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
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…