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
National

Woman dies when run over by bus at…

A woman at the Burning Man arts and culture festival in the Nevada desert died on Thursday when she was run over by a bus carrying participants.

National

Texas parents sue day care center for duct…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas couple has filed a lawsuit against the owners of a Fort Worth-area day care center seeking $1 million…

National

Santa Fe city council votes to decriminalize marijuana

By Joseph KolbALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the…

International

Egypt queries Mursi over documents "leaked" to Al…

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is investigating jailed ex-president Mohamed Mursi in connection with documents that judicial investigators say were leaked to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…