Legislators join LGBT homeless youth in theater performance

The teens who will be performing, from left to right, back row: Moon, Kahlil; middle row: Rachel, Akaila, Aumma, Eliezer, Gregory, Jada; front row: India, Larissa, James, Troy, Alexis. Credit: Theatre of the Oppressed.
The teens who will be performing, from left to right, back row: Moon, Kahlil; middle row: Rachel, Akaila, Aumma, Eliezer, Gregory, Jada; front row: India, Larissa, James, Troy, Alexis. Credit: Theatre of the Oppressed.

After a series of anti-gay attacks in Manhattan, city and state legislators are joining homeless gay youth in an interactive theater performance based on the real-life experiences of the teens involved.

The “legislative performance” is part of a theater festival presented by Theatre of the Oppressed NYC that will take place this Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19, at the Church of St. Luke in the Field in Greenwich Village. The legislators’ performance will be on Saturday at 2 p.m.

City Councilmembers Daniel Dromm, Jimmy Van Bramer and Rosie Mendez, City Council Candidate Corey Johnson and New York State Senator Brad Hoylman will join three homeless LGBTQ teen acting ensembles from three local shelters geared at LGBTQ youth: The Ali Forney Center, The Door, and the Hetrick-Martin Institute.

The teens will also be joined on stage by a U.S. Housing and Urban Development policy analyst, Homeless Coordinator Samuel Miller and Department of Justice Regional Director Reinaldo Rivera. 

The plays will deal with the issues that the homeless LGBTQ teens face. Katy Rubin, the 27-year-old founder of both the festival and Theatre of the Opressed NYC, said that one of the main topics is the shortage of shelter beds that are safe for LGBTQ youth and being victims of hate crimes in non-LGBTQ shelters for youth.

There are only 80 bed available in LGBTQ-friendly shelters in New York City, for an estimated 1,800 homeless gay teens.

Some of the teens rehearsing. Clockwise from top: Sophie Nimmannit, TONYC Joker, Member of Door Troupe, Kendall (floor). Credit: Theatre of the Oppressed.
Some of the teens rehearsing. Clockwise from top: Sophie Nimmannit, TONYC Joker, Member of Door Troupe, Kendall (floor). Credit: Theatre of the Oppressed.

The performances in the festival are interactive: the teens act out a scene and then invite the audience onstage to improv, act out, and brainstorm solutions to the issues portrayed in the scene. At the performance involving legislators, the audience’s ideas will be shaped into policy proposals by the legislators, and the audience will vote on the proposals.

In a similar festival in Brazil, this kind of Legislative Theatre has led to policy changes in education, prison rights, and civil rights, Rubin said.

The performance, as well as all other performances and panel discussions in the festival, are free of charge and open to the public.

“We really want everybody’s voice to be part of the dialogue,” Rubin said.

 

Legislative Theatre Performance

Saturday, May 18 at 2 p.m.

The Church of St. Luke in the Fields

487 Hudson Street

 

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.