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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 Contact: Steve Deitsch
Steve@re-verberate.com

212-727-0790

GAYFEST NYC LAUNCHES NEW THEATRE FESTIVAL
Proceeds to Fund Scholarships for Harvey Milk High School Students

 

New York, NY (Feb. 13, 2007) –  GAYFEST NYC, a Festival of new plays and musicals, will be presented at the TBG Arts Center, 312 West 36th Street, New York City, May 9 – June 2, 2007. The month-long theatre festival, produced by Bruce Robert Harris and Jack W. Batman, is the country’s premier festival of new works by LGBT authors or that spotlights gay-friendly subject matter.  GAYFEST NYC is the only theatre festival founded and produced by the LGBT community, for the education and entertainment of the LGBT community, and benefiting the next generation of LGBT Americans. 

GAYFEST NYC’s reach has extended past national borders and into the international theatre community.  This year's offerings were selected by an impartial panel from over 175 plays and musicals submitted by playwrights based around the world.  

Highlights of the not-for-profit Festival include three fully-produced Actors' Equity Association Main Stage productions (two plays and a musical), a Reading Series of three additional new works, talk-backs with the authors of the Festival plays, appearances by celebrated members of the LGBT community plus other exciting events.  Board members of GAYFEST NYC include Terrance McNally, Kate Clinton, Charles Busch, Mario Cantone and a distinguished group of Broadway producers, actors, writers, artistic and executive directors of regional theatres plus other entertainment professionals.
The Festival is dedicated to the memory of friend and GAYFEST NYC board member, Patrick Quinn, the President and Executive Director of Actors’ Equity Association, who died unexpectedly last fall.
Casting will be announced in mid-March. 

  1. This year’s featured plays are:

On the Main Stage:

REVOLUTION by Michael D. Jackson (World Premiere) – May 9-14 - In docudrama form, REVOLUTION depicts the events leading up to the gay liberation movement ignited by the Stonewall Riots in June of 1969.  The play shows the resistance from the gay community towards prejudice and unjust laws and the growing courage to fight back for equal rights.  Through the use of historic newsreel footage provided by the Stonewall Foundation and other organizations, Mr. Jackson offers his fictional account of a young college student's experiences in New York City and what it was like to be openly gay in the late 1960s. 

COMPETING NARRATIVES by A.B. Asher (World Premiere) – May 17-21 - The compelling story of three lives re-examined.  A reclusive straight-appearing former gay activist and his exuberantly gay life partner are visited one day by an African-American journalist who appears white and who is harboring a long-held secret he is finally determined to reveal.  The lives of these three men collide and they are challenged to question their own and each other’s beliefs about race, sexuality and identity.

A KISS FROM ALEXANDER, book and lyrics by Stephan DeGhelder, music by Brad Simmons (New York Premiere) --  May 24 – June 2 – It’s in the East Village of NYC where attractive director Nick Matthews is staging “Alexander Was Great!” an over-the-top gay musical that portrays the ancient Macedonian world conquerer as a royal party animal.  Alexander himself – now a diety – is restored to mortal life as a beautiful and gifted actor and sent to Earth to foil Nick’s blasphemous show.  Alexander almost succeeds until he discovers that Nick is the reincarnation of his great love, thereby sending what was a campy, backstage musical into a romantic tailspin as immortal love blazes anew. (This production will be co-produced with Dennis Grimaldi Productions.)

Reading Series plays to be announced.

“GAYFEST NYC’s mission is to develop new voices for the LGBT community and expand the reach and accessibility of both emerging and established playwrights, composers and lyricists, while providing high level entertainment to a very discerning and supportive audience,” said Jack W. Batman, co-Producer of the festival.  “At the same time, we are committed to giving back to the LGBT community, through our fundraising efforts and the generosity of our sponsors, advertisers and supporters.  To that end, we have recently established a scholarship fund which will benefit students of Harvey Milk High School,” continued Batman.  Harvey Milk High School (HMHS) is a fully-accredited, voluntary NYC public high school focused on the educational needs of teenagers who are in crisis or at risk of physical violence and/or emotional harm in a traditional educational environment. 95% of HMHS students graduate (well above the NYC average) and over 60% go on to higher education.

“GAYFEST NYC is also committed to producing plays that will have a life outside the Festival,” said Bruce Robert Harris, co-Producer of GAYFEST NYC, “plays that will carry the Festival imprimatur in productions around the English-speaking world and which might also be brought to life in television and/or film presentations. The Festival will be constructed to present a balanced program that will give audiences a comprehensive educational and entertainment experience.”

GAYFEST NYC promises to be a landmark event. Already aboard as sponsors are HSBC Bank, Bud Light, RockStar energy drink, Coughlin Insurance, DG Neary Real Estate, Jamie deRoy, Sutter Home Vineyards, Theatermania.com and media sponsors including Where New York, IN New York magazine, Back Stage, HX, The New York Blade, Next magazine, MetroSource, and many others.

The producers are hosting a cocktail party on Friday, April 13, 2007 as a kick-off for the Festival and as a fund-raiser for scholarships for The Harvey Milk High School.  The event, which is expected to draw celebrities from Broadway, film and the LGBT community, will feature a presentation of short excerpts from a few of the Festival offerings.  For details, please call 212-868-5570.

Festival tickets go on sale immediately, and individual tickets go on sale March 1, 2007 and will be available at www.Theatermania.com or by calling 212-351-3101. For more information please log onto www.GAYFESTNYC.com.