Fresh Fruit Festival is 11 Years Old and Still Fresh

Cocco kisses her girlfriend, Melissa, during drop-in hours at Sylvia's Place in this photograph by Samantha Box (2007; archival ink jet). | LESLIE-LOHMAN MUSEUM OF GAY AND LESBIAN ART

Cocco kisses her girlfriend, Melissa, during drop-in hours at Sylvia's Place in this photograph by Samantha Box (2007; archival ink jet). | LESLIE-LOHMAN MUSEUM OF GAY AND LESBIAN ART

The Fresh Fruit Festival, now in its 11th year celebrating LGBTQ arts and culture, was born out of the collaboration of All Out Arts, a non-profit founded in 1991 to bring together the diverse artistic, organizational, political, and financial resources of the community in order to fight intolerance, and New Village Productions, established in 1989, which produced 10 short play festivals in conjunction with the Vineyard Theater and the 1994 Gay Games.

This year, the Fresh Fruit Festival’s theater and dance productions will be staged at:

The Wild Project

195 E. Third Street,

between Avenues A and B

Tickets are $18 per performance

and are available at

The festival’s spoken word and film events are held at:

Nuyorican Poets Café

236 E. Third Street,

between Avenues B and C

For information on ticket prices

and purchase, visit


In tandem with Fresh Fruit, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art presents an exhibition exploring the legacy and cultural contributions of LGBTQ homeless youth:

26 Wooster Street

between Grand & Canal Streets

Inspired by legendary transgender activist Sylvia Rivera’s essay “Queens in Exile, the Forgotten Ones,” curator Alexis Heller presents “Queers in Exile: the Unforgotten Legacies of LGBTQ Homeless Youth,” which explores the powerful personal histories, creativity, and activism of queer street-involved youth from Stonewall to today. Through oral history, photography, archival footage, and other work, the show engages the voices of Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, San Francisco’s Vanguard Youth, and young people at Sylvia’s Place and in Harlem's House/ Ballroom community. The exhibition features work by Samantha Box, Gerard Gaskin, Richard Renaldi, Andy Warhol, Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt, Diana Davies, Leonard Fink, Richard Wandel, Carol Polcovar, Destination Tomorrow, the Ballroom Archive and Oral History Project, the Hear Me ROAR! Project, and the Vanguard Revisited Project.

Wednesday July 17-Sunday, July 28

Tue.-Sun., noon-6 p.m.

Opening reception on July 17, 6-8 p.m.



Monday, July 8

7 p.m.

In Patrick Thomas McCarthy’s “SEXTORTION,” directed by Christopher Caines, one lonely, outcast boy’s desperate desire for “something warm, something human, something now” drives him to hatch a scheme that draws his entire high school and its surrounding Middle American community into a harrowing vortex. Posing as a girl on a social media site, he first entices his classmates to send him compromising photos and videos, then “sextorts” them into upping the ante of each physical encounter with the threat of exposure. “sExtOrtiOn” digs deep beneath the superficial and sensationalistic treatments in national media accounts to explore the roots of adolescents’ fluid sexual identity, experimentation, and recklessness, and the consequences of bullying, pack behavior, and hidden violence.

Also Tuesday, July 9 at 9 p.m., and Sunday, July 14 at 2 p.m..

9 p.m.

Broadway vet Tom Rocco presentsMY BIG, FAT, PROP 8 WEDDING,” a cabaret of songs (some familiar, some lesser-known) and light-hearted anecdotes about this Broadway vet’s unconventional path to wedded bliss. But by the end of his show you’ll likely ask yourself: “Is it really all that unconventional?”

10 p.m.

Award-winning British comedian Rosie Wilby, in her US debut, presents “THE SCIENCE OF SEX,” in which she endeavors to answer: What makes us gay or straight? What turns us on? What are pheromones? Why are we attracted to one person and not another? What happens chemically in the brain when we fall in love? What is the scientific origin of kissing? Do aphrodisiacs work?

Tuesday, July 9

7 p.m.

“THE FILE ON J. EDGAR HOOVER,” is a revival of Steve Gold’s dark comedy based on the life of the longtime FBI director and his “associate” Clyde Tolson. The story, directed by Mark Stone, also delves into his dealings with the Kennedy brothers and Richard Nixon, all of whom are characters in the play.

Also Wednesday, July 10 at 9 p.m.; Thursday, July 11 at 9 p.m.

Wednesday, July 10

7 p.m.

David Koteles’ “AFTER THE CHAIRS” remixes Eugene Ionesco’s absurdist masterpiece “The Chairs” and completely transforms it for modern gay life, telling the story of two men, Marc and Richard, alone in a quiet hospital room waiting for what happens next. Directed by Jason Jacobs.

Also, Saturday, July 13 at 7 p.m.; Sunday, July 14 at 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 11

7 p.m.

Written in 29 days, in the 29th year of Marcus Yi’s life, on the 2nd day of the 9th month in 2012, “29X/Y” is a collage theater piece that brings together an intersection of 29 slices of life. Confessional monologues from a bathhouse, fag hag haters, dysfunctional ex-lovers, dancing Republicans, eccentric want ads, and Super Mario fetishists all make an appearance to help you understand the meaning of “29x/y.”

Also, Friday, July 12 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, July 13 at 2 p.m.


Friday, July 12

9 p.m.

Brian C. Petti’s “THE LOVE SONG OF SIDNEY J. STEIN” follows the relationship of titular Sidney, a 45-year-old former prostitute who works at a New York City half-way house, and Dennis, a 17-year-old streetwalker. Sidney, snide, funny, and guarded, tries to set Dennis straight despite Dennis’ immaturity and indoctrination into the street life.

Also, Saturday, July 13 at 4:30 p.m.; Sunday, July 14 at 7 p.m..


FF JUL 13 Tango-Vesre

lvin Rangel’s “Tango Vesre.”

Saturday, July 13

9 p.m.

IN “ALL OUT DANCE 2013,” Ferdinand De Jesus presents the New York premiere of “Butchqueen,” an ode to the LGBTQ ballroom community; Alvin Rangel’s “Tango Vesre,” a New York premiere, is an examination of male tango partnerships from historic, performance, and choreographic perspectives; and Jason Torres Hancock presents the New York premiere of “Centered,” a ritual to liberate disease from social stigma and irreverent taboo through the effeminate, loving male.

FF FRESH FRUIT JUL 13 truth within

Okwae Miller presents the world premiere of “The Truth Within.”

Michael Clark’s “Cerebral Purgation” explores a random series of events that are unexplainably pre-determined to recreate life; Robert Mark Burke presents the world premiere of “Knock,” a duet inspired by feminine relationships to the Industrial Revolution; Diane Tomasi presents “Pretty Little,” a parody on society’s expectations for women; Okwae Miller presents the world premiere of “The Truth Within,” which explores a fear, a life, an experience, and a personal struggle with the acceptance of homosexuality as reality; McKenna Birmingham’s “Titty Condoms” is a parody of the personal battle between estrogen and testosterone; and Barry Webster presents the world premiere of “Unbroken,” a window into the battles couples often find themselves in.



Xandra Ibarra’s “F*ck My Life (FML).”

Sunday, July 14

9 p.m.

“F*CK MY LIFE (FML)” tells the riveting backstory and failure of Oakland-based performance artist, lecturer, and ecdysiast Xandra Ibarra’s burlesque persona La Chica Boom. Using evocative sound montage, critical political imagery, and fast paced physical theatrics, “FML” chronicles Ibarra’s early ambition to use burlesque “spictacles” to undermine her audience’s Mexiphobic gaze. With astute direction from Evan Johnson, Ibarra, who hails from the El Paso/Juarez border, reveals not only her tasseled pasties, as is traditional in burlesque, but also her incompatible relationship with her interracial audience and the emotional toll that her perverse-cum-filled-minstrel-spectacles have exacted over the past 10 years of her burlesque life.


Joe Hutcheson’s “Miss Magnolia Beaumont Goes to Provincetown."

Joe Hutcheson’s “Miss Magnolia Beaumont Goes to Provincetown.”

Monday, July 15

7 p.m.

Joe Hutcheson’s “MISS MAGNOLIA BEAUMONT GOES TO PROVINCETOWN,” which won a FringeNYC Overall Excellence Award in 2010, tells the story of Civil War-era Southern debutante Miss Magnolia Beatrice Devareux Beaumont, who chokes to death on a pork rib only to find herself suddenly inhabiting the body of a 30-something gay New Yorker (whom she refers to as Master Joseph) on his way to Provincetown for a birthday vacation. But before Miss Beaumont can quietly get used to Master Joseph’s cosmopolitan gay lifestyle, an offensive painting suddenly jolts her into his awareness. After the initial shock and a few disagreements, the two spend the rest of their trip discussing the deeper meanings of life.

9 p.m.

Marie Incontrera’s “AT THE OTHER SIDE OF THE EARTH” is a modern-day lesbian punk opera about love in an oppressive nation and how one girl learns to break the rules in order to find happiness. Aurora is forced to face who she truly is when she meets Layla, an out-and-proud “riot grrrl” with a bold and brazen demeanor. Their subsequent struggle with a George Orwellian law enforcer, appropriately named The Man, proves to be both terrifying and hilariously futile, as the two women attempt to follow their hearts at great risk.


Tuesday, July 16

7 p.m.

“THIS IS A PLAY ABOUT BEING GAY” is an experimental gay-identity politics play with dance written and directed by Teddy Nicholas. The play attempts to honestly and engagingly explore the ways in which gay males identify and function in our modern society.

Also, Wednesday, July 17 at 7 p.m.; Sunday, July 21 at 12 p.m..


Playwright and filmmaker John Young.

9 p.m.

Based on actual events that took place in 2007, John G. Young’s “RECRUITING 101” looks at the soul-crushing pressures put on a small group of recruiting officers during “The Surge” in Iraq. Everyone is vulnerable to the mounting pressure, especially gay officers during this time when Don’t Ask, Don’t’ Tell was still in place.

Also, Saturday, July 20 at 7 p.m.


Wednesday, July 17

9 p.m.

Rachel Graf Evans “STRANGER ODDS” is a queer little rom-com about a group of young hopefuls trying to find their ways through life and love with friendship, first dates, and midnight milkshakes — and about the Venn diagrams of whom we are lucky enough to know.

Also, Thursday, July 18 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, July 20 at noon



Duriel E. Harris’ “Thingification.”

Thursday, July 18

9 p.m

Celebrating the art of signifying, Duriel E. Harris’ “THINGIFICATION,” a one-woman show that combines poetry, performance, music, and dance, shows how true expression elevates, educates, and entertains like no stereotype can. “THE FIRST SNUFF FILM I EVER SAW WAS IN CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA” is New Orleans playwright Louie Crowder’s look at a war veteran’s struggle to re-enter his boyfriend’s life and their community of boat people at an intimate Charleston marina. The play examines issues of gay equality, survival, love lost, and love found in the shadows of a snuff film on a yacht in this Southern Gothic Closet.

Also, Saturday, July 20 at 2 p.m.

10:30 p.m.

Brigham Mosley’s “MO[U]RNIN’. AFTER.” is a journey to the ancestors and back to the homeland through magic, musicals, and time travel… dream ballets included.

Created under the Tim Miller Mentorship, a six-month development process to create new queer work, made possible by grants from the National Performance Network, Performance Space 122, and Fourth Arts Block, “Mo[u]rnin’. After.” is the full-length continuation of “Oh Whatta Beautiful Mo[u]rnin’,” which premiered at PS122 in June of 2011.


Friday, July 19

7 p.m.

Nneoma Nkuku’s “DWIGHT” follows a group of friends centered on Dwight Amphiaraus Fillmore III, who looks like the All-American dream, kicked down the closet door at a young age, listens to house music, dances merengue, is fluent in Spanglish, throws himself on the line to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves, and is equipped with quick answers and a hint of condescension. Bosh is a student of Dwight’s in a primary school who is a pants-only kind of girl, very outspoken when it comes to civil rights, but happy to hang out with Dwight and his friends. This tragic story, in which child abuse is uncovered, proves that blood is thicker than water, but love is stronger yet.

Also, Saturday, July 20 at 4:30 p.m.; Sunday, July 21 at 2 p.m.

"Solo You Culpable."

“Solo You Culpable.”

9 p.m.

In “BRIDAL SHOWER,” when Mark gets an invitation to the very public wedding of his ex-boyfriend to an up-and-coming right-wing Republican Latino politician, he decides the best way to make his presence known is to go in full drag. “SOLO YO CULPABLE?” is a drama en español that takes us into the souls of two women whose humanity is leased to loneliness.

Also, Saturday, July 20 at 10:30 p.m.


Eduardo Leanez and Patrick E. Horrigan’s “You Are Confused.”

10:30 p.m.

Eduardo Leanez and Patrick E. Horrigan’s “YOU ARE CONFUSED,” directed by Rosalie Purvis and starring Eduardo Leanez, is a coming-of-age story full of surprises. Yoel is a hyperactive kid with a passion for boy bands, soap operas, fashion shows, action heroes, and Olympic athletes. But his greatest role model, and his toughest critic, is his mother. Fiercely devoted to her son, she is also blind to his gifts and his burgeoning sexuality.



Mark Jason Williams’ “The Other Day.”

Saturday, July 20

9 p.m.

Douglas E. Huston’s one-act comedy “SAINT KRISTIE” is an existential comedy about Religion, Politics, Good, Evil, and Women — definitely women. At its center is Kristie, a young woman with a lot to learn about how heaven works — and what her place there is. Mark Jason Williams’ “THE OTHER DAY” is an authentic, funny, and powerful drama that follows the loving yet tumultuous romance of the emotionally-guarded Mark and free-spirited Santo as they embark on a journey through love, insecurities, addiction, betrayal, loss, and redemption.

Also, Sunday, July 21 at 4:30 p.m.



Thursday, July 18

7 p.m.

The festival’s ANNUAL POETRY SLAM features London Bridgez’s “She,” Nicole Goodwin’s “How to Live Underground,” and Larry Patterson’s “Somewhere.”


Saturday, July 20

1 p.m.

Richard Oswald’s 1919 German film “DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHERS,” co-written with famed sexologist Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, was the first sympathetic portrayal of homosexuals in cinema history. Conrad Veidt portrays a successful violinist whose life is ruined when he is blackmailed by a man who discovers his homosexuality. The film closes with an appeal to repeal Germany’s anti-gay Paragraph 175, which Hitler used decades later to justify sending gay men to concentration camps.

3 p.m.

Daniel Armando’s film “WHAT IT WAS” is the story of an old flame being reignited and a new desire awakened when a Hollywood actress returns to New York, where she is forced to face her sexual past, confront her present identity, and admit her true love. Ryan Balas’ “ELENORE MAKES LOVE” is the story of a photographer meeting a sexy model in an upscale hotel suite. The two women may have a past that is more present than we think. Admission is $10.


Sunday, July 21


The festival’s ALL OUT READING SERIES features a free reading from Raoul D. Luna’s “My Last, Best Spouse…or How Lance Loud Saved My Life,” a comedic monologue memoir play about the impact of musician/ reality show icon Lance Loud on a Latino military brat in the early ‘70s

2 p.m.

The festival’s ALL OUT READING SERIES continues with a free reading from Brian LaPerche’s “Naked,” the story of gay Adrian and bi Bret who are a perfectly balanced couple… until they meet Claire at a bar and their relationship and sexual identities are thrown into chaos.