The city of New Haven has a giant present for the local community that is set to open from Friday, June 10 to Saturday, June 25. The gift is the 21st Annual International Festival of Arts and Ideas and it is one whooper of a surprise package. Whether you’re into dance, or music, theater or lectures, bike rides or tours, you can select from a plethora of unique offerings - from all over the world, and 85% of them are free for the plucking.
With two world premieres and 8 U.S. premieres, you’re invited in one instance to take a taste of Scotland’s National Theatre with “Our Ladies of Perpetual Succor” at Yale Repertory Theatre, 1120 Chapel Street, New Haven. Join a half dozen spirited school girls as they troop off to Edinburgh for a singing competition and receive much more than they bargained for in terms of challenge, lust, love, pregnancy and even death.
Care to hear one of two open rehearsal readings of a brand new musical, courtesy of the Yale Institute for Musical Theater. Pick a city to visit - either Blessing, Alabama where the good folks allow a storm to blow questions into their lives or Chicago at the World’s Columbian Exposition where mysterious missing girls disturb the scientific advances of 1893.
The New Haven Green will be abuzz with excitement as wildly popular groups like George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Lila Downs, M.A. K.U Soundsystem, Red Baraat and Cirque Mechanics (with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra) come to call on Saturday nights. Have fun with Air Play, get immersed with the dance movements of Wendy Whelan, Brian Brooks and Brooklyn Rider, as a clash of classical and contemporary, get all jazzed up with Off the Charts or marvel at the inticate detail of the theatrical event, “The Bookbinder.”
Want your mind stimulated, then sit in for a talk about displaced Americans and their stories, youth activism and social change, music and intellectual property in the digital age or delve into when houses are not homes, to name a few. Take a bike or walking tour to the Eli Whitney Museum, Wooster Square, the CT Botanical Society or Pardee Rose Garden to sprinkle a few ideas, take a tasting tour of the Thimble Island Brewing Company or stroll and nibble your way along Grand Avenue or indulge in the science of chocolate at Gateway Community College. The possibilities are endless. Reservations may be required so check ahead.
For kids and the family, there are pop-up festivals, yoga classes, arts and crafts on the New Haven Green, children’s film festivals, concerts and a bonsai exhibit. Go to artidea.org to explore all the infinite choices and plan your adventures. If you don’t explore this incredible gift, you have no one to blame but yourself. Get hopping!