Off-Broadway Theater: 2023 QUEERLY FESTIVAL (UNDER St. Marks & The Kraine Theater)

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by Tony Frankel on May 8, 2023

in Theater-New York


From June 15-July 3, 2023, the 9th annual Queerly Festival hits The Kraine Theater (85 E 4th St) and UNDER St. Marks (94 St Marks Pl), Most performances will also be available to livestream from home. Tickets ($25 in-person; $20 streaming) are available for advance purchase at Frigid.

Founded in 2014, Queerly is FRIGID New York’s annual celebration of queer artists. Queerly strives for diversity on and off stage, seeking out queer teams and artists of all kinds as well as a wide range of shows and performances. The goal is to provide a space for queer artists who’ve rarely or never seen their identities portrayed on stage to be able to represent themselves and tell their stories their way, as well as to provide a space for queer celebration, pride, and strength.

Two Foreskins Walk into a Bar
Written by Chris Thompson

With his 10-year relationship at an end and his career going down the toilet, loser British playwright Chris Thompson heads to New York City where he embarks on a journey of sexual liberation and self discovery. But as he searches for connection, he faces up to the harsh realities of city life and the limitations of his own desires. An unflinching and hilarious account of starting your life again when you’re a bottom who has hit rock bottom. Award winning playwright and screenwriter, Chris Thompson, brings his five star hit podcast to theatrical life in this laugh out loud, life affirming show.
Thursday, June 15 at 7pm & Saturday, July 1 at 3pm
The Kraine Theater 100 min

From Crack to PhD – One Drag Queen’s Story

Written & Performed by Austin Nation

Becoming Austin Nation is the autobiography of a life that changed dramatically once I was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 1986, at the mere age of 26, when few men were getting out alive. I was told to get my affairs in order. There was no hope. I lived as though each day was going to be my last. I lost all of my closest friends over a 6-month period in 1994. I knew my time had to be near. Drugs and alcohol became my best friends and I began playing around in drag as part of my experience while getting high. I could pretend to be someone else, someone beautiful.

Austin Nation. Photo by Francis Gacad.

Fast forward, and I was still alive at 40. I thought there must be something else for me and that began my journey into recovery. Today, I am 19 years clean and sober. I have tapped back into an important part of myself: this drag persona, my feminine side. Now, at age 60, I am without a doubt living my best Black gay drag life.
Friday, June 16 at 7pm, Mon, June 19 at 9pm & Mon, July 3 at 7pm
The Kraine Theater & Livestreaming 60 min

Written & Performed by Ania Upstill

Witness one clown’s lighthearted confusion with gender in Transhumance. Award-winning clown Ania Upstill playfully explores what it means to be a trans human—or any human—in a society where the gender binary often blocks us from the richness of human experience. Winner of a Best Weekly Award for Circus and Physical Theatre at Adelaide Fringe in 2020.
Saturday, June 17 at 4pm & Thursday, June 22 at 7pm
The Kraine Theater & Livestreaming 45 min

The Drag Album
Hosted by Sam Bam Thankyoumaam

Did you know that the New York City drag community comprises not just an amazing array of drag artists, but also many performers who also compose music? Presented by Sam Bam Thankyoumaam, The Drag Album will be a cabaret of drag artists such as Senerio, Samara Slaughter, and Daddy Dallan performing their own work. Come see both Queerly alums and new faces as this celebration of both original drag and original music!
Saturday, June 17 at 7pm
The Kraine Theater & Livestreaming 60 min 

The Real Black Swan
Written by Les Kurkendaal Barrett

This show tells the story of William Dorsey Swann, the former slave who became the Queen of Drag in Washington DC in the late 1800’s. She was also the first queer activist on record. Come and hear the tale of a person who was way ahead of their time. Winner of the Doric Wilson Award in Dublin Ireland, Winner of The Cincy Fringe Encore (Producer’s Pick).
Sun, June 18 @4pm, Mon, June 19 @7pm & Sat, June 24 @8pm
The Kraine Theater & Livestreaming 60 min

Written by Mik Berry

This is a play about burnout in the nonprofit industrial complex. It is based on very real experiences I had in a former job. It is about white supremacy and the unsustainability of being in a “helping” profession. It is also about what happens when you’re at the end of your rope, the final sands in your hourglass sifting to the bottom. Do you flip the timer and reset your time, or do you just let it run out?
Sunday, June 18 & Tuesday, June 20 at 7pm
@ The Kraine Theater 60 min

Drag Story Hour

FRIGID New York is excited to host a special Juneteenth addition of Drag Story Hour! Drag Story Hour NYC (formerly Drag Queen Story Hour NYC) produces storytelling and creative arts programs for children and teens, presented by local drag artists, in libraries, schools, and other community spaces in all five boroughs of New York City, and virtually. Through fun and fabulous educational experiences, our programs celebrate gender diversity and all forms of difference to build empathy and give kids the confidence to express themselves however they feel comfortable.
Monday, June 19 at 12pm

Funny Women Of A Certain Age
Curated by Carol Montgomery

What began as a way to work with her friends has exploded on the comedy scene. When Carole (a veteran of the stand up scene for over 40 years) started, you would never see two female comics on the same show. Fast forward to today’s comedy scene and nothing has changed, even though there are way more women in comedy. Carole decided to do something about it. Her first Showtime special made history as the only comedy special to feature 6 female comics over the age of 50. In fact it was the network’s highest rated comedy special of 2019.
Wednesday, June 21 at 7pm
@ The Kraine Theater & Livestreaming

Ty Autry, Thalia Gonzalez Kane. Photo by Mike Glatzer Photography.

At Birth
Written by Ty Autry & Thalia Gonzalez Kane

What could possibly go wrong when one drunken night Anna, very gay, and Isaac, very very gay, have sex to heal from a breakup? What follows is a journey covering themes of queer families, abortion rights in the South, and the pursuit of building community, no matter how untypical. This queer dark comedy navigates blurred family lines, friendship, and dealing with the unexpected consequences life can throw at a person.
Wednesday, June 21 at 9pm & Friday, June 23 at 9pm
@ The Kraine Theater 60 min

Written by Elena Freck

As a teenager, Martin was the first openly trans gymnast to make the U.S. Men’s Artistic Gymnastics team. Now, he’s a broke 25-year-old with no prospects, about to be evicted from his apartment. Torn between the examples of two friends–En, a fellow trans gymnast who has carved out a second career in sports writing, and Jenna, a high school teacher who never left her hometown—Martin must pick a new direction in life after arriving at the end of the only road he ever knew. walkOver asks the question; where do you go next once you’ve completed the first line of your obituary?
Thursday, June 22 at 9pm, Saturday, July 2 at 5pm
@ The Kraine Theater & Livestreaming 80 min

Anna May Wong: PERSONA
Written by Kai Xing Mun

A woman ahead of her time; Anna May Wong was Hollywood’s first Chinese American movie star. For all her talent, wit, and charm, she’s spent her life searching for a place to belong. She was discriminated against by American society for her race, and demeaned by her family for her dreams. It seemed the only place where she was beyond her circumstances was in the magical world of film, if only Hollywood could’ve seen her beyond racist stereotypes and caricatures. From rumored sapphic romances to traveling different countries to lifelong friendships with fellow legendary artists, Anna will defy all the odds as she devotes herself to her craft. Only one question remains: will there ever be a place where she can be seen as human?
Saturday, June 24 at 5pm
@ The Kraine Theater & Livestreaming 120 min Masks Required

Double Feature:
A Probably Disastrous Experiment & The Bottom’s Bible

Monday, June 26 & Friday, June 30 at 7pm
@ The Kraine Theater

A Probably Disastrous Experiment
Written by Rachel Weekley
Up from the Depths, disaster strikes again! And it just might be this show in which cities are destroyed, inner Demons hold hands, and a dinosaur dances through heartbreak. 20 min
The Bottom’s Bible
Written & Performed by Adin Lenahan
A two person show starring me and my asshole, about bottom and femme erasure in queer culture, and a two-thousand year old book that still controls our narrative. 30 min

“Affirm THIS!” A Fundraiser for Trans Liberation
Presented by What Will the Neighbors Say? & Queerly

“Affirm THIS!” A Fundraiser for Trans Liberation is a night of comedy, drag, music, and more presented by The Queerly Festival and What Will the Neighbors Say? Theatre Company. This one night only event will showcase trans and non-binary tallent while raising funds for The Transformations Project nationally and The Audre Lorde Project here in New York City. After a terrifying year of anti-trans legislation, it is crucial that we come together in joyful resistance to raise funds to fight against these dangerous policies, build awareness of what the trans, non-binary, and wider LGBTQAI+ (as well as the drag!) communities are going through, and to reaffirm our strength and commitment to one another. “Affirm THIS!” will feature a yet to be announced line up of fabulous trans and non-binary performers as well as amazing raffle prizes and a DJ’d after party to keep the celebrations going!
Tuesday, June 27 at 8pm
@ The Kraine Theater & Livestreaming

Paper Kraine Presents: Do You Queer What I Queer

We’re back for a sixth season of new works in development! The Paper Kraine was created in 2016 to bring together works in their earliest stages, audiences, and nonprofits. Monthly, the PK team curates a new works sampler platter around a theme related to a nonprofit. This month, all PK ticket proceeds and a passed hat go to support the work of the Ali Forney Center, which offers LGBTQ+ Youth Shelter and Services. Try something new, delicious and strange. Come for the art. Stay for the community.
Wednesday, June 28 at 7pm
@ The Kraine Theater & Livestreaming

The Ramón Show: Spiritual Cheerleading 101

Imagine Mr. Rogers gone drag mixed with Pee Wee’s Playhouse gone Puerto Rican and you’ve got Ramón!  Winner of The BEST IMMERSIVE & GAMES SHOW from the 2022 Hollywood Fringe Festival, The Ramón Show: Spiritual Cheerleading 101 is a one-of-a kind, interactive show featuring Puerto Rican drag king Ramón, a spiritual cheerleader who leads the audience through the fun, internationally renowned seminar “Spiritual Cheerleading 101” where you learn to become your own cheerleader! Part comedy show, part dance party, part self-help seminar with a touch of game show thrown in, you’ll come away from this show feeling better than when you arrived with a real deal, extremely cool certificate proving you have completed this life-changing course.
Saturday, July 1 at 1pm & Sunday, July 2 at 7pm
@ The Kraine Theater 65 minutes Masks Required

The Parentheses
Written by Marissa Fleming

Sometimes we’re looking for an explanation, tacking on afterthought, enriching what is already complete with a pair of rounded brackets. The Parentheses is a play about two women reconnecting and re-examining their relationship to one another. Already wholly complete and complex on their own, they look to explain, to explore, and to experience one evening together in an attempt to understand what they really mean to themselves and to each other. Saturday, July 1 at 7pm & Monday, July 3 at 9pm
@ The Kraine Theater & Livestreaming


FRIGID New York’s mission is to provide both emerging and established artists the opportunity to create and produce original work of varied content, form, and style, and to amplify their diverse voices. We do this by presenting an array of monthly programming, mainstage productions, an artist residency, and eight annual theater festivals that create an environment of collaboration, resourcefulness, and innovation. Founded in 1998, the aim was and is to form a structure, allowing multiple artists to focus on creating and staging new work and providing affordable rental space to scores of independent artists. Now in our third decade we have produced a massive quantity of stimulating downtown theater.

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