hochPress Release by Bill Coyle.



To Honor




With the 2015 DUTF Playwright Masters Award


At the DUTF Opening Night Celebration


On Tuesday, May 12 at 8:00pm

At 40/40 Club (6 West 25th Street, NYC)


Past DUTF Playwright Masters Award Recipients

Include Nilo Cruz and Adrienne Kennedy


The 13th Annual Downtown Urban Theater Festival

Will Be Presented May 13th – 30th, 2015

At HERE (145 6th Avenue, Enter on Dominick St. – one block south of Spring St.)


Tickets On Sale Now — Visit


The Downtown Urban Theater Festival (Reg E. Gaines, Artistic Director) proudly announces that acclaimed playwright/director/actor Danny Hoch will receive the 2015 DUTF Playwright Masters Award at this year’s Opening Night event, which will take place on Tuesday, May 12th at 8:00 p.m. at 40/40 Club (6 West 25th Street, NYC).  For more information on the DUTF Playwright Masters Award; the Opening event; and the 13th Annual Downtown Urban Theater Festival, featuring 17 new works by emerging urban playwrights, please visit


The DUTF Playwright Masters Award is awarded to a writer that embodies the spirit of the Downtown Urban Theater Festival, founded in 2001 with the purpose of building a fresh repertoire of stories that echo the true spirit of urban life, while speaking to a whole new generation whose lives defy categorizing along conventional lines. Previous honorees of the DUTF Playwright Masters Award include Nilo Cruz (Pulitzer Prize winner for Anna in the Tropics) and Adrienne Kennedy (OBIE Award winner for Funnyhouse of a Negro).


Danny Hoch is an actor, playwright and director whose plays Pot Melting, Some People, and Jails, Hospitals, & Hip-Hop have garnered many awards including 2 OBIES, an NEA Solo Theatre Fellowship, Sundance Writers Fellowship, CalArts/Alpert Award In Theatre and a Tennessee Williams Fellowship.  His theatre work has toured to 50 U.S. cities and 15 countries.  His credits for film include Bamboozled; Washington Heights; Prison Song; Some People; Subway Stories; The Thin Red Line; Whiteboys; Black Hawk Down; American Splendor; War Of The World;, Lucky You  HBO Def Poetry; the film version of Jails, Hospitals & Hip-Hop; We Own The Night; and Henry’s Crime.  His TV credits include “The Knick,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Bored To Death,” and “Blue Bloods.”  Danny performed recently as part of the original cast for Ethan Coen and Woody Allen’s play Relatively Speaking on Broadway, directed by John Turturro.  Mr. Hoch founded the Hip-Hop Theater Festival in 2000 which has since presented over 100 Hip-Hop Generation plays from around the globe and now appears annually in New York, Chicago, DC and San Francisco/Oakland.  He directed Will Power’s hit show Flow at New York Theatre Workshop, as well as the bilingual Representa at the SFIAF, and his own Till the Break of Dawn at New York’s Abrons Arts Center in 2007.  He was the 2007 Sundance Theatre Lab’s Playwright-In-Residence and was awarded a 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship for Drama.  His latest play, Taking Over, which tackled urban gentrification, had sold out runs at The Berkeley Rep, The Kirk Douglas in Los Angeles, and New York City’s Public Theater.

Founded in 2001, The Downtown Urban Theater Festival held its inaugural festival in 2002 at HERE in SoHo to help revitalize the NYC downtown arts scene, which was at the time experiencing a severe downturn following the WTC disaster. For the past thirteen years, DUTF has presented 147 plays written by 119 writers from across America’s burgeoning multicultural landscape.


Many of DUTF’s previous playwrights have gone on to have their work presented in venues across the country, earning awards and other distinctions, including:  Dominique Morisseau (DUTF 2006), whose play Detroit ‘67 was the 2014 Edward M. Kennedy Prize winner for Drama Inspired by American History; Karen Anzoategui, whose play Ser (DUTF 2012) went on to be produced by the Los Angeles Theatre Company and to win two LA Weekly Awards from five nominations in 2014;  Helena D. Lewis, who won the 2014 AUDELCO Award for Best Solo Performance for Call Me Crazy (DUTF 2006); Darian Dauchan, whose play Death Boogie (DUTF 2012) won two awards for Best New Music and Best Innovation at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland; Mayda Del Valle (Culture Bandit – DUTF 2002 and 2004), who went on to be take part in the Tony Award winning Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway  in 2003, and also to present excerpts of her poetic writings before President Obama and the First Lady at the White House in 2009.


The 13th annual Downtown Urban Theater Festival will take place in New York City from May 13th – 30th, 2015 on the Mainstage at HERE (145 6th Avenue, Enter on Dominick St. – one block south of Spring St. – in NYC).  This year, DUTF will present seventeen new stage works by eighteen emerging playwrights from all over the New York City area as well as from around the country. All share stories that interpret our history and our times through live performances fusing theatre, dance, music, media and visual arts. This year’s stories express ideas on love, social change, human existence, and survival as we travel from the beautiful city of Paris to the Renaissance of Harlem and the slums of present-day Chicago.


The full line-up is as follows:


Bed Bugs and Hot Pockets by Shonali Bhowmik (New York)

Thursday, May 14th at 8:30 PM (presented in a double bill with Blackout 03)

In a society that depends on technology, outsourcing and mass surveillance, jobs at CVS have disappeared. Bill has worked at CVS for years and is the last employee standing. Connie, a CVS customer, regularly stops by the store just to shoot the shit with Bill. On this day their conversation is forced to come to an abrupt halt.


Between a Hot Dog and a Hard Place by Mel Nieves (New York)

Wednesday, May 20th at 8:30 PM (presented in a double bill with For the Flies)

In the wee small hours of the morning, Vincent and Anamarie are dancing to the tune of Jack Daniels and smokes, but the music is about to stop — and a shoe is about to drop — before the sun rises.


Blackout 03 by Kate Bell (New York)

Thursday, May 14th at 8:30 PM (presented in a double bill with Bed Bugs and Hot Pockets)

Racial and class tensions flare between two couples on a Brooklyn rooftop during the blackout of 2003.


Black Sheep by Darian Dauchan (New York)

Wednesday, May 13th at 8:30 PM

A glimpse into the lives of the minorities amongst the minorities . . . A theatrical exploration on those who, despite their skin, don’t fit in with their own kin.


Changing Tables by Kacie Devaney (New York)

Friday, May 22nd at 8:30 PM

Nina and Mathieu stumble across a metaphysical landscape as they confront their ideas of change and conformity.  A kaleidoscope of shifting scenes and performance styles including original song and movement.


Distortive Ascent by Nikolai Mishler (New York)

Friday, May 29th at 8:30 PM

Euripides  said, “To be a mother is to be possessed by a power beyond wonder. It lives in every mother’s heart. For her child, a mother will suffer any suffering.”   To be a son is to be possessed by a power beyond virtue. It is all -eternal.


Hypocrites & Strippers by Kim Yaged (New York)

Thursday, May 21st at 8:30 PM

A hilarious one-woman tour de force about strippers, identity politics, thongs, lesbians, feminism, and 8-inch stilettos– with lots of soul searching and some air guitar sprinkled in.


For the Flies by Camilo Almonacid (New York)

Wednesday, May 20th at 8:30 PM (presented in a double bill with Between a Hot Dog and a Hard Place)

Pilar and Juan, two Colombian immigrants, take us on an interactive tour — with a musical score and shaman-like transformations — of the St Valentine’s Day Massacre in the City of Chicago during the Roaring 20s . . . a time in history abundant with corruption, crime, and violence.


Good Morning for Coffee by Daphny Maman and Sujin Kim (New York)

Wednesday, May 27th at 8:30 PM (presented in a double bill with La Bestia: Sweet Mother)

Every day a young barista arrives at the coffee shop to serve its customers, but today, the first customer at the shop is an odd-looking man with an unusual and surprising request that impacts the barista and his manager in a way they never imagined.


La Bestia: Sweet Mother by Tom Block (Maryland)

Wednesday, May 27th at 8:30 PM (presented in a double bill with Good Morning for Coffee)

The knife’s edge between creation and destruction . . . Based on humanity’s earliest creation myths, it is a multi-media (live music, a capella chorus and dance) exploration of three mothers — a Syrian, Honduran and American — who are forced to become destroyers. Such, we are told in those earliest tales, is the cycle of life.


Outside the Box by Irene Hernandez (New York)

Thursday, May 28th at 8:30 PM (presented in a double bill with Run. Hide. Be Quiet.)

A young woman gets unexpected thrown out of her apartment… in a text message. When it comes to surviving in New York, she’ll have to think outside the box… and pack her sense of humor.


Run. Hide. Be Quiet. by Shyla Idris (New York)

Thursday, May 28th at 8:30 PM (presented in a double bill with Outside the Box)

A woman finds herself confined to a seclusion room on an inpatient psychiatric ward. Here she will have to wrestle with her sanity, her family, a dark secret and her future . . . if she can get out.


Say Something  by Dominique Miller (California)

Saturday, May 23rd at 8:30 PM (presented in a double bill with Spades)

Are public figures obligated to use their fame to address social issues? Are community problems more important than global issues? Academy Award winner Hamilton Robinson finds himself having to wrestle with these questions until a tragic event forces him to say something.


Shenanigans by Helena D. Lewis (New York)

Saturday, May 16th at 8:30 PM

While struggling to take care of her 82 year-old father and his pimp-like dog, Smokey, a “menopause baby” finds humor and resiliency in the unexpected loss of her mother.


Spades by J.E. Robinson (Missouri)

Saturday, May 23rd at 8:30 PM (presented in a double bill with Say Something)

To the surprise of his fellow Harlem Renaissance writers, Wallace Thurman returns to New York after working as a Hollywood screenwriter as a sick, dissolute man, and his friend, Bruce Nugent, wonders “why?”


Stigma by Keelay Gipson (New York)

Saturday, May 30th at 8:30 PM

A group of friends meet to welcome home Kenneth, a runway model who has just spent time in Milan for Fashion Week. With the wine flowing, and the arrival of Kenneth’s new significant other, they begin to talk about standards of beauty.  Will the mention of a new job opportunity for Kenneth lead their conversation into some stigmatizing territory?


Supermen by Adam Esquenazi Douglas (New York)

Friday, May 15th at 8:30 PM

World War II. Cleveland, Ohio. Two young, Jewish comic book creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, create Superman and change the world forever. But few know the real, bloody story behind the birth of the Man of Steel and the tragedy he created for these two artists for generations to come.  The secret origin of the world’s first, great superhero, and the heroes and villains who created him.


This year, DUTF will proudly launch the New York International Urban Film Fest (NUFF) as part of its programming to provide an outlet for diverse emerging filmmakers to share stories and artistic reform. NUFF’s mission is to create a marriage between theater and film by presenting works with strong theatrical elements that focus more on dramatic text and less on visual effects.  Desmond Hall, acclaimed filmmaker and former Creative Director for Spike Lee, is the Curator for NUFF.  For more information, selected films and screening schedule, please visit


Visit the Downtown Urban Theater Festival Online at

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