Top Five Theater Festivals

Who Are These Clowns? Why, it's Philadelphia's Pig Iron Theatre, in town for Ice Factory '03.Photo: Jason Frank Rothenberg

1. Ice Factory ’03 The Soho Think Tank’s terrific annual festival opens this week; highlights include a revival of Charles Ludlam’s Conquest of the Universe and something new from David Greenspan. (July 9 through August 16;; 212-966-4844.)

2. Midtown International Theatre Festival Opening next week, the fourth annual series at the Abingdon Theatre features 23 new plays, including a reality-TV satire called American Treacle. (July 14 through August 3;; 212-279-4200.)

3. Urban Theatre Arts Festival Off–Off Broadway comes to Times Square, with a final week devoted to work by Hispanic performers. (July 17 through August 17;; 212-352-3101.)

4. New York International Fringe Festival Debbie Does Dallas and Urinetown originated here; can you spot the next breakout hit? (August 8 through 24;; 212-279-4488.)

5. Howl! Festival of East Village Arts The East Village is already abuzz with anticipation of this first annual festival, particularly since it promises a revival of Wigstock. (August 20 through 26;; 212-505-2225.)

Top Five Theater Festivals