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Ki, Valles, payne, Mantell, and tate.

Breaking the Binary Theatre Festival Lineup Announced

The festival will feature works from multiple transgender, nonbinary, and Two Spirit artists.

NEW YORK CITY: Breaking the Binary Theatre has announced the lineup for the second annual Breaking the Binary Theatre Festival. The festival will run Oct. 23-29.

“We were blown away by the artistry and craft showcased in the works we received,” founding artistic director George Strus said in a statement. “It made the programming process a difficult one, but with many thanks to our literary manager, Bryar Barborka, and our team of over 20 readers, each work was read at least twice before the five core workshop processes making up this year’s festival were selected.”

The festival will begin with PARADISE: An Interdisciplinary Revue (Oct. 23) at Brooklyn’s 3 Dollar Bill. Co-conceived by Strus and Noax, the performance will showcase the talents of 12 transgender, nonbinary, and Two Spirit (TNB2S+) artists, including vocalists, comedians, and drag artists.

Next up will be Nina Ki’s Moon Bear (Oct. 24). The play follows two social outsider siblings without parents, Silver and Richie, and, in a parallel world, Bear, who is ousted by his tribe and turned into a human woman by a gay Korean god. Cara Hinh will direct the performance in the Shiva Theater at the Public Theater.

The festival will continue with Play Maid (Oct. 25) by Jesús I. Valles, also at the Shiva Theater. Play Maid is structured as a series of monologues that interrogate the role of the maid as a sociological, theatrical, and pop culture figure, and is a eulogy for Lupe Ontiveros, who played over 150 maids in her acting career. Lilliana Padilla will direct.

Following will be ‘Tia Pray a Sound (Oct. 26) by a.k. payne, co-directed by abigail jean-baptiste and Jaz Hall. The play follows sound and her mama, kendra, who have lost memories and must try to put things back together with the help of clowning elephants. The performance will be held in the Shiva Theater.

Next up will be travis tate’s YOUR MAXIMUM POTENTIAL (Oct. 27) in the Shiva Theater. The play follows a gaggle of gay men who are all on their own journeys to enlightenment, leading them to lifestyle meetings led by an illustrious social media queen. Dominique Rider will direct.

The festival will continue with Fight Call (Oct. 28) by Sarah Mantell, a time-bending story told through the fight calls for all of Shakespeare’s onstage female death scenes. Mei Ann Teo will direct the performance in the Shiva Theater.

The festival will conclude with BLISS: A Collection of Commissioned Scenes and Monologues on Oct. 29 in the Shiva Theater. Co-conceived by Strus and L Morgan Lee, the collection will feature works from Celeste Yim, Dante Green, Dena Igusti, Esperanza Rosales Balcárcel, Kit Yan, Lee, Nazareth Hassan, Noax, Preston Max Allen, R. Réal Vargas Alanis, Rob Madge, and Shualee Cook. The works will be published and licensed by Broadway Licensing in 2024. Breaking the Binary is hosting a virtual open call through Fri., Sept. 15 for actors interested in performing in BLISS.

Breaking the Binary Theatre is a new work development and community-building hub wherein transgender, nonbinary, and Two Spirit artists come together to reclaim artistic license and liberty. Founded in 2022, the theatre has produced workshops and readings, commissioned works from TNB2S+ artists, hosted community events, and launched a free educational summer intensive for emerging performers.

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