Funded! This project was successfully funded on January 9, 2013.

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2nd annual festival of new poetic theater featuring plays & poetry by 20 of the most diverse, exciting voices from across the country.

What is Poetic License?

Poetic Theater Productions is raising funds for Poetic License, our second annual festival of new poetic theater, which will take place January 21-27 at Wild Project in NYC's East Village. We are excited to building on last year's festival, which featured 105 artists in 15 performances over 5 days and met with sold-out houses and an incredible community of artists and audience from a diverse array of backgrounds and life experience. 

We have raised over half of our budget so far and we need your support to raise the remaining $7500! We need to raise $3750 via Kickstarter which will be matched dollar to dollar through a generous grant from an angel donor if the campaign is successful. Please watch the video above and share this page on Facebook, Twitter, or email it to a friend! 

The 2013 Festival will include stories by more than 20 writers including LGBT, youth, Black, Latina, Veteran, Native American and Asian American artists writing about war, mental health, identity, love, politics and memory in Juarez, Ghana, Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, and all over America. The festival will feature more than 75 artists over 7 days in 15 performances.

Poetic License will also feature productions of Caroline Rothstein's faith and Eboni Hogan's Foreign Bodies which had readings in last year's festival and sold out their performances in Culture Project's Women Center Stage 2012 Festival in April. Caroline's poem "fat" has recently gone viral on Twitter thanks to a tweet from Lady Gaga!

What do we need money for?

  • A week's theater rental in the East Village
  • Our wonderful production team (production manager, festival lighting designer & assistant production manager) to be in the theater all week long
  • An associate producer to help us coordinate all of the artists & performances, marketing and production for the festival
  • Publicity and marketing to get the word out about all of the incredible shows and a marketing/outreach coordinator to enhance those efforts
  • Rehearsal & workshop space for the various shows in the weeks leading up to the festival
  • Program printing for 15 shows & script printing for six readings
  • Photo & video documentation of the festival

The Festival Line-Up

Click here for the full schedule and links to purchase tickets!

Foreign Bodies written by Eboni Hogan
directed by Nicole A. Watson
On a mania-driven trek from NYC to Ghana, poet Eboni Hogan delivers an unflinchingly true testament to the complexities of the fragile mind, the breakable body and the resilient heart.

Foreign Bodies, Culture Project's Women Center Stage 2012 Festival.
Foreign Bodies, Culture Project's Women Center Stage 2012 Festival.

faith written and performed by Caroline Rothstein
directed by Alex Mallory
One woman's gut-wrenching struggle to cope with the expectations and turmoil of coming of age.

Caroline Rothstein in faith, Culture Project's Women Center Stage 2012 Festival. Winner, Outstanding Overall Production of a Solo Show, 2012 Planet Connections Theater Festivity.
Caroline Rothstein in faith, Culture Project's Women Center Stage 2012 Festival. Winner, Outstanding Overall Production of a Solo Show, 2012 Planet Connections Theater Festivity.

OBAMATRY: A Spoken Word Remix on the 44th President of the United States written and performed by Darian Dauchan
directed by Jennifer McGrath
produced in association with Bowery Arts + Science, Ltd.
A multimedia solo show consisting of live looped songs, beat-boxing and a collage of satirical poems and presidential soundbites chronicling from candidacy, to presidency, to present day. A virtual rhetorical conversation on the subject of America between a Poet and a President.

*Join us for our kick-off party on Inauguration Night featuring OBAMATRY, a live DJ and excerpts from festival shows!

Black Girls Don't Smile Mosaic in front of Strangers 

featuring Mahogany L. Browne and Keomi Tarver
directed by Kamilah Forbes
co-presented with Hip Hop Theater Festival
Come witness the transformative journey of a woman in the heart/cracked globe of a city where apples, lights and love seek refuge. Where the stereotypes are challenged and blackness finds safety in a woman's smile.

Breaking Our Silence featuring Joanna Hoffman, Charan P Morris, Storm Thomas and Elliott D. Smith
Vibrant LGBTQ poets share their experiences of coming out, finding love and crashing through the barriers of shame and silence to emerge into a new world.

How To Stay: a cabaret in development performed by Kate Foster, Dalton Ridenhour and friends
A coming of age, coming out, coming home story with Vocals, piano, ukelele and the music of Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart.


Generation Now: 
written and performed by viBe Theater Experience, Girl Be Heard, Earsay Youth Voices and Urban Word NYC
Four talented youth performance ensembles perform a collection of coming-of-age stories & perspectives on the world as 2020 approaches.

WARRIOR WRITERS NYC presents: From Table to Stage
Warrior Writers NYC will be offering a collection of original Veteran poetry and artwork in a staged, multimedia performance that explores a range of experiences from recruitment to homecoming, from surviving war to the conquest for life. warriorwriters.org


and the 6@6 Reading Series:
Braided Sorrow by Marisela Treviño Orta
The story of a young girl who comes to Juarez, Mexico to find work, but becomes enmeshed in the series of lethal traps awaiting young female workers for which that city is now infamous.

Blood Quantum by Tanaya Winder
An investigation of the relationship between a man and a woman in light of historical trauma and contemporary issues that affect Native American communities such as blood quantum, alcoholism, suicide, and reservation rape.

The Will to Knowledge by Takeo Rivera (playwright of the award-winning spoken word choreopoem, Goliath)
An exploration of race, desire, trauma and queerness, The Will To Knowledge is the story of a ghost writer caught in a love triangle, discovering what it means to steal a narrative and how trauma is inherited.

Shatter The Sky by Sean Lewis
Slam poet Gods and Punk Rock furies. Take three plays from the Oresteia and throw them into a modern blender: Orestes is on the run after his incestuous affair with Electra is discovered, their Uncle Menelaeus is seen as weak after the Trojans stole his Helen. He's not going to make the upstart make him look bad... and on the country side A CHEAP GREEK CHORUS is turning peasants into Gods and friends into enemies... A verse play about violence, its cycles and what it means to challenge fate.

She Who Struggles by LaTonia Phipps

Untitled new poetic movement conceived and choreographed by Natalia Duong co-produced with Project Agent Orange
Developed around the excavation of memories of war, family, grief, anger, and love long interred by women of the Vietnamese diaspora.

Complete line-up and schedule to be announced 12/21.

Keep up with the latest POETIC LICENSE information at:
www.poetictheater.com/festival
facebook.com/poetictheater
@poetictheater

Our Mission

Poetic Theater Productions (Jeremy Karafin & Alex Mallory, Co-Artistic Directors) seeks to define the modern genre of “poetic theater” by connecting and fostering a community of artists who are passionately creating relevant and accessible work and reinvigorating a conscious theater of language. Through a multi-runged platform of developmental programming, Poetic Theater Productions offers resources and opportunities for poets, playwrights, and theater artists to develop new work and see it through to production. PTP seeks out and creates opportunities to connect with communities affected by the issues of topic within our productions, in NYC and nationwide, through collaborative projects and exchanges of art and ideas.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Our risks and challenges working with so many artists arise largely due to the unpredictability of our artists' lives and unforeseen circumstances such as injury and family emergencies. By establishing a diverse and committed community of artists who are enthusiastic about ensuring the success of the projects, we have been able to tackle these situations at a moment's notice with community members stepping up to take on roles and recommending others who then become part of the Poetic Theater Productions community as well.

By creating a developmental atmosphere for the festival, we are able to meet technical, financial and marketing challenges through creative solutions, whether they be rehearsing in found spaces, using milk crates instead of building sets, and encouraging the artists to attend each other's work who then become each other's champions and bring their friends out to each other's shows. We strive to keep the emphasis on the art-making and the artists rather than a polished, commercial product, and tackle challenges as opportunities to create something special and unexpected.

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    An original haiku written for you by one of the festival's poets and your very own special edition Poetic Theater Productions Notebook! + A Reading Series Pass and a pair of tickets to the show of your choice with reserved seating + A drink voucher good for a cold or hot beverage that you are welcome to bring into the theater with you + "Innovator" recognition in the program and on our website.

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    An All-Festival Pass to get you into every show and reading in the festival AND a coaching session with one of the festival's directors or a writing workshop with a festival poet! + 2 drink vouchers + A special edition Poetic Theater Productions Notebook + "Innovator" recognition in the program and on our website.

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    An original poem written for you on a topic of your choice, video recorded and posted on youtube for you by one of our festival poets AND a hand-written and signed print of "Buoy" from Caroline Rothstein's "faith"! + An All-Festival Pass to get you in to every show and reading in the festival + 2 drink vouchers + "Instigator" recognition in the program and on our website.

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    An original monologue or scene written by one of our playwrights, rehearsed and performed by Poetic Theater artists and presented for a private viewing (or video-taped and sent to you). + An exclusive invitation to join the cast for a post-show celebration! + An All-Festival Pass to get you in to every show and reading in the festival + 2 drink vouchers + "Instigator" recognition in the program and on our website.

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    A personalized Love Poem written for you or the person of your choice by one of our award-winning festival poets to be presented in Love, Redefined 2013 (reinterpretations, remixes and re-imaginations of traditional sonnets) AND goodies baked by Poetic License choreographer/director/dancer/actress Natalia Duong! + An exclusive invitation to join the cast for a post-show celebration! + An All-Festival Pass to get you in to every show and reading in the festival + 2 drink vouchers + A special edition Poetic License Pen and Poetic Theater Productions Notebook + "Initiator" recognition in the program and on our website.

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- (21 days)