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Stars come out for Breaking the Binary Theatre Festival

Seven evenings of new work created by TNB2S+ artists for TNB2S+ artists at 3 Dollar Bill and The Public, New York City include work by L Morgan Lee and performances featuring trailblazing artists Indya Moore, Murray Hill and many more!

Breaking the Binary Theatre (George Strus (they/them); Founding Artistic Director) has announced the initial cast members for the second annual Breaking the Binary Theatre Festival, featuring seven evenings of work fully created and developed by transgender, non-binary, and Two-Spirit+ (TNB2S+) theatre artists.

All tickets to Breaking the Binary Theatre Festival are complimentary and will be available now. To reserve tickets, please visit www.btb-nyc.com/23festival

The Festival will officially launch with PARADISE: An Interdisciplinary Revue on Monday October 23 at 3 Dollar Bill (260 Meserole St., Brooklyn, NY 11206), and continue its run with six new theatrical works in the Shiva Theater at The Public (425 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10003) from Tuesday October 24 through Sunday October 29, 2023.

The current 2023 Breaking the Binary Theatre Festival lineup includes:

PARADISE: An Interdisciplinary Revue

Co-conceived by Noax (they/them) & George Strus (they/them)

Monday October 23 at 7:30 PM, 3 Dollar Bill

Noax

PARADISE is Breaking the Binary Theatre’s first-ever interdisciplinary revue. Co-conceived by Noax (they/them) and BTB Founding Artistic Director George Strus (they/them), the special opening performance will showcase the talents of twelve stellar TNB2S+ artists of various disciplines: vocalists, drag artists, comedians, and more! All participants will be announced in October.

The cast of PARADISE will include Be Steadwell (they/she/he/be, Dear Ex: The Musical), Bobby Pocket Horner (they/he, &Juliet), Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi (she/her, Black Trans Women at the Center), Enest Allen (they/them, Double Feature), Joey Antonio (siya/any, Mr. Holland’s Opus), justine lee hooper (they/she, Heavenly Bodies), Las MariquitasMariyea (On Sugarland), Murray Hill (he/him/showbiz, “Somebody Somewhere”), Noax (they/them), Qween Jean (she/her, Primary Trust), and Sara Ramírez (they/them, “Grey’s Anatomy”).

Moon Bear

By Nina Ki (xe/she/they)

Directed by cara hinh (they/she)

Tuesday October 24 at 7:30 PM, In The Shiva Theater at The Public

Silver and Richie are siblings without parents. As the two grow up, they cling to one another as each other’s family, and help one another navigate their positions as social outsiders – Silver as a genderqueer weirdo, and Richie as a drug dealing gangbanger. In a parallel world, Bear is ousted from his tribe and through a gesture of filial piety, is turned by Hwanung, a gay Korean god, into a human woman. S/he is then coerced into being Hwanung’s pregnant beard and has Hwanung’s child. As family bonds begin to disintegrate, and the god-world begins to crumble, Silver and Bear must redefine home for themselves, to find power through the magic of stories.

The cast of Moon Bear will include Anna Stacy (they/them, Gumiho), Ashil Lee (pronoun inclusive, they/he/she, The Nosebleed), Clew (they/them, american (tele)visions), Futaba Shioda (he/him/his, 39 Steps), Jojo Brown (she/her, “Single Drunk Female”), Si Chen (she/they/她, “She-Hulk”), and Wesley Han (they/them, “Power Book II: Ghost”).

Wesley Han

PLAY MAID

Written and performed by Jesús I. Valles (they/them)

Directed by Lilliana Padilla (they/them)

Wednesday October 25 at 7:30 PM, In The Shiva Theater at The Public

PLAY MAID is a spell, a pre-emptive mourning ritual for my mother, who will be taken from me too soon by the labor she’s performed in the service of all the women she cleaned for, all the babies she was paid to raise. This play is a eulogy for Lupe Ontiveros, legendary for playing over 150 maids in her acting career. This play is me obsessing over my strange desire to become my mother, whose love has absolutely devastated me. This is my obsession with ending this place and the labor that is killing her. Structured as a series of monologues that interrogate the role of the maid as a sociological, theatrical, and pop culture figure, PLAY MAID is a confrontation with this house that never ends.

PLAY MAID is written and performed by Jesús I. Valles (they/them, Bathhouse.pptx) and directed by Lilliana Padilla (they/them, How to Defend Yourself).

 Jesús I. Valles

‘Tia Pray a Sound

By a.k. payne

Co-directed by abigail jean-baptiste (all pronouns) and Jaz Hall (they/them)

Thursday October 26 at 7:30 PM, In The Shiva Theater at The Public

sound and her mama, kendra, have lost a lot of memories. they gather on kendra’s back porch to try to put things back together. along the way, clowning elephants try to help sound along the journey and patriarchal shadows try to steal their dreams. can this Black mother and child witness one another by the end?

The cast of ‘Tia Pray a Sound will include a.k. payne (love i awethu further), Alicia Pilgrim (she/they, “A Thousand and One”), Cristina Pitter (they/she, love i awethu further), Maleek Rae (they/them, “Law & Order: Organized Crime”), and N’yomi Stewart (she/her, A Raisin in the Sun).

YOUR MAXIMUM POTENTIAL

By travis tate (they/them)

Directed by Dominique Rider

Friday October 27 at 7:30 PM, In The Shiva Theater at The Public

A gaggle of gay men are all out on their own journeys to enlightenment. In many different ways. Which leads them to lifestyle meetings led by the illustrious, social media queen, Uriel. Max wants happiness. Shail and Darren want a baby. Lucas wants a boyfriend. Well, maybe? The line between the internet and reality begins to blur as the group find their ways, by any means necessary, to their most desired wishes. YOUR MAXIMUM POTENTIAL is a play about what happens when the ambitious pursuit of desires becomes the only way to survive.

The cast of YOUR MAXIMUM POTENTIAL will include Arewá Basit (they/she), b (they/them/b, WORK HARD HAVE FUN MAKE HISTORY), Omari K. Chancellor (amani), Lío Mehiel (they/them, “Mutt”), and Reed Northrup (he/him, Auntie Vanya).

Fight Call

By Sarah Mantell (they/them)

Directed by Mei Ann Teo (they/them)

Saturday October 28 at 7:30 PM, In The Shiva Theater at The Public

How many ingenues can Emma play before she just completely loses it? Fight Call is a time-bending story told through the fight calls for all of Shakespeare’s onstage female death scenes. 

The cast of Fight Call will include Diana Oh “Zada D” (they/them, “The Pox Show”), Jonny Beauchamp (“The Way Out”), Marquise Vilsón (Charm), Pooya Mohseni (she/her, English), Sagan Chen (they/he, WORK HARD HAVE FUN MAKE HISTORY), and Susannah Perkins (The Good John Proctor).

L Morgan Lee

BLISS: A Collection of Commissioned Scenes and Monologues

Co-conceived by L Morgan Lee (she/her) & George Strus (they/them)

By Dante Green (they/he/she), Dena Igusti, Esperanza Rosales BalcárcelHaruna Lee (they/them), Kit Yan (they/he/she), L Morgan Lee (she/her), Nazareth HassanNoax (they/them), Preston Max Allen (he/him), R. Réal Vargas Alanis (they+), Rob Madge (they/them), and Shualee Cook (she/her)

Sunday October 29 at 7:30 PM, In The Shiva Theater at The Public

Following last year’s presentation of OVERHEARD: Fifteen Commissioned Monologues Written BY TNB2S+ Artists FOR TNB2S+ Artists, BTB Core Community member L Morgan Lee and Founding Artistic Director George Strus are partnering with Broadway Licensing once again to create BLISS: A Collection of Commissioned Scenes and Monologues. The twelve commissioned works will be crafted together and brought to life by a cast of five TNB2S+ performers to close the 2023 Breaking the Binary Theatre Festival. The works will then be published and licensed by Broadway Licensing in 2024.

The cast of BLISS: A Collection of Commissioned Scenes and Monologues will include Indya Moore (she/her, “Pose”), Kyr Siegel (he/him, Hamlet), River Gallo (they/them, “Every Body”), Sara Ramírez (they/them) and Tẹmídayọ Amay (they/he, black odyssey).

Additionally, following last year’s presentation, OVERHEARD: Fifteen Commissioned Monologues Written BY TNB2S+ Artists FOR TNB2S+ Artists, is now available for purchase and licensing via Broadway Licensing, with profit proceeds being donated back to Breaking the Binary Theatre.

For further details on the Breaking the Binary Festival please visit www.btb-nyc.com/23festival.

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