Breaking the Binary Theatre Festival begins October 10, running through October 16 when the festival will conclude with An Evening of Commissioned Monologues directed by A Strange Loop's Tony-nominated L Morgan Lee. Founding Artistic Director George Strus leads the festival at Off-Broadway's Theatre Row.
"Breaking the Binary Theatre Festival centers the voices and stories of artists in the Trans, Non-Binary, and Two-Spirit+ communities by carving out space and providing resources to explore new works, all the while building community and reclaiming our stories and artistic license," said Strus in an earlier statement.
Works presented during the festival include Ty Defore's Trans World, Liliana Padilla's Twitch, Roger Q. Mason's Hide and Hide, Ruth Tang's Work Hard Have Fun Make History, Aziza Barnes' Nana, and Mara Vélez Meléndez's Thelma and Louise and The Time Machine.
The festival will culminate in An Evening of Commissioned Monologues, featuring new monologues by 15 TNB2S+ (a group that includes Trans, Non-Binary, and Two-Spirit–identifying people, along with any artist who does not identify with the male and female binary) writers. Writers contributing monologues include A.A. Brenner, Azure D. Osborne-Lee, Bianca Leigh, Else Went, Isaac Gómez, Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin, Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi, Liqing Xu, Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, Sam Hamashima, Sharifa Yasmin (The Devils Between Us), Sylvan Oswald (Pony), Timothy DuWhite, travis l. tate, and Victor I. Cazares (american (tele)visions). Following the presentation, Broadway Licensing will publish and license the monologues, with all profit proceeds being donated to the festival.
"There is a growing interest in narratives that include or center Trans, Nonbinary, and gender expansive people," says Lee. "What we continue to see, however, is those stories—more often than not—being told through the lens of cis people. We can both celebrate forward motion and also take note that without Trans people in the room helping to build these pieces, there will always be something missing."
The festival's voluntary advisory board Core Community includes Tony nominee Adam Rigg (The Skin of Our Teeth), Jonathan Larson Award-winning writer César Alvarez, New York Stage and Film’s artistic director Chris Burney, David Mendizábal, Guggenheim fellow Jen Silverman, Tony winner John Cameron Mitchell, Tony winner KO, formerly known as Karen Olivo, Jonathan Larson Award-winning poet Kit Yan, MJ Kaufman, Qween Jean, co-director of A.R.T. Risa Shoup, Grammy winner Ty Defoe, and Princeton Arts fellow Will Davis. Lee and Tomás Matos also join the Core Community.
For more information, visit BTB-NYC.com.