The second annual GAYFEST NYC, the country’s premier festival of new gay-themed plays, will be presented May 14–June 15 at the TBG Arts Center. The event features professional Off-Broadway productions of new works by LGBT authors or those spotlighting gay issues. Five fully-staged, professional productions featuring Actors’ Equity Association casts, talk-backs with the authors of the Festival plays, appearances by celebrated members of the LGBT community and other events are on the bill. Don’t miss Brian Dykstra’s Spill the Wine, the compelling story of a woman forced to confront her own identity after her husband is diagnosed with a fatal disease.
Catherine Trieschmann’s coming-out comedy crooked, directed by Liz Diamond, sets up house in the Women’s Project Theater through May. The play centers on a 14-year-old’s warped and wry storytelling that forces the people around her to grapple with matters of faith, fantasy and flesh. Cristin Milioti stars as Laney, an aspiring writer with an imagination as off-kilter as her awkward adolescence. Carmen M. Herlihy plays her earnest but hapless born-again friend Maribel, and Betsy Aidem plays Laney’s mother—both of whom experience Laney’s penchant for storytelling as it spirals out of control.
Queer director Jessica Ryan and her feminist production company FemmeBotProductions present Retrograde, throughout various dates in May at The Red Room and Under St. Mark’s. Inspired by the popular phrase “Mercury in retrograde,” the members of ALL BALLS OUT Ensemble set out to interpret this astronomical phenomenon with human interaction on the stage. Retrograde depicts the contemporary culture of 20-somethings and their struggle for self-definition in terms of lifestyle, class and sexuality—all of which are still so hard to pinpoint within the seemingly liberal barriers that contain modern New York society.