Recommended Off-Off-Broadway: BATHHOUSE.PPTX (The Flea)

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by Gregory Bernard on January 25, 2024

in Theater-New York

Directed by Obie-winner Chay Yew, the world-premiere of BATHHOUSE.PPTX by Jesús I. Valles is coming to The Flea March 19-April 22, 2024.

BATHHOUSE.PPTX is an epic new play that follows Presenter, a gay Latino student, whose PowerPoint presentation on the history of cleanliness and bathing quickly starts to burst at the seams with appearances from the ghosts of a bathhouse at the end of the world, A Conquistador! Wearing One of Those Hats!, A Very Real Twink, and even Laura Linney. Valles describes it as, “a group project for perverts. Somewhere between lecture, re-enactment, and cruising ground. A meditation on queer longing, queer grief, and all our queer worlds that will come to pass, that will come to be.”

Jesús I. Valles

Selected as the 2023 recipient of the Yale Drama Series Prize judged by Jeremy O. Harris this is the first recipient of The Flea’s production commission, an open call program that provides finishing funds and a full production to an experimental new work. In line with The Flea’s radical new operating model, BATHHOUSE.PPTX has been developed in partnership with Valles as co-producer on all elements of the production.

Chay Yew

The Flea’s Artistic Director, Niegel Smith says, “Every so often you come across a play that is epic in scale, written with delicious language and yet deeply personal, with characters that seize you as they careen toward their desires. Jesús’s play grabbed the attention of the entire Flea staff. As soon as we read it, we knew we had to bring it to production.”

“This is one of the most exciting, speculative fictions I’ve encountered in years, using a unique dramaturgy to explore a queer history that is quickly being erased,” said Harris. “It brought to mind the works of many heroes like Samuel Delany, Martin Crimp, and Kathy Acker.”

This bevy of characters from past and present are all inhabited by a shape shifting cast of actors including Claudia Acosta as ‘Chela’ and others, Manuel C. Alcazar as ‘Daniel’ and others, Esteban Andres Cruz as ‘Mx. Vazquez’ and others, Yonatan Gebeyehu as ‘Shaun’ and others, and Gilbert Diego Sanchez (he/they) as ‘Carlos’ and others.

The design team includes You-Shin Chen (Scenic Design), Reza Behjat (Lighting Design), Haydee Zelideth Antuñano (Costume Design), John Gasper (Sound Design) Nicholas Hussong (Projection Design), and David Anzuelo (Intimacy and Fight Direction)BATHHOUSE.PPTX’s Production Stage Manager is Bea Perez-Arche and the Assistant Stage Manager is Abi Rowe.

artwork by Perry Picasshoe

The Flea Theater, 20 Thomas Street
Tuesday, March 19 through Monday, April 22, 2024
for tix (on sale Feb 1 for members, Feb 8 for general public), visit The Flea


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