Lower East Side Festival of the Arts and Squatter Opera that has not already been said in blogger time except have a great festivals day and more. Housing Is A Human Right. Live Free Or Die. Squat The World.