Criminal Queerness Festival Will Bring Three Impactful Plays to PAC NYC This Month 

06/14/2024
Criminal Queerness Festival Will Bring Three Impactful Plays to PAC NYC This Month 

In honor of Pride Month, the National Queer Theatre will host its annual Criminal Queerness Festival at PAC NYC (251 Fulton St.). The festival highlights queer and trans artists from around the world who risk censorship, imprisonment and violence for simply sharing their truth. This year’s festival will include three productions, happening from June 21 to June 29. 

The first is “She He Me,” written by Raphaël Amahl Khouri and directed by Dmitri Barcomi. Billed as “the first Arab transgender play,” this performance tells the true stories of three Arab people who challenge gender norms, including a woman expelled from her homeland because of her LGBTQIA+ activism. Performances will take place June 21 at 8 p.m., June 22 at 2 p.m. and June 23 at 8 p.m. Following the June 23 performance, there will be a post-show discussion with members of the cast and company. The June 22 performance will also have audio descriptions and open captions for accessibility. Tickets for all performances are pay-what-you-wish, ranging from $24 to $129, and can be purchased here.

“The Survival,” written by Achiro P. Olwoch and directed by Nadia Guevara, takes place in modern Uganda. It follows three characters: Achan, a 27-year-old unmarried woman, Oyat, a handsome man she meets at a bar and John, Oyat’s partner. After meeting Achan, Oyat hopes that she will be a surrogate for him and John, forcing her to confront her traditional ideas and explore what it truly means to create a family. One performance has already sold out, but tickets are still available for performances happening June 22 at 8 p.m., June 23 at 3 p.m., and June 26 at 7 p.m. There will be a post-show discussion after the June 22 performance. The June 23 performance will have audio descriptions and open captions for accessibility. Tickets for the performances are pay-what-you-wish, ranging from $24 to $129, and can be purchased here

Rounding out Criminal Queerness Festival is “Waafrika 123: A Queerly Scripted Tragic Rise to African Fantasia,” written by Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko and directed by é boylan. This play takes place on the eve of Kenya’s first democratic elections and follows Bobby, an American lesbian who falls in love with Awino, a trans man from the Luo tribe. When famine strikes Awino’s village, the villagers blame the queer couple, forcing Awino and Bobby to make some difficult decisions. The play will be performed June 28 at 8 p.m. and June 29 at 2 p.m. The post-show discussion will follow the June 28 performance while the June 29 performance will have accessibility options, including audio descriptions and open captions. Tickets for both shows are pay-what-you-wish, ranging from $24 to $129, and can be purchased here

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