Opening the festival is Australian company Back to Back Theatre performing a new work
. It tells the story of the Hindu god Ganesh’s travels through Nazi Germany to reclaim the Swastika, an ancient Hindu symbol that became the symbol Nazi Germany. Other works on the program include the Belarus Free Theater’s play
(French equivalent of “It’s all Greek to me”) by Netherlands-based Hungarian director Edit Kaldor using Chinese actors in a attempt to create communication that transcends the language barrier; and a solo play titled
by the Leev Theater Group of Iran that works the history of Iran into Shakespeare’s classic,
Highlighted among American companies is Nature Theater of Oklahoma. The company presents an 11-hour performance of all four episodes of their Musical project Life and Times
that has won acclaim in international festivals around the world. Also, Philadelphia’s Pig Iron Theatre Company and Japan’s Toshiki Okada
, leader of the chefitsch company, collaborate to present a work titled ZERO COST HOUSE
. This is a partially autobiographical work by Okada that deals with life after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and the ensuing nuclear power plant disaster in Fukushima while working in meditations on the 19th century American author Henry David Thoreau whose book Walden
proposed new ways of looking at nature and the ideas of Japanese architect Kyohei Sakaguchi, known for designing unbuildable buildings. Also, New York-based company Elevator Repair Service presents Arguendo
, a work in progress based on the case tried in the U.S. Supreme Court about whether dancing naked in a strip club is an exercise of artistic expression or a crime.
The festival premiered at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn in 2005 and moved its main venue to The Public Theater the following year. The founder of Under the Radar is Mark Russell
, long-time director of New York’s PS122 and leader of the New York arts scene. The festival presents artists ranging from emerging talents to masters in the field and attempts to offer programs of the latest works of theater that are exciting, independent, and experimental. It is known for seeking new creation born of the clash of completely different styles and genres, and besides invited works the festival also provides the opportunity for artists from America and abroad to collaborate in creation. The 2013 festival is the first since the renovation of The Public Theater, its main venue.