The 22nd annual edition of the festival will take place October 4 to 10.
Amy Schumer, Stanley Tucci, Aimee Mann and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl are among the confirmed participants, with more to be announced over the coming days. There will also be a preview screening of Stephen Karam’s The Humans, a film adaptation of his Tony Award-winning play, as well as an event focused on HBO limited series Scenes from a Marriage.
The festival has attained a notable profile on the fall cultural calendar over the past two decades, offering the Condé Nast-owned magazine new revenue opportunities. Prior to the pandemic, dozens of festival events would typically unfold simultaneously at multiple indoor venues across the city, among them Town Hall, the Society for Ethical Culture and 59E59 Theatres. Streaming was a rarity, with audiences generally required to buy tickets and attend in person.
In an interview with Deadline, New Yorker editor David Remnick said organizers had hoped for a full return to in-person events after a largely virtual 2020. “If you had asked me two months ago, we would have discussed this a different way, but the Delta variant is very much in the air,” he said. “I want our audiences to feel safe and enjoy themselves.”
New York’s upcoming roster of events reflects a blend of approaches, as the city has begun to try to resume a fuller slate of activities with vaccination rates climbing. According to recent data, 72% of adults in New York City are fully vaccinated and the city mandated vaccines for indoor activities earlier this summer. Broadway is in the process of reopening, and the New York Film Festival is set for an in-person return, along with fixtures like the Metropolitan Opera.
Remnick remains upbeat about the makeup of this year’s event. “We’ll have a terrific festival one way or another,” he said. The virtual format enlarges the scope, with last year’s fest drew ticket buyers from all 50 U.S. states and more than 50 countries.
Virtual sessions this year will feature Tucci; model and writer Emily Ratajkowski; comedian and actor Amy Schumer; primatologist and activist Jane Goodall; and writers Jonathan Franzen, Tara Westover, Rachel Cusk and Patricia Lockwood.
Several themed panel discussions are also scheduled to stream. One will feature contributors to the New Yorker anthology The Matter of Black Lives, among them Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, and Jamaica Kincaid.
Other panels will include “Politics and the Novel,” about fiction inspired by fact, featuring the writers Yiyun Li,Valeria Luiselli, and Viet Thanh Nguyen. “Globalism’s Legacy” will feature economist and Nobel laureate Esther Duflo, physician and New Yorker writer Siddhartha Mukherjee, and foreign-policy expert Anne-Marie Slaughter. “Very Funny Ladies,” about the history of women cartoonists at The New Yorker, will feature Roz Chast, Liza Donnelly, Liana Finck, and Amy Hwang.
As is the event’s custom, sessions will be moderated by New Yorker staffers and contributors.
At the Skyline Drive-In, Grohl and Mann are slated to both talk and perform. After the screening of The Humans, Karam and cast members Beanie Feldstein, Jayne Houdyshell and Richard Jenkins will take part in a conversation.
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