FOR THE NEW CITY PRESENTS THE WORLD PREMIERE OF "GAY BOY"
BY JD STEWART
NEW YORK, August 7 -- In "Gay Boy," a solo play by JD Stewart, a man named Gay Boy experiences life as an English teacher in Daegu, South Korea. He appears at first to be a stereotypical young gay man--highly sexed, sassy and reveling in both. But when his vulnerability surfaces following a one-night stand, truths of his past are finally revealed. In a candid storytelling style, JD Stewart mixes fact and fiction, frankness and humor to offer an alternative perspective on how gay boys are viewed. Drawing on a society the West knows little about, Stewart illuminates an aspect of gay culture we think we understand, only to learn that sometimes what we think we know is more harmful than good. Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival will present the play's world premiere September 6 to 17, directed by Ashley Wren-Collins.
The play begins with Gay Boy being told by a one night stand that he is “empty.” From here, the past mixes with the present as we learn that Gay Boy was in a relationship with a man named James until James cheated on him with another man, prompting Gay Boy to move to Daegu and do what “Gay Boys” do - have a lot of meaningless sex. His best friend, Stella, has been cheating on her girlfriend, which Gay Boy abhors. However, this does not prevent him from sleeping with as many men as possible. Gay Boy's interactions with other characters are marked frequently with him breaking the fourth wall to confide thoughts and feelings that provides a deeper look into his psyche. However, his self-made confidence is revealed to be just a front as he is just a man looking for a love he once had but has now lost.
Playwright/actor JD Stewart is a Scottish writer and performer based in New York City. He received his BA with Honors in English Studies from Stirling University in 2008 and his MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in 2017. He also completed the UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting in 2015. Stewart received The Dewar Arts Award for Scotland in 2016, J.S. Seidman Scholarship and the MFA Chair's Award from the Tisch Dramatic Writing Department in 2017. His other plays include "Kaleidoscope" and "The Bachelor: Creature of Legends." He was co-author of "Baggage Claim" (Daegu Theater Troupe, South Korea). His modernized adaptation of "Medea" with men, titled "Struan," and his play "Fluidity Part One: Movement," both directed by Ashley Wren-Collins, received readings at NYU Tisch. He has acted in "Jesus Christ Superstar," "Night of the Living Dead," "Pocket Queens" (Seoul 10-Minute Play Festival Finalist) and "Cock" and "Glitch." He wrote the screenplay for the short film, "The Fabric of Life," which was later directed by Jamie Cristello in 2017. (www.jdstewart.org)
Director Ashley Wren Collins received her BA in English and Theatre Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and her MFA from the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theater School Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University. She is the director/choreographer of "Flak House," "I'm Mindful…of My Anxiety" and choreographer of "Honestly Abe" and "Foxy Ladies Love Boogie '70s Explosion." Collins also directs new works and thesis projects of MFA and BFA in Dramatic Writing candidates at New York University and is the author of several books. She is currently working on a book about the 1960s folk rock band The Association, which will be published by Rare Bird Lit. Her short story, "Daddy's Girl," won the SLS-St. Petersburg Review Award. She is the recipient of a writing fellowship from the Edward F. Albee Foundation. Collins produced and acted in the feature film, "Chasing Taste" which won "Best Comedy" at the 2013 Burbank International Film Festival and the 2014 Manhattan Film Festival. (www.ashleywrencollins.com)
The eighth annual Dream Up Festival (www.dreamupfestival.org) is being presented by Theater for the New City from August 27 to September 17. An ultimate new work festival, It is dedicated to the joy of discovering new authors and edgy, innovative performances. Audiences savor the excitement, awe, passion, challenge and intrigue of new plays from around the country and around the world.
The festival does not seek out traditional scripts that are presented in a traditional way. It selects works that push new ideas to the forefront, challenge audience expectations and make us question our understanding of how art illuminates the world around us.
A unique and varied selection of productions will again be offered that draw upon a variety of performance specialties including singing, clowning, poetry, street music, magic and movement. The Festival's founders, Crystal Field and Michael Scott-Price, feel this is especially needed in our present time of declining donations to the arts, grants not being awarded due to market conditions, and arts funding cuts on almost every level across the country and abroad.
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