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

Police seek man accidentally released a year early…

Cops are keeping an eye out for a Bronx man who was reportedly let out of Rikers Island a year before his released date.

National

Pioneers for domestic violence push on

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. Two decades have passed since the O.J. Simpson trial captivated the country. But in the 20 years…

Local

Newest java joint in bastion of hipness is…

Little may represent the change the neighborhood is undergoing right now like the arrival of the first Starbucks. The chain which is ubiquitous in Manhattan, opened a Williamsburg store at…

National

Black and white are the new orange at…

By Brendan O'Brien(Reuters) - Black and white are the new orange in a Michigan county where the sheriff has made a wardrobe change for jail…

Music

Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks more accessible than Animal…

Believe it or not, Avey Tare — the man in the mustachioed mask pictured here in the pool of blood — may have made the poppiest music of his career.

Entertainment

‘The Leftovers’ recap: Season 1, Episode 4, ‘B.J.…

Last week’s episode of “The Leftovers” was apparently a fluke, because this week’s episode returns to focusing on the Garveys and it is so boring.…

Movies

Interview: Luc Besson says 'Lucy' is very different…

Filmmaker Luc Besson talks about his new film "Lucy," how it's different than "Limitless" and his crazy first conversation with Egyptian actor Amr Waked.

Music

Weezer releases first new song since 2010

Weezer releases "Back to the Shack," their first new song in almost six years.

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

MLB

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according…

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according to report

NFL

Giants lineman Chris Snee to retire: Reports

The Giants report to training camp on Tuesday, but Chris Snee may not be there when they do.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony talks about his charity work in…

As he is used to doing every year, NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony is going to visit Puerto Rico to do work for his foundation.

Tech

RocketSkates let users roll with a motor

Los Angeles company Acton has raised funds on Kickstarter to roll out a nifty alternative – motor-powered "RocketSkates."

Tech

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony becomes a tech entrepreneur

He's been an All-Star, an Olympian, and a celebrity spokesperson. Now NBA player Carmelo Anthony is adding the position "tech entrepreneur" to his resume. Along…

Tech

Ulises 1 is the world's first singing satellite

A group of artists and engineers in Mexico have unveiled Ulises 1, the world's first opera-singing satellite.

Home

Wallscape on a budget

Skip the wallpaper and ombre an accent wall instead.