BOSTON: The Theater Offensive has announced its first OUT’hood FEST, created to amplify the voices and works of local LGBTQ artists of color. The festival will take place Oct. 25-31 at Hibernian Hall.
Resident artists performing in the inaugural festival will include Venus, Eddie Maisonet, Laury Gutierrez, Elizabeth James, and Billy Dean Thomas.
“It’s incredibly exciting!” said TTO executive artistic director Abe Rybeck in a statement. “For years we’ve talked about creating a residency program that supports the work of up-and-coming local LGBTQ artists, as there are very few paid opportunities for artists, especially artists of color, in Boston. We’re incredibly honored to be able to have this opportunity to present fresh, local, diverse, queer new works.”
The festival will start with Speculum (Oct. 25 and 26) by Black Venus, which explores black queer identity through the context of color and visual theory.
Next up will be Divine Sisters (Oct. 27), by Laury Gutierrez, about two women from the 17th century: Catalina de Erauso, raised in a Spanish convent who wore men’s and lived life as a soldier, and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, a Mexican nun and poet who became the first feminist voice of Latin America. The show will also feature music composed by other women throughout the centuries, including Hildegard von Bingen, Diana Arismendi, Diana V. Sáez, and Señora Anonymous.
Following will be Uncommon Ties (Oct. 28 and 29) by Elizabeth James, about a young mother in Boston grappling with her identity as a black lesbian in the 1980s.
Next will be Eddie Maisonet’s The Boston QTPOC Mixtape Project (Oct. 30), a collaborative storytelling project about the gentrification in Boston’s neighborhoods.
The festival will conclude with Billy Dean Thomas’s Rocky Barboa (Oct. 31), a 10-track hip-hop concept album that tells the story of a boxing match from the moments before entering the ring to the end of the final match.
The Theater Offensive, founded in 1989, presents shows and interactive workshops by, for, and about the LGBTQ community in Boston.