Read about our process and past productions:
Jackson Heights 3AM
by Zachary Stewart, theatermania.com, January 12, 2012
a sheer delight from beginning to end… adroitly captures the frenetic energy of a neighborhood often called the crossroads of the world… a quintessentially American story.
Theatre 167 Explores Jackson Heights at Night
by Claire Trapasso, The New York Daily News, January 10, 2012
Drag queens, rookie cops and prostitutes will all come together in a new play based on what goes on in Jackson Heights after sundown.
A Conversation with Ari Laura Kreith
by J.Stephen Brantley, January 2, 2012
we’re looking for at the need for connection or love… And we’re exploring what happens when those needs aren’t or can’t be met… Ultimately, I think this piece takes us to a place where, for the most part, those needs are met, often in unexpected or unlikely ways. And that will hopefully inspire the audience to think about the humanity of people they might otherwise choose to ignore…
You Are Now the Owner of This Suitcase
by Heather Lee Rogers, nytheatre.com, March 12, 2011
If you think the city that counts is just Manhattan (and sometimes Williamsburg), then you’re really missing out. In this case, you’re missing out on some wonderful theatre. I’m talking about Theatre 167’s second installment in its trilogy about the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens called You Are Now The Owner of This Suitcase! What began last spring with the hit 167 Tongues (referring to the many languages spoken in Jackson Heights) has evolved to the next level…The play is full of humor, heart, and imagination…You Are Now The Owner Of This Suitcase is a great piece of theatre, with highly inventive writing.
Theatre 167 Extends YOU ARE NOW THE OWNER OF THIS SUITCASE Thru 4/3
OffOffBroadwayWorld.com, March 22, 2011
A TimeOutNY Essential/classic New York pick, SUITCASE is the first production by the new ensemble Theatre 167. OnVerge.com says the play is “Not to be missed.”
You Are Now the Owner of This Suitcase!
by Ben Gassman, Brooklyn Rail, March 2011
For us prideful Queens-folk, the ones who gush about it being the most culturally diverse place on the planet, it is great vindication that Theater 167 (which evolved out of earlier incarnation Jackson Rep and whose name is a tally—give or take—of the number of languages spoken in the neighborhood) has arrived to rep the aspirational melting pot that is Jackson Heights. You Are Now The Owner of This Suitcase, their upcoming show at P.S. 69, an irreverent imaginative collage of contemporary folk tales and bumpy real life, is inspired by stories culled from the streets of the neighborhood. A homegrown and potent artistic rebuttal to the John Rockers of the world, it is also a beckoning invitation to you among the culture-consumerate who are not used to getting your art fix north or east of P.S. 1.
Theatre 167 Unloads Magical Baggage in Jackson Heights
by J.Stephen Brantley, jstephenbrantley.com, March 27, 2011
A work of constantly shifting light, always moving, transforming, reinventing itself. Absolutely delightful… Don’t think for a second that all the great acting happens in Manhattan.
An Interview with Director of Artistic Development Jenny Lyn Bader
by Adam Szymkowicz, I INTERVIEW PLAYWRIGHTS, March 26, 2011
It’s not seven one-acts but one play written by seven playwrights, melding our different styles into one voice while also trying to honor the sounds of different voices in the neighborhood… There was a word or line in a foreign language in every scene… Tibetan, Cantonese, Urdu. We had 11 playwrights, 29 actors, 37 characters. It seemed like a madcap, impossible project…
In Jackson Heights, Electronic Cinderellas and Theater that Binds
by Nico Daswani, Create Culture, March 23, 2011
Narratives develop and intersect, playfully and skillfully, as we glimpse into the funny, magical, and moving stories of regular people with common yet deeply personal dreams. It’s a lovely play about the hopes and aspirations of the people of Jackson Heights, one of the world’s most diverse neighborhoods…It’s a utopian endeavor in some sense, and perhaps envisions Jackson Heights in the way that Kreith and the playwrights would like to see it– but it is also a way for a neighborhood that already knows of its diversity to take itself more seriously and think deeply about the possibilities of living in a pluralistic society. It’s completely local, totally meta, quietly groundbreaking.
Capturing the Vitality of Jackson Heights and Putting It on Stage
by Fernanda Santos, New York Times, May 4, 2010
What made Jackson Heights unique, in Ms. Kreith’s view, was that it had none of the ethnic dividers she had encountered elsewhere, “no bubbles isolating one community from the next,” she said.
The Queens Mirror
by Les Hunter, American Theatre Magazine, October 2009
Variety is the Spice of Life
by William Coyle, OffOffOnline.com, May 7, 2010
In unskilled hands a production with 37 characters in 25 ethnic-flavored skits could become an unwieldy, hackneyed disaster. 167 Tongues is anything but, and that’s due primarily to the tight collaboration of 11 talented playwrights and 29 actors, assembled by director Ari Laura Kreith, who also conceived the entire production for Jackson Repertory Theatre. The scenes are not sketches so much as they are a collage of vignettes, many of them quite poetic and touching.
Interview with Les Hunter
by Adam Szymkowicz, I INTERVIEW PLAYWRIGHTS, April 16, 2010
All of us went through a kind of crash course in Jackson Heights: we walked around, we talked to locals, and we were given a historical presentation by our dramaturg, Angie Balsamo. Then we drew a large map of the neighborhood and imagined characters that would inhabit this world.
Many worlds of Jackson Heights converge in new play
by Joe Kemp, New York Daily News, May 4, 2010
The team of writers swarmed the streets in October to build the 37-character cast that ranges from an Indian sweet-shop vendor to the ghost of an Irish immigrant.
167 Tongues Strikes Theatrical Gold
QueensBuzz.com, May 7, 2010
I just returned from experiencing something truly wonderful…. I recommend seeing this show, rather than to hear about it many times, as it will surely be discussed. It’s well written, well acted and totally engaging, especially to anyone who lives in Jackson Heights, Elmhurst or Queens.
See the World in One Night
The Q Note, May 18, 2010
Revolving around themes as disparate as first crushes and dosa-making, to darker realities like racism and deportation, 167 Tongues is an authentic reflection of the everyday Jackson Heights community told through intersecting stories.
In 167 Tongues, 11 playwrights and 29 actors bring to life one of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods in the world – Jackson Heights! A Nepali woman and a Mexican man, Ecuadoran and Bangladeshi girls, a Rwandan night nurse, a Dominican manicurist and her Jewish-Chinese boyfriend – all cross paths in this vibrant new play that explores the emotional geography of this rapidly-evolving community!
Dressing Up to Clean Up Jackson Heights
by Rebecca White, New York Times, October 9, 2010
For Emma DeGraw, 4, it was an excuse to wear her blue Cinderella costume and dance in the street. For Joe Sonenshein, a theater fund-raiser, it meant digging out his father’s three-piece French-cut tweed suit from the 1970s and pairing it with a loud skinny tie and an unlikely accessory: a broom.
Clean is beautiful at Jackson Heights parade
by Niharika Mandhana, Queens Chronicle, October 14, 2010