In 1956, Joe Papp began the outdoor theater tradition on the Lower East Side when he introduced “Shakespeare in the Park” in East River Park Amphitheater. From the 1950’s to the present, the Park was the site of frequent free Evening-in-the-Park concerts and plays. In 2022, LUNGS (Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens) launched the first FREE annual LUNGS

Summer Theater Festival and continues to honor the tradition with the third annual festival this June. The 2024 festival will be hosted by Lower East Side icon Riki Colon and feature poems by  Loisaida Poetas, read by Carlos Rodriguez. 

The 3rd Annual LUNGS Summer Theater Festival is supported in part by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. The festival was curated by Erez Ziv, Riki Colon, Roman Primativo Albear, Bonnie Sue Stein and Charles Krezell. Special thanks go to 6B Garden, Sally Young, Jason Trucco, Bunny and Rina Root. Festival banner by Theresa Linnihan

2024 Festival Schedule


By Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre

Created and performed by Vit Horejs & Sayma Karim

Featuring The Naughty Tiger performed by Sayma Karin and The Devil and The Lawyer & The Twelve Months  performed by Vit Horejs. In addition: The Devil marionette announces his 2024 Presidential Campaign. Sayma Karim and her Muppet Titly will tell a Bengali folk tale she heard as a child in her home country of Bangladesh followed by Vít Hořejš and his Century old marionettes telling his childhood story from Czechoslovakia, where the naughty creatures are, of course, the devils.

Sayma Karim, a versatile puppeteer and educator, worked for 19 years in Bangladesh before emigrating to the USA. As a teacher, she trained emerging talents in voice, acting, and puppetry and acted in television dramas as well as puppetry. She joined the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre this year. 

A native of Prague, Vít Hořejš emigrated to the US in 1979. In 1990, he found a trove of antique marionettes in the attic at Jan Hus Church on East 74th Street, in the heart of the once-upon-a-time Czech and Slovak neighborhood and founded Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre in NYC. He has lived in the once-upon-a-time Czech and Slovak Lower East Side since 1980.


Presented by Something from Abroad 

Written and Directed by Regina Romero

Performed by Regina Romero, Silvana Gonzalez, Pelayo Alvarez and Martha Lorena Preve

In El Tendedero Latin New Yorkers Zaira and Nadia deal with the arrival of new neighbors; and with everything that it might imply: gentrification? Love? Infidelity? This short comedy is set in the perfect chisme (gossip) spot: a rooftop “Tendedero”. The reflection of a quintessential NY community. 

Something From Abroad produces material from different cultural backgrounds to give “outside” stories a voice in America today. It is a theater company made up of a couple of broads from abroad, proud to promote art created by women. Our mission is to provide an opportunity for actors from all over the world to perform on stage in New York. We tell the stories of our people and our struggle as immigrants. We believe that the differences and diversity that an international group brings to the table are our strength.

Pelayo Álvarez  is a Spanish actor and singer who honed his skills studying theater and film in Madrid, London, and New York. Since moving to New York, he has combined his work training diplomats at the United Nations with the development of his art by performing in venues such as Club Cumming, Don’t Tell Mama, or House of Yes, where he currently works as the Welcome Committee member. Under the pseudonym Pelayo AF, he has released original music and covers, producing eclectic music videos that you can find by searching for Pelayo AF on YouTube. Recently he has starred in “Hamlet, La Telenovela,” and is set to release his album “Don’t Call Me, Don’t Text Me, My Phone Is Busy…” Pelayo h. (IG: @pelayoaf)

Silvana Gonzalez is a Mexican actress, dancer and choreographer who graduated from NYU Tisch with a Founders Day Award and BFA in Theater. Her theater credits include Olena in Mariupol: Diary of War, Liuba in Radio 477!, Ondine in A Thousand Suns at La MAMA, Hera in FauxBia! The Musical at Carnegie Hall, Milenia at The Lucille Lortel, Hermia in A Midsummer Night´s Dream, Cynthia in WarLovers at Theater Row, and Louise Overbee in Love/Sick. Her film credits include Alejandra in Perfidia, Dr. Esperanza Haddid in Call The Sandman, Maria in Disconnect by Ryo Jaegger. Silvana is a company member of Something From Abroad, Yara Arts Group and Magis Theater and is very excited to perform “El Tendedero”

Martha Lorena Preve Ayora is a Mexican multi-disciplinary theater artist. She is the co-founder of the theater company Something from Abroad where she plays different roles like producer, playwright, performer and stage manager. She has worked as an assistant stage manager for three OFF BROADWAY shows at the Theater Center. Her original play Pastorela: A Very Merry Immigrant Christmas was staged at the Lucille Lortel Tinsel Festival. Her original monologue The Hammock received the Audience Choice Award at NBC’s Ya Tu Sabes Monologue Slam! contest. Recently she has starred in Hamlet: La Telenovela, a production that received the “Billy Bard Award” at the Young Howze theatre awards. She is thrilled to participate in this amazing festival with this talented group of artists, she would like to thank her parents, LUNGS and everyone that made this possible, thank you team, LOVE YOU ANDREW. IG: @martha_preve

Regina Romero (she/her/hers) is a Brooklyn based actor and writer, originally from Mexico City. She is interested in bringing Latine stories to the forefront, which can be seen in the productions she has written and starred in: Suficiente, La Sombra de Sofía, and Erial. Her latest short film, Suficiente, won second place in the Binational Kaleidoscope Film Festival Contest. Her poetry has been published at The Acentos Review. IG: @reginaromerof


Written by Mexican playwright Javier Malpica

Directed by Roman Primitivo Albear

Performed by Daniel Gutierrez Isaiah Garcia

The play concerns two young Mexican brothers who are left with their grandmother in a rural village while their father goes to the United States to look for work. Motherless, missing their father, and left in the care of relatives they scarcely know, the boys rely on one another for emotional support they are unequipped to provide, and for physical support in a naive and desperate attempt to reach their father in “Atlantis.”

Roman Primitivo Albear, playwright, poet,  director, and painter, was born in Mexico City and lives in New York City. 


Written by Charles Krezell

Directed by Daria Faïn, Music by Leonid Galaganov

Performed by Leonid Galaganov, Rocco George, Jhonatan Zapata Garcia, Owen Engesser and David Fasano. Guitar by John King

1936, Lorca is arrested by La Guardia de Civil in fascist Spain. He is waiting for the morning to come.  

Daria Faïn (Director) is a Brooklyn-based dance theater artist and somatic explorer originally from the Mediterranean. She fuses her European cultural background with three decades of practice in Asian philosophies of the body and American dance training. Faïn studied theater in France with the Roy Hart Theater and the Peter Brook Company and has researched ancient Greek Theater. She has extensively researched the reciprocal influence between the environment and human behaviors. In 2006, with poet/architect Robert Kocik, they created the Prosodic Body, a new field of research on the embodiment of language that manifests in performance, education, architecture, and writing. Faïn has presented seventeen evening-length performances, numerous other short works, installations, four durational pieces, improvisations, and a feature film. 

Leonid Galaganov (Lorca, Music) is a NYC-based composer, improviser and multi-instrumentalist from Estonia. Shaped by an eclectic background in jazz, classical, world and spiritual music, his work feeds on a broad range of both traditional and experimental influences. Leonid has toured in Europe and the US, played on 20 record releases, and received commissions from the American Modern Ensemble, Cassatt String Quartet and Ensemble Mise-En. A frequent multi-disciplinary collaborator, his role has expanded into acting with Lorca’a last night.

Rocco George (Dióscoro) is a unique character actor, puppet maker, and puppeteer who starred in numerous horror, comedy, and experimental films. Rocco is best known for playing “Coach Rocco” on THE ELLIE SPARKLES SHOW on YouTube. For more information visit

Owen Engesser (Francisco) is an actor and improviser based in Harlem. He graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a B.F.A in Performing Arts. Owen is thrilled to be back at LUNGS, and for the opportunity to work with Charles and this incredible cast and team.

Jhonatan Zapata,(Joaquín) actor and dancer from Cali, Colombia. Taught by mentors like América barrera, Alfonso Ortiz, Bernardo García, Clark Middleton, Alejandro Aguilar, Catherine French or Juan Pablo Felix. He studied at “Más Latinos, the academy” in New York City. Among his most recent projects we can find “Esto se puso color hormiga”, directed by Jorge Pérez (2020), or the short film “Russian Rulette”, one of the winners of the Latino Film Market, directed by Catherine French and produced by Yennifer Cordoba and John Rengifo. In 2022, he took part in the improvising shows “Improshot” and “Latinos Night Live” under Fabián Valbuena’s guidance. He took part in “Diles que no me maten”, directed by Germán Jaramillo (2023), as well as the short film “Renacer”. He was recently awarded as Best New actor after his role on “Perdona bonita pero Lucas me quería a mí”, by Félix sabroso in New York City.

Dave Fasano (Guard) is a Filmmaker/Photographer who has lived in the East Village for 20 years. Dave has worked on various projects with local artists, including documentary film projects about the history of the neighborhood. While primarily a filmmaker, he enjoys contributing to the arts scene in many capacities — with acting being the latest addition. 

John King is a composer/guitarist who’s been working as a freelance experimental musician for many years. He’s worked with La Mama, CultureHub, Merce Cunningham Dance Company and Ballets de Monte Carlo, among others. He has written more than 130 string quartets in his series Free Palestine.

Charles Krezell founded LUNGS in 2011. He has lived in the NYC since 1983. He is very happy to be able to work this year with this talented troop of artists.His theater work has been performed at the BACA Dowtown; work shopped at the Public Theater, and performed at the Greenwich St Theater and LUNGS Theater Festival in 2022. He collaborated with William Mesnik on “Anais Nin, Songs of Sin” performed at Nadine’s on Washington St and the West Bank Cafe. Krezell has made numerous documentaries, many focusing on the Presidential change of power in this country. Much of his work can be found on

LUNGS (Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens) was formed in 2011 as a grassroots community gardens-based organization to unite the many volunteer-run community gardens in Loisaida, the Lower East Side and the East Village. LUNGS works to promote, protect and preserve gardening and greening through cooperation, coordination and communication. We believe that permanent community gardens and public greenspaces are necessary for a healthy New York.

GOH Productions is a nonprofit arts organization based on the Lower East Side that has been creating, producing and managing performing arts projects for over 35 years. 

FRIGID New York’s mission is to provide both emerging and established artists the opportunity to create and produce original work of varied content, form, and style, and to amplify their diverse voices. We do this by presenting an array of monthly programming, mainstage productions, an artist residency, and eight annual theater festivals that create an environment of collaboration, resourcefulness, and innovation. Founded in 1998, the aim was and is to form a structure, allowing multiple artists to focus on creating and staging new work and providing affordable rental space to scores of independent artists. Now in our third decade we have produced a massive quantity of stimulating downtown theater. 


Spring Awakening 2024

Join us for our Spring Awakening Celebration Saturday. April 20. We are meeting at 11:30am at El Sol Brillante, 522 E.12th St between A & B. Our parade steps off at Noon with our Tree Goddess, Batala, Stiltwalkers and more. 

The parade will travel east on 12th St, south on Avenue C, west of E.6th St, north on Avenue A and enter Tompkins Square Park at 7th St, meander through the park and end on Avenue B and 9th St.

There will be many greening groups representing on Avenue B.
From 3:30–5:30 pm free pony rides will be available for kids.

At 2:30 on Avenue B Isabel Estrada-Jamison’s group will perform Afro-Cuban folklore and Rumba.

From 3:00–4:30 pm a garden tour will be led by Magali Regis, meeting at 9th St & Ave B.

There are other Spring Awakening events happening in various gardens throughout the day. This schedule is still in flux, so these times are approximations.

At 1:30pm, DeColores, 311 E.8th St ( B & C) is hosting a meeting to introduce the migrants to the community gardens, followed by a short tour of the gardens.

La Plaza Cultural ( SW corner of 9th & C)

2 PM: Elika Healing Bowls

2:30 PM : Bubblez

3pm: Poetry featuring Sparrow, Truffles, David Carter, Flip Marinovich, Jill Rappaport and Bob Holman

4pm  : Christopher Thomas

430pm : Bartho

5PM Open Jam with Ali Bishop (from the HAven Jam)

6 pm NORY

6:30 Sylvain Leroux & Sources

7:30 Kid Java

Lower Eastside Girls Club

Here is the RSVP link, to the Planetarium Shows but walk-ins are OK.


Pancho’s Garden (formerly 9C garden, NE corner of 9th & C) will have a memorial for gardeners who passed away in the last year, hosted by GreenThumb.
2023 In Memoriam for GreenThumb community gardeners who passed away at Francisco “Pancho” Ramos Community Garden

UPDATES to Follow!!!


Theater Workshop and Performance!! LA PLAZA 6:15-7:15 pm

Performance by The Commons Choir:

UPON HUMANS is a multifaceted project by The Commons Choir that includes auditory and somatic performance and educational components.

As an archeology of the Kassandra myth, UPON HUMANS utilizes the Faïn/Kocik Prosodic Body voice and movement methodology to unwind the curse of denial, giving renewed significance to contemporary prophetesses. Confronting the disregard of the warning signs from those with scientific and intuitive foresight, this project proposes ways to restore the relationship between our miraculous yet fragile interdependence with the planet.

This performance is part of a series of SEED BOMBS, an emergent program articulating the larger, durational project UPON HUMANS. Designed as an event series, SEED BOMBS will introduce the overall project and explore its broad themes. 

The performance features two performers, dancer Samantha Lysaght, and juggler Luther Bangert.

The 12th Annual LUNGS Harvest Arts Festival

THE 12TH ANNUAL LUNGS HARVEST ATS FESTIVAL 2023 starts with an Opening Night Party, Friday, September 29, 6:30 pm and runs through Sunday, October 8, 2023.


Community gardens throughout the Lower East Side and East Village will be participating.

Schedule changes to Saturday 10/7 & Sunday 10/8 >>
Outline of All Activitiesquick OUTLINE & DIRECTORY of events, go here.

Entire Schedule — detailed version with all of the descriptions, flyers, and images, go here.

Harvest Arts Festival section >>


Critical Environmental Area

Two bills have been introduced in the New York State Legislature for a vote – calling for community gardens to be designated as Critical Environmental Areas
Both bills have the same wording and purpose which read in part as follows: 

Requires the community gardens task force [of the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets] to conduct an assessment of all community gardens located on publicly owned land in the state to facilitate each garden’s designation as a critical environmental area. 

A Critical Environmental Area (CEA) is a geographic area with exceptional or unique character with respect to one or more of the following: 

  • a benefit or threat to human health
  • natural setting such as fish and wildlife habitat, forest and vegetation, open space, and areas of important aesthetic or scenic quality; 
  • agricultural, social, cultural, historic, archeological, recreational, or educational values; or 
  • an inherent ecological, geological, or hydrological sensitivity that may be adversely affected by any change. 

On Monday,  the State Senate passed CEA Bill S629A.

Now Assembly Bill A4139A is before the members of the State Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee.

Assembly Bill A4139A calls for a regulatory Process by which community gardens can be officially designated as CEAs.

When passed this will raise the “environmental impact review process” bar in order to help preserve & protect community gardens as CEAs. 

Both bills have the same wording and purpose which read in part as follows: 

Requires the community gardens task force [of the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets] to conduct an assessment of all community gardens located on publicly owned land in the state to facilitate each garden’s designation as a critical environmental area. 

The State Senate bill was sponsored by State Senator Leroy Comrie. He represents the 14th Senatorial District of Queens 

The State Assembly bill (A4139A) is sponsored by State Assemblymember Donna A. Lupardo and co-sponsored by State Assemblymember Steven B. Raga

Assemblymember Lupardo is the Chair of the Agriculture Committee She represents the 123rd Assembly District, which includes  Binghamton,  Vestal, and Union, the villages of Johnson City,  and Endicott

Assemblymember Raga represents the 30th Assembly District of Woodside, Elmhurst, Maspeth, Jackson Heights, Astoria, and Middle Village.

The Assembly bill A4139A is currently in the committee review phase before the very powerful Assembly Ways and Means CommitteeThis is the link where you can see information regarding the status of the Assembly bill: 

Please visit by email, phone or in person, the members of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, including the Committee Chair, Helene E. Weinstein, in order to communicate yoursupport for the Critical Environmental Areas Designation of community gardens along  

Albany Office: Legislative Office Building, Room 612, Albany, NY 12247, 


Contact members of the Ways and Means Committee and tell them why you support this effort to protect the gardens and why the New York State Assembly Ways and Means Committee should vote in favor of the bill. The members of the Ways and Means Committee can be found HERE


SPRING AWAKENING kicks off with our parade led by BATALA, through the Streets beginning at 11am at El Sol Brillante, 522 E. 12th St between Aves A & B, walking east to Avenue C, south on Avenue C to E. 7th St, west on 7th to Tompkins Square Park, meandering through the Park and ending at Avenue B and 9th St.

Avenue B & 8TH ST


PLEASE sign the pony ride waiver to saddle up

Toy Makers workshop

BRING Your old and broken toys and make them into new.
Sonny & Sara reinvent timeless characters and cherished heroes into new, one-of-a-kind friends and legends. You are invited to get creative and build your own creations out of up-cycled toys!

2pm Hawk Nest Tour with NYC Park Rangers Rob and Grant, meet at 8th St & Ave B


DeColores, 313 E.8th St btwn Aves B & C

2pm Poetry 

with Eileen DOSTER and friends 


3pm Victor & Carmine and friends

4pm “FAITH” with Felice Rosser

5pm Kid Java

6B  GARDEN, the corner of Avenue B & 6th St

1 pm Let’s make Art!!

Outside on garden fence Art around the Garden, we provide canvas 

La Plaza Cultural, the corner of Avenue C & 9th St

12-3pm Earth Celebrations Climate Solutions Mural Workshop

Crafts from Campos Garden

GreenThumb bringing us the Goods

Loisaida Center Ecolibrium Project

1 pm Wendy Brawer’s Green Infrastructure Tour

1pm time’s up Bike repair class

2pm time’s up garden tour bike ride

4pm time’s up free sailing school
PLUS in Conjunction with

the Earth Month convergence!!

11th Street Community Garden, 422 E.11th St, Between First Ave & Ave A

3-7pm MUSIC

Gina Healy & James Tilson

Coby Petric



FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2022 from 6:30 pm – 10 pm
428 E 10th St, (between Ave C & D)