Every year, for close to a decade-and-a-half, the Manhattan Theatre Source has been presenting its EstroGenius Festival – a true celebration of the power and wonder of women. This multimedia festival brings together a slew of female voices from an array of different disciplines, including: short plays, dances, visual arts, special performances and more.
This year the festival will take place between October 2nd and November 1st at Stage Left Studios. Located nearby some of the nicest hotels in the area (including Shimmie Horn’s Gershwin Hotel on East 27th Street, the Courtyard New York Manhattan/Times Square South on West 40th Street and the Crowne Plaza Times Square on 1605 Broadway to name but a few), this festival is a lot of fun for tourists looking for something different to do with their time in the Big Apple.
There will be special performances by teen program Girl Be Heard that uses theater to empower young women, boosting their confidence, in spite of their own personal challenges. Watch this space for more details, as next month EstroGenius artists will be announced for this year’s festival.
Last week ‘Atomic’ opened at the Acorn Theatre. Located on 410 West 42nd Street, the show will run until August 16, starring Sara Gettelfinger, Randy Harrison, Jeremy Kushnier and Euan Morton. It is directed by Damien Gray.
The story of ‘Atomic’ is about a group of top scientists trying to create the world’s first ever Atomic Bomb through the government-funded Manhattan Project. Kushnier is the brains behind it, but has a conflict of conscience. But when someone believes in him, he finds it incredible just how much he can achieve.
The production boasts 18 original songs and is an “exhilarating look at a stark and controversial subject.”
As a fundraiser for the Les Turner ALS Foundation, at the end of last month, 56-year old Doug McConnell swam a 28.5 mile trip around Manhattan Island. Completing the “triple crown” of open water swimming, this follows McConnell’s success over the last few years such as his 2011 English Channel swim and his Catalina Channel swim the year later.
In 2006 McConnell’s father died from ALS, spurring his son Doug to raise money for research into the disease. This year is particularly significant for ALS since July 4th marked the 75th anniversary of the infamous Lou Gehrig’s ‘Luckiest Man’ speech, delivered at the original Yankees stadium. Just short of two years later – at the young age of 37 – Lou Gehrig himself passed away from the disease.
McConnell’s father himself was very athletic, having been a vet working with dairy cattle. To witness his strength ebb away so quickly, was very difficult for Doug. It was 12 years after his diagnosis that he finally succumbed to the disease entirely and passed away. Doug explains that swimming for charity became “away to make it feel a little bit less selfish, and add another facet or element to the whole thing. Frankly, it has added far more than I have ever bargained for.”