Visa Problems Plague Times Square Theater Festival
MIDTOWN — An international theater festival has run up against one of the most frustrating aspects of the arts world: they've had to cancel a show after its Ukrainian cast and crew could not get their visas to enter the United States — the second time that an immigration issue has stymied the upcoming show.
The Times Square International Theater Festival, which kicks off on Jan. 16., has been forced to cancel Ukrainian play "On the Field of Blood" after most of its cast and crew failed to get their visas to enter the country on time.
And a couple of weeks ago, another play, "A Man And Words," was scratched off the list because its Iranian cast and crew couldn't get their visas.
The festival's goal is to give off-Broadway space to both U.S. and international shows that otherwise could not afford the location. The theater gives the companies space for no charge, and splits the box office take with them.
The festival will put on 15 plays and stage two readings at the Roy Arias Studios and Theaters at 300 W. 43rd St., between Jan. 16 and 22.
Replacing the Ukrainian play is a Dominican-produced show, "The Night of the Assassins,"
"It's frustrating. We did understand that this is the first year, and we're learning. It's our expectation that things are going to get better."