jakub | April 29, 2024

AMERICAN THEATRE | Voyage Theater Company ‘Say Gay Plays’ Event to Benefit Homeless LGBT Youth

Playwrights Fernanda Coppel, Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, Ty Defoe, Marquis D. Gibson, Nina Ki, Derick Edgren Otero, Harrison David Rivers, J. Harvey Stone, Lucy Thurber, Doug Wright.

NEW YORK CITY: Voyage Theater Company will present SAY GAY PLAYS, an evening of queer theatre to benefit New Alternatives For Homeless LGBT Youth on Monday, May 13 at 7 p.m. at the NYU Skirball Center. The event will be hosted by Peppermint (Head Over Heels, The Traitors) with special guest appearances by Yuhua Hamasaki (RuPaul’s Drag Race), Murray Hill (Somebody Somewhere), and Jeff Hiller (American Horror Story: NYC). After the staged readings, the SAY GAY PLAYS will be made available royalty-free to nonprofit theatres, colleges and universities, and community organizations across the nation for use to present their own fundraising events on behalf of LGBTQ+ organizations in their communities. The evening will also feature the presentation of the Say Gay Plays New Voices Awards to two finalists from the Kennedy Center’s Michael Kanin Playwriting Awards program.

SAY GAY PLAYS was conceived by Voyage Theater Company in association with Tectonic Theater Project, Miami New Drama, and Provincetown Theater, in response to the 2022 passage of the Parental Rights in Education bill in Florida, commonly known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. In 2023, more than 520 state bills attacking LGBTQ+ rights were introduced, with more than 75 becoming law. The Human Rights Campaign officially declared a state of emergency for LGBTQ+ people in the United States for the first time in history. And it’s getting worse. According to the ACLU, in 2024 alone, more than 300 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced in 35 state legislatures around the country. SAY GAY PLAYS is about sharing queer stories of courage, triumph, and joy to counter the harmful narratives used as justification for the passage of these discriminatory bills.

The event aims to raise awareness for LGBTQ+ equality during this election year and offer financial support to potentially hundreds of nonprofit organizations across the country. The project’s website, SayGayPlays.org, will serve as a hub for applicants and participants, while tracking the project’s impact nationwide. Find out more about the playwrights here and purchase tickets for the event here.

The list of plays includes:

  • The Greenhouse by J. Harvey Stone, directed by Joseph Megel, about a group of gay undergraduate men who meet clandestinely each week at a campus greenhouse in the early 1970s.
  • Principal’s Office by Fernanda Coppel, directed by Lisa Rothe, about a lesbian Latinx mom confronting another parent’s bigotry at her child’s school.
  • Swann Song by Marquis D. Gibson, directed by Raz Golden, in which an undergrad performs his senior thesis in homage to William Dorsey Swann, history’s first self-proclaimed drag queen.
  • Happy Endings For People Like Us by Nina Ki, directed by Dennis Yueh-Yeh Li, about a young woman leaving home for college, leading her queer non-binary sibling to feel abandoned and vulnerable.
  • Two-Spirit F(l)ag by Ty Defoe, directed by Jayna Shoda Meyer, in which a two-spirit, Indigiqueer/trans student seeks counsel and connection from their elder in preparation for the Chicago State University Liberation Pow Wow.
  • i love the s**t out of you by Harrison David Rivers, directed by Tyrone Mitchell Henderson, about a young gay man who gets dumped via Post-it.
  • Diet Pride by Derick Edgren Otero, directed by Matthew Pezzulich, in which a marketing executive at a soft drink company reveal her true colors during Pride month.
  • question (ˈkwɛs.tʃən) vb., the imperative form by Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, directed by Lisa Rothe, described as “a choral meditation on gender, language, and our shared humanity.”
  • Late Night Drink by Lucy Thurber, directed by Jenna Worsham, about a woman who rides her rebuilt Triumph Bonneville 1959 T120 motorcycle from New Hampshire to seek solace and safety in an NYC lesbian bar.
  • An Address to the Florida Legislature by Doug Wright, directed by Raz Golden, in which an outspoken conservative offers some pragmatic suggestions for strengthening Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bills.

Voyage Theater Company is an Off-Off-Broadway performing arts organization that seeks to present new and unheralded plays by playwrights from around the world, creating opportunities for collaboration between theatremakers of diverse cultures and disciplines.

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