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New Play ‘Under Woodside’ Celebrating Everyday Life in Queens to Premiere Next Week

Rehearsal of ‘Under Woodside’ (Courtesy of Juliann Lavallee)

July 20, 2021 By Allie Griffin

A new play celebrating everyday life in Queens will premiere in Sunnyside next week.

“Under Woodside” will be performed live at Sunnyside Gardens Park on Friday, July 30 for the first time— followed by more showings throughout the city in August.

Playwright and Sunnyside resident Juliann Lavallee crafted “Under Woodside” about a single day in the lives of people who live on a few city blocks in Sunnyside and Woodside.

Lavallee, who has lived in both Sunnyside and Woodside for a combined 13 years, drew inspiration from Dylan Thomas’ 1954 work “Under Milk Wood” — but put a contemporary twist on the play by centering it in Queens.

“Dylan Thomas’ ‘Under Milk Wood’ marinated in my mind for over a decade and when the pandemic hit, and I could no longer leave my apartment, memories of my neighborhood bubbled,” Lavallee said.

“Thomas’ style became a framework to describe my city: the way the air chills at night, the sound of dishes clattering in restaurants, how other people walk and move on their way to work.”

The play, directed by Bryna Kearney, is also a celebration of the return of the liveliness of the city after the long difficult pandemic.

“‘Under Woodside’ became my pandemic baby, a way to be in the world I missed so much, inaccessible though it was outside my door,” Lavalle said. “I attempt to capture the beauty of the efforts, little and large, people put into living.”

The first performance of ‘Under Woodside’ will be on July 30 at 7 p.m. in Sunnyside Gardens Park.

Future showings are listed below.

August 6 at 7 p.m. in Hunters Point South Park (at the kayak launch across from 2nd Street and 56th Avenue)

August 7 at 6:30 p.m. in Central Park at the Summit Rock (enter the park at W. 81st Street)

August 12 at 7 p.m. in Astoria Park on the North Lawn (at the intersection of Shore Boulevard and Ditmars Boulevard)

August 13 at 6:30 p.m. in McCarren Park on the Bedford Lawn (at the intersection of Bedford Avenue and Lorimer Street)

August 14 at 7 p.m. in Doughboy Park in Woodside

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9 Comments

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ABoondy

what park? the only real parks i know of are the cemeteries. ohhh, the photo was taken in central park next to billionaires row. got it.

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Everyday Woodside/Under Woodside

Act one: bike lanes.

Act two:. Drag queen story hour.

Act three: loaves of bread.

Act four: drag racing.

Act five: random shootings.

Act six: hate crimes of water and racial slurs (apparently)

Act seven:. La quinta inn sex traffic.

There’s more but this is only a play, not Dallas with Larry Hagman.

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Mixie

If that picture is the cast and this play is supposed to represent life in Queens it sure skews white…

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Nari

Woodside and Sunnyside have long standing Irish communities, maybe it explores that? Do you have a problem with white people?

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Mac

Mixie – You’re way too sensitive. Did you the same thing about the TV Show called Sunnyside?

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Mixie

Relax, folks. “Race baiting.” Get over yourself. Of course I don’t have a problem with white people. But if someone’s claiming “to celebrate everyday life in Queens,” this play isn’t really doing that. Maybe that’s the fault of the author of the article rather than the play.

Woodside doesn’t skew white. Have a look here: https://censusreporter.org/profiles/79500US3604109-nyc-queens-community-district-2-sunnyside-woodside-puma-ny/

1) 37% of Woodside/Sunnyside is Asian.
2) 29% is Hispanic.
3) 28% is White.

Maybe the play’s good. I hope it succeeds. But it’s not really representing Queens if it’s all white folks.

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