Festival of new plays exploring contemporary urban culture celebrates 20th anniversary.
June 1 – 25 at Theatre Row

Buy tickets HERE.

This June, DOWNTOWN URBAN ARTS FESTIVAL (DUAF) will celebrate its 20th Anniversary of presenting new works that shine a spotlight on contemporary urban culture. Over the past 20 years, DUAF has presented nearly 300 new plays by over 200 emerging and established playwrights including Dominique Morisseau, Martyna Majok, Nelson Diaz-Marcano, Carl Hancock Rux, Craig MuMs Grant, and Ming Peiffer. The 2022 Festival will present 4 full length plays and 12 one acts as well as an extended engagement of James Earl Hardy’s B-Boy Blues The Play. Performances will run June 1 - 25 at Theatre Row (410 W 42nd Street). Tickets and information are available at

In 2001, the theater program at DOWNTOWN URBAN ARTS FESTIVAL was founded with the purpose to build a repertoire of new American theatre that echoes the true spirit of urban life and speaks to a whole new generation whose lives defy categorizing along conventional lines. That purpose has been realized many times over, as more than 200 writers have created and refined their work for the stage and thousands of inspired audience members have applauded their performances. It has been recognized as "one of the world's best festivals for new works" and described as "not only prestigious, but a slice of heaven for playwrights who want the chance to freely express themselves." (Lisa Mulcahy, Theater Festivals, Allworth Press, 2005). DUAF works have been presented at venues including Cherry Lane, HERE, Joe’s Pub, Abrons Arts Center, Wild Project and Nuyorican Poets Café.

The centerpiece of the 2022 DOWNTOWN URBAN ARTS FESTIVAL is B-Boy Blues The Play by James Earl Hardy. Opposites do attract. Class and culture clash when a journalist and a homeboy bike messenger fall in love. It is based on Hardy's groundbreaking, best-selling novel series that has been praised as the first gay hip-hop love story. Directed by Stanley Bennett Clay, it will be presented June 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 25 at 8pm and June 18 and 25 at 2pm.

Also featured in the 2022 DOWNTOWN URBAN ARTS FESTIVAL are:

Wednesday, June 1 at 8pm:
20th Anniversary by Marcus Harmon
Set 20 years after the September 11th attacks, two firefighters meet to remember their friend and reveal much more about themselves and the world around them.
The Hard Knock Lyfe by Cris Eli Blak
When a rapper is diagnosed with AIDS, he must reckon with masculinity, what it means to be a man of color, and try repairing his relationship with his estranged daughter.

Thursday, June 2 at 8pm:
Socky Tells All by Rollin Jewett
Andy is a young patient in a mental institution and has no intention of ever leaving. Nor does his best friend -- a stuffed sock monkey. Woe to anyone that tries to force Andy from his beloved home.
The Palmist by Sheila Duane
Fortune tellers predict the future, but are they really psychic? Do they look into the darkest corners of the human mind? Can they sense a murderer with a single touch?

Wednesday, June 8 at 8pm:
Phantasmagoria by Alethea Harnish
While in university-sanctioned quarantine, a young woman learns what it means to forsake her home, her family, and her religion to live in the devil’s playground: New York City.

Thursday, June 9 at 8pm:
Forever and a Day by Marcus Scott
Triggered by viral videos of young black people dying, a boy genius and his best pals embark on a journey to discover the Fountain of Youth. By creating the cure for eternal youth and immortality, they believe they could circumvent and combat the rampant violence brought on against young black people.
The Love Not Together by Jennifer Cendana Armas
L & K are absolutely in love with each other... and absolutely unable to get it together as they try to make it work.

Wednesday, June 15 at 8pm:
Soul Survivor by Alano P. Baez
A man imprisoned and sentenced to die contemplates the course of his life, the story of his beloved Soul music singer, Sam Cooke, and the history of Black oppression in America.

Thursday, June 16 at 8pm:
Run by Elle
Rhythm and verse drive this contemporary opera about a woman who, after a rattling revelation, awakens from a deep sleep.
Adulting by Amira Mustapha
Miriam is a 30-something Muslim woman who recently experienced a loss. While she is waiting for her mother to arrive her friend Liz uses every arsenal in her bag to help her cope. How will she navigate this loss? Will her mother ever arrive? and most importantly, how the hell do you put on a hijab?!

Saturday, June 18 at 8pm:
For Colored Boyz by Bryan-Keyth Wilson
For Colored Boyz on the verge of a nervous breakdown/ when freedom aint enuff is an unabashed display of blackness that’s unapologetic and speaks to the human heart from a black man’s perspective.

Wednesday, June 22 at 8pm:
Midnight Mirage by Zoe Howard
Two strangers encounter each other on a subway platform in the middle of the night. As time bends and warps, they discover what it means to connect.
The Good Cop by Christin Eve Cato
Anita Jones is a journalist who dedicates her life to civil rights and justice, and she is about to help file a lawsuit that will change many Black and Brown lives forever. Anita needs another signature and turns to her estranged friend, Jade Santiago, a police officer who abides by the blue wall of silence.

Thursday, June 23 at 8pm:
A Shot Rang Out by Michael Hagins
A white police officer is trapped in a warehouse during an increasingly violent protest with a scared Black teen and a disgruntled schoolteacher.
Stoop by Isa Guzman
Stoop addresses the difficulties of coming out as transgender between two people from different generations within a predominantly Latino community. The play is a moment, a confrontation, between two characters who really care for one another, but who don't have the same understanding of the situation.

Saturday, June 25 at 8pm:
The Pride by Joy
In the Baker home, God is first. And women are kings.

DOWNTOWN URBAN ARTS FESTIVAL is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. Arcos Communications is a Founding Sponsor of DUAF. It is presented by Creative Ammo Inc., receiving support as part of the Coalition Theaters of Color, a New York City Council initiative to support the operations and programming of theaters and cultural organizations primarily in communities of color.