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about radar

UNDER THE RADAR (RADAR) is a festival celebrating new theater and performance works from both around the world and down the street. Taking place in New York City from January 5 – 21, 2024. Produced and programmed by thirteen different venues in collaboration with RADAR.

Under the Radar 2024 addresses a city, a country, and the world with the voices of innovative multidisciplinary artists speaking to their time. The festival stands for transparency, equity, and equal collaboration in the development of new live works. It represents global citizenship, innovation, and a platform for those whose voices have yet to be heard.

radar history

The Under the Radar Festival began as a beta concept in January 2003 entitled Fresh Terrain: A Performance Art/Theatre Festival & Symposium, co-produced by the University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Theatre and Dance and New York’s Performance Space 122, featured artists were New York’s Richard Maxwell, Big Art Group, Ann Carlson, and Universes; Toronto’s da da kamera; Diana Szeinblum of Buenos Aires; and Austin’s Rude Mechs. The first NY edition was realized at St. Ann’s Warehouse in January of 2005 as a conference on presenting and producing new work. Mark Russell shifted the conference to be a 7-day theater festival, where the actual performances were the break-out sessions. The event was considered a success and received funding for two more years of meetings. Oskar Eustis, when he assumed the role of Artistic Director of the Public Theater invited Mark Russell and Under the Radar to be a part of his inaugural season in 2006. With the resources, legacy, and stature of the Public Theater Under the Radar expanded its length to 12 days. It continued its success and became an annual meeting point for producers, presenters, and their international counterparts interested in the burgeoning alternative theater scene thriving in New York at that time. The festival has always mixed international work with national and local artists, to give a spotlight on new artists and new global developments in the field. As it continued at the Public it became a destination festival for leaders from theaters and festivals hailing from Asia, Africa, Australia, the Middle East, and Europe. It was quickly considered one of the most adventurous and significant festivals. An audience grew at the Public, expecting the festival as much as they relied on Shakespeare in the Park. Other festivals began to pop up surrounding RADAR, dealing with new opera, performance art, and experimental dance.

The Under the Radar Festival became known providing a breakout platform for many artists. Introducing them to international presenters and a wider New York and national audience. The list of artists who enjoyed significant appearances in the festival includes: Tarrell Alvin McCraney, Cia Dos Tores, Guillermo Calderon, Nature Theater of Oklahoma, Reggie Watts, Rachel Chavkin, Taylor Mac, Lemon Anderson, Back to Back Theater, Belarus Free Theater, Mark O’Rowe, The Bengsons, Kassys, 600 Highwaymen, TG Stan, Philippe Quenes, Pascal Rambert, Andrew Schneider, Lars Jan, Tim Crouch, Tim Etchels, Javaad Alipoor, Tania El Khoury, Chelfish/Toshiki Okada, Choir! Choir! Choir!, Marc Bamuthi Joeseph, Misha Choudry, Kameron Neal, Charlotte Braithewaite, among many others.

On June 1, 2023, the Public Theater announced that for financial reasons it could no longer produce the Under the Radar Festival, after 18 editions, 17 of them at the Public. There was an outcry online and in the press about the sudden closing of the festival. A memorial of flowers and notes appeared on the steps of the Public, mourning its loss to the field and to the city.

Festival team


Festival Director
Mark Russell

Festival Producer
ArKtype | Thomas O. Kriegsmann (President), Sami Pyne (Producing Director)

Marketing and Communications Manager
John Seroff | GreenHouse Publicity

Brand Identity and Social Media

Press Representation
Blake Zidell & Associates (Blake Zidell & Adriana Leshko)

Website Design
Abby Browde

Line Producer
Shannon Molly Flynn

Symposium Event Producer
Alverneq Lindsay

Symposium Dramaturge
Melanie Joseph

Mark Russell, festival founder + director

Mark Russell has been working in the downtown dance/performance and theater world for over 35 years. From 1983-2004 he was the Executive Artistic Director of Performance Space 122. He brought the space from a low-tech artist rental space to a world-renowned presenting institution committed to developing the work of New York City artists. In January 2005 Russell launched the Under the Radar Festival at St. Ann’s Warehouse. UTR focuses on theater-based contemporary performance. The festival moved to the Public Theater in 2006 and became a centerpiece in the New York City theater season; mixing international performances with national and local artists. Russell has been involved with many artists over his career, creating opportunities for them to grow and reach wider audiences. He is now involved in re-imagining The Under the Radar Festival for a new generation.

Arktype, producer

ArKtype is recognized as among the world’s leading supporters of new, experimental work. Established in 2005 by producer Thomas O. Kriegsmann to support the finest in emerging and established artists based in NYC and worldwide, we support risk in live performance – creating an ever-shifting mechanism for the fulfillment of artists’ visions for new work, international collaboration, production and touring. The company has grown to encompass renowned artists from twenty-five different countries at any given time, limitless genres and commercial and non-profit support structures for a variety of spaces. Realizing the infrastructural demands of the artist in an environment of limited funding and financial support for creative endeavors, ArKtype aims to balance infrastructural support with creative growth, allowing the artist a long-term relationship with a producing entity based on establishing the artist’s continued presence in the national and international regional theater, festival and arts presenter communities. More information at arktype.org.

Thomas O. Kriegsmann (President) specializes in new work development and touring worldwide. His past work includes projects with Kaneza Schaal, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Peter Brook, Daniel Fish, Victoria Thiérrée-Chaplin, Yael Farber, Anna Deavere Smith, Annie-B Parson & Paul Lazar, Jessica Blank & Erik Jensen, Peter Sellars, Julie Taymor, John Cameron Mitchell and Tony Taccone. Recent premieres include Justin Peck & Sufjan Stevens’ ILLINOIS, 600 HIGHWAYMEN’s A THOUSAND WAYS, nora chipaumire’s NEHANDA, Sam Green’s 32 SOUNDS w/ JD Samson, Bryce Dessner’s TRIPTYCH (EYES OF ONE ON ANOTHER) directed by Kaneza Schaal, John Cameron Mitchell’s THE ORIGIN OF LOVE, Kaneza Schaal & Christopher Myers’ CARTOGRAPHY, Sam Green & Kronos Quartet’s A THOUSAND THOUGHTS, Big Dance Theater / Mikhail Baryshnikov’s MAN IN A CASE, Toshi & Bernice Johnson Reagon’s PARABLE OF THE SOWER and Nalaga’at Deaf-Blind Theater’s NOT BY BREAD ALONE. Ongoing collaborations include Bryce Dessner, Sophia Brous, 600 HIGHWAYMEN, Sam Green, Timothy White Eagle, Andrew Schneider, Big Dance Theater, John Cameron Mitchell & Amber Martin, and Compagnia T.P.O. Premieres include Sufjan Stevens & Justin Peck’s ILLINOISE, Bryce Dessner & Kaneza Schaal’s UNTITLED OCEAN VUONG PROJECT, Sam Green’s UNTITLED TREES DOCUMENTARY PROJECT, and Penny Arcade’s autobiographical epic THE ART OF BECOMING. He is a founding member of CIPA (The Creative & Independent Producer Alliance).

Sami Pyne (Producing Director) is an independent producer invested in decluttering and demystifying the process for creators. Recent new work producing credits include Jeesun Choi’s To the Ends of the Earth / 땅끝까지 at JACK, Alex Hare and Julia Izumi’s Capricorn 29 at The Tank, Jen Pitt’s TRASH BODY MONKEY HOUSE at New Ohio’s Ice Factory Festival, Christina Tang’s TRAFFIC at The Brick’s Exponential Festival, and Keenan Tyler Oliphant’s Kyk Hoe Skyn die Son [Look how the Sun Shines] at Clubbed Thumb’s Winterworks. Additionally, she’s had the pleasure of producing work with companies such as 600 Highwaymen, The Arts & Climate Initiative, New York Theatre Workshop, Aeon, Prelude (festival producer 2019, 2020), The Play Company (PlayCo), Theatre Development Fund (TDF), and HERE Arts Center. WP Producers Lab Fellow 2022-2024. Columbia MFA Theatre Management & Producing 2020. Proud member of the Creative & Independent Producer Alliance (CIPA).