A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

Recent entries:
Entry in progress—BP (3/29)
Entry in progress—BP (3/29)
“Muffins are for people who don’t have the balls to eat cake for breakfast” (3/29)
Entry in progress—BP (3/29)
Entry in progress—BP (3/29)
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Entry from August 09, 2005
Strawberry One-Act Festival ("American Idol for Playwrights")
The Strawberry One-Act Festival was started by the Riant Theatre in 1996. The New York Daily News has dubbed it "American Idol for playwrights."

The Strawberry One-Act Festival
The Strawberry One-Act Festival was dubbed by the New York Daily News as "The American Idol for Playwrights." Join us and cast your vote as 40 one-act plays compete for the title of Best Play of the Season. Awards will also be presented for Best Director, Best Actor & Best Actress. Dates: August 5 through August 21, 2005.


The Riant Theatre & The Black Experimental Theatre
Providing a nurturing environment to develop new plays and outstanding artists.

The Black Experimental Theatre (BET) a.k.a. The Riant Theatre, was founded in 1979, as a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization, by Artistic Director, Van Dirk Fisher. BET is a theatre that entertains as well as teaches by nurturing and developing new works by playwrights that encompass the historic and social progression of the Afro-American and the contributions the Afro-American has made in the United States.

Through the years BET has grown to include all nationalities (Asians, Afro-Americans, Hispanics, Anglo-Saxon, etc.) as its main focus, because we believe that by furthering the understanding between the races we can all advance as a people and learn to live in harmony. We celebrate our diversity and take joy in sharing our cultural differences and similarities. To this end BET was founded. We acknowledge that theatre is an important tool that has been used for centuries to help people see themselves in a new light and achieve a new perception of themselves and the world in which they live. The Riant (which means merriment and laughter in French) has grown to become a place where artists (singers, writers, actors, directors, musicians, & visual artists) can come together to collaborate on new works and share ideas.

Every year, The Riant Theatre produces The Strawberry One-Act Festival. Now in its 8th season, The Strawberry Festival, serves as a wonderful showcase for the Riant to discover outstanding artists and provide them with an environment to flourish and develop their craft.


Join us and help us pick the best play of the season!

The Strawberry One-Act Festival, celebrating its 10th Anniversary, will kick off this summer with an Outdoor Strawberry Festival on Sunday, July 24, 2005 from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. at the McCaffrey Playground on 43rd Street between 8th & 9th Avenues. This outdoor event will be free to the public filled with fun for the entire family. The entertainment will feature some of the Best Plays From The Strawberry One-Act Festival and published in our anthology Volume 1 & 2, as well as singers, dancers, musicians, spoken word artists and comics, just to name a few. There will also be theatre games for children ages 7 to 97, a Strawberry Shortcake Eating Contest, A Sack Race, Story Telling, Drawing, Clown Make-Up and much more! There will be vendors from the theatre arts community as well as other businesses. For a Vendor Application click here. For Sponsorship Opportunities click here. To place an ad in the Program Journal click here. To volunteer at the festival click here.

For a listing of scheduled events and performers in the Outdoor Festival click here.

The Strawberry One-Act Festival embarks on its 10th season this summer . . . the Strawberry Festival, the brainchild of Artistic Director, Van Dirk Fisher, is a play competition in which the audience and the theatre's judges cast their votes to select the best play of the season. Twice a year, hundreds of plays from across the country are submitted for the competition, of which 40 are chosen to compete. Plays move from the 1st round to the semi-finals and then the finals. The playwright of the winning play receives a grant and the opportunity to have a full-length play developed by the Riant.

The Strawberry Festival is a wonderful opportunity for the audience and the industry alike to see some of the best talent in the nation. Every performance features four dynamic one-act plays. There's always a lot of buzz surrounding each performance as artists converge and network on future projects. Several of the playwrights whose plays are featured in the festival have written for the literary world as well as television and film. "We are very fortunate to be able to fulfill our mission, which is to discover and develop talent and playwrights for the stage," says Mr. Fisher. "We are very proud of this accomplishment, but the work doesn't stop there. Competition aside, everyone's a winner in the festival, because several actors, directors and playwrights are chosen to work on future projects at the Riant."

Now available in bookstores nationwide: The Best Plays From The Strawberry One-Act Festival: Volume One. Compiled by Van Dirk Fisher. This anthology features 11 plays from The Strawberry Festival in the summer of 2003 and winter 2004. For further informaiton click here.

Click here for tickets online

To participate in the competition click here to get an application.

We are happy to announce the Teen Strawberry One-Act Festival, where students ages 13 - 19 get to compete as well. To participate in the Teen competition click here to get an application.

The Strawberry Dessert & Beverage Recipe Competition.
Deadline June 17, 2005
Cash Prize: $500.

The Riant Theatre is holding a Strawberry Dessert & Beverage Recipe Competition in co-junction with The Strawberry Festival Summer 2005. Some recipes will be chosen for publication by The Riant Theatre's Strawberry Festival in New York City and 15 of the best recipes will be chosen as semi-finalists in which the entrants will be invited to make their desserts or beverages at the Strawberry Festival on Sunday, July 24, 2005 in New York City. Our judges will select 5 recipes as finalist and they will be invited to make their desserts or beverages for our Final Awards & Presentation of the Strawberry One-Act Festival on Sunday, August 28, 2005 at the Leonard Thalia Theatre at Symphony Space, located at 2537 Broadway at 95th St. The winner of the Strawberry Dessert & Beverage Competition will receive a $500.00 cash reward. To enter our competition please click here to fill out an application online. You may also submit photos of your dessert or beverage (optional). Please note that all applications must be done online. We will not accept applications by email or fax.


August 5 thru August 28
At The Producers Club II Theatre, 616 Ninth Avenue, NYC (Between 43rd & 44th St.
August 28th at The Leonard Thalia Theatre at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th St.

Posted by Barry Popik
Holidays/Events/Parades • (0) Comments • Tuesday, August 09, 2005 • Permalink