Emmy Award Winning Actor Michael Emerson Joins The Cast Of SECRET IDENTITY As The Voice Of Dyre 

Emmy Award Winning Actor Michael Emerson Joins The Cast Of SECRET IDENTITY As The Voice Of Dyre 

Secret Identity a brand new play by playwright Chris Weikel will debut it's World Premiere at The Flea Theatre on January 9th. The story tackles high school bullying in a witty and provocative way when the protagonist escapes into his comic book world of Super Heroes before learning that being authentic is key to acceptance. Secret Identity bows in previews on January 9th with Opening Night on January 12th. Performances are Wednesday thru Saturday until February 2nd. Tickets are available from The Flea Box office here: bit.ly/2QwUOa8

We are also overjoyed to announce that Emmy Award winning actor Michael Emerson has joined the cast of Secret Identity as the voice of DYRE. Michael Emerson made his New York stage debut playing Oscar Wilde in Moises Kaufman's GROSS INDECENCY. He has appeared on Broadway in THE ICEMAN COMETH with Kevin Spacey and HEDDA GABLER opposite Kate Burton. Off-Broadway and regional work includes plays by Shakespeare, Moliere, Friel and LaGarce at The Roundabout, Arena Stage, McCarter, Huntington and many other theaters.

TOSOS - The Other Side of Silence is New York's oldest LGBTQ+ theatre company and in a bow to authenticity has made Diversity in casting a priority for the world premiere of Secret Identity.

"In this new era of our company, I felt it was important to show the diverse faces of the LGBT community. We were excited by the reaction to the summer 2018 production of Jewelle Gomez' "Waiting For Giovanni" and want to continue to draw diverse audiences to our productions which feature universal themes." - Michael Zegarski, Board President

The world can be unbearable when the school bully paints a target on your back.

That's what it's like for JT, a seemingly ordinary 16-year-old nerd. But JT has something big to hide, something he can't tell anyone about. That "something" flies, wears spandex and fights crime. He's JT's escape from the unbearable real world.

Lines between the real world and the imaginary start to blur, and JT may become a casualty of his own storytelling. When adolescent fantasies come in heroic proportions, it's difficult to keep them under wraps.

Secret Identiy is the new play by Chris Weikel, whose work Fern Siegel described in the Huffington Post as "witty" and "clever." It gives voice to the ways bullying can wreak havoc in the lives of LGBTQ youth. But it's also about forging deep bonds of friendship, finding your tribe, and the superpower of the creative spirit. It shines a light on the decisions that marginalized people must confront in a society where bullying has become the norm.

"High school is, of course, a natural for drama and lately it's been getting a lot of attention on the big musical stages," said TOSOS Artistic Director Mark Finley. "It's heartening now to see gay teen characters are getting some much-needed stage time. The heroine in Mean Girls has two BFF's and one of them is a big gay kid. Evan's frenemy in Dear Evan Hansen cracks that the relationship at the center of its plot has all the earmarks of a secret gay romance. And everyone laughs. Because it's a thing. This is a far cry from Bye Bye Birdie."

"I started writing this play in 2010 following the death of Tyler Clementi, the 18-year old Rutgers student who leapt from the George Washington Bridge after being bullied online by his roommate for being gay," playwright Weikel said. "It seemed inconceivable to me that LGBT youth were still facing the same pressures I had 25 years earlier, and I wanted to use my art to change that if I could. To find authentic voices for my teenage characters, I dove back into my adolescent love of comic books, and as I re-read those stories, I realized just how much I had identified with those beautiful and fabulously flawed superheroes who forever felt compelled to hide what made them special. Their world had been very real to me in my youth, and it's exciting to see it come to life on stage now."

"Secret Identity is significant among its contemporaries because it moves its gay content from the sidelines into the foreground, said TOSOS Artistic Director Mark Finley. "But what's particularly resonant is what says what bullying. Every sitcom and after-school special tells us that we 'have to stand up to bullies.' But do we? Especially when it's easier to adapt or sidestep them? Isn't it like being beaten up all over again to tell an adult (much less a parent) about it? For a gay or questioning kid, there's the added confusion of being labeled something that's mysterious but not good. Or worse, what if it's true?

"At its core, Secret Identity is about integrity -- which is a superpower that seems to be in pretty short supply these days. I hope it inspires a superhero in you."

TOSOS (The Other Side of Silence), NYC's oldest and longest producing LGBTQ+ theater, presents the world premiere of Secret Identity as part of the company's anchor partnership with the Flea Theater in The Siggy, the venue named for Flea founder and continuing inspiration Sigourney Weaver and one of the three performance spaces at The Flea's new building at 20 Thomas Street.

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