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First TRANS* VOICES CABARET to Play The Duplex

First TRANS* VOICES CABARET to Play The Duplex

Transgender performer and producer Donnie Cianciotto brings together a cast of huge voices and personalities for the first installment of Trans* Voices Cabaret in the heart of the village at The Duplex on Saturday, November 25th 2017 at 9:30pm.

"I think it's important to continue to increase the visibility of transgender, non-binary, and gender non-comforming individuals, especially in the theater and performance community," said Cianciotto, who made his off-Broadway debut in last year's Southern Comfort at The Public Theater. "As more of our our stories get told, and more trans* characters are written, we should be given the opportunity to take on those roles and tell those stories with own own voices." Cianciotto believes that will only happen when casting directors and producers can no longer claim an inability to cast authentically, adding "and that will happen less the more we make ourselves known."

Trans* Voices Cabaret spotlights transmen, transwomen, and non-binary performers not only from New York, but from Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago. Some of the cast's combined performance credits include 54 Below, Joe's Pub, The Met, NYMF, Steppenwolf, Carnegie Hall, The Cutting Room, The Public Theater, and several regional and community theater companies nationwide.

The cast includes Maybe Burke, Izzy Castaldi, Donnie Cianciotto, Rilen Day, Samy el-Noury, Em Grosland, Jordan Ho, Eli McCormack, Kita Updike, and Julian Wolfe. Musical Direction is provided by the award winning singer-songwriter, Brandon James Gwinn. Donnie Cianciotto directs. Bios available below.

"Trans* folks have a long way to go to gain acceptance and equality in society, but the theater is known for being a community open and welcoming to all people," Cianciotto said. He hopes that putting together a show full of well-loved showtunes, standards, and even an opera song or two, performed by talented and fun entertainers who just happen to be transgender, will be one more step toward that broader acceptance. "We're here, we're talented, and we're ready for that Equity contract!", he added.

Trans* Voices Cabaret is being held in the cabaret theater at The Duplex, 61 Christopher Street, NY, NY 10014 at 9:30pm on Saturday, November 25th. Tickets are available for $10 in advance through The Duplex's website ( or for $15 at the door. Advance purchase is encouraged due to limited seating. Limited industry comps available.


Maybe Burke: Maybe is a Theatre Artist and Trans Advocate who founded The Trans Literacy Project with Honest Accomplice Theatre. They are always interested in telling stories that haven't been told. Recent credits include Delicious Filth (The Brick), Red Emma & the Mad Monk (Ars Nova), T.B. Sheets (Buran Theatre), Tag You're Dead (Joe's Pub), ReconFIGUREd (Honest Accomplice Theatre). Solo shows: Love Letters to Nobody, or Insignificant Others (The Wild Project, The Brick), Accidental Trans Anthems (The Brick) BA Directing, Pace University. | @believeinmaybe

IZZY CASTALDI: Izzy is a new resident of NYC, having recently moved from Philadelphia. There, they attended the University of the Arts and performed regionally in After Orlando (Philadelphia Theater Company) and as Imogen in Cymbeline (Revolution Shakespeare). Last summer they were nominated for a NYMF award for Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role for their performance as Taylor in Normativity, as part of the New York Musical Festival.

Donnie Cianciotto: Donnie is a NYC native and a transgender male performer. Theater credits include Sam in "Southern Comfort" (The Public Theater), Charlie Brown in "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (The Secret Theatre) and Sister Robert Anne in "Nunsense" (Desert Players.) He has performed locally in several concerts & cabarets including "Broadway Voices for North Carolina" at The Cutting Room, "Oh Broadway, Where Art Thou?" at 54 Below, "Concert For America" at The Town Hall, "My White List Cabaret" at Symphony Space, and many more. He has appeared in videos for NowThis and Buzzfeed, and is featured in Broadway for Orlando's "What the World Needs Now" dance remix music video. Donnie is an outspoken advocate for transgender visibility and equality, and is the subject of an Emmy award-winning documentary short film, "Donnie", highlighting his experience as a transgender man (dir. Ania Augustowska.) "Donnie" is currently in production to be re-released as a feature film. Donnie is the director and producer of Trans* Voices Cabaret. Insta: thedonniecianciotto

Samy el-Noury: Samy is an actor, aerialist, pianist, puppeteer, and vocalist. In addition to performing, he also works as the General Manager of the Baltimore Annex Theater; as well as a teaching artist for the Smithsonian Discovery Theater and the Young Playwright's Theater. An out (and outspoken) transgender activist, Samy is on the leadership team for the Baltimore Transgender Alliance. There, he functions as a public speaker, and works with various organizations on peer support, youth mentorship, and outreach for LGBTQ-identified individuals. In 2017, Samy published his first-ever op-ed piece in The Advocate, on the challenges of being a working transgender actor of color. He has since taken to Medium to publish new pieces. He aims to highlight the diversity of the transgender experience. Samy lives in Baltimore, MD and works along the east coast. Find him online at!

Em Grosland: Em was last scene as Max in Steppenwolf's production of Hir. His previous credits include: Peter in Peter Pan at Tuacahn Ampitheatre, The world premier of Eve Ensler's Emotional Creature (Berkeley Repertory Theatre and off-broadway/Signature Center); Francis Flute in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Off-Broadway); The world premier of The Anthem (off-broadway); Eric Harris in the world premier of The Erlkings (off-broadway); Wagner's Ring Cycle (LA Opera); and Danny Who in How the Grinch Stole Christmas (National Tour). Film and TV credits: Bull, Law and Order: SVU and Ricki and the Flash. Em received his BFA from Washington University in St. Louis. Em is also a painter, illustrator, and graphic; @EmGrosland

Brandon James Gwinn: Brandon is a writer, producer and musician. He is the composer and co-lyricist of Cotton Candy & Cocaine, Queer. People. Time., and Underwear A Space Musical which premiered in the 2008 New York International Fringe Festival and was an invited production at the 2012 American College Theatre Festival. His music and lyrics for Matchmaker Matchmaker I'(M) Willing to Settle premiered at The American Repertory Theatre in Boston and the 2011 New York Musical Theatre Festival. Brandon is also the composer and co-lyricist of the New York Theatre Barn Commission Small Town Story which received the National Alliance of Musical Theatre Writer's Residency Grant, was a finalist for the Richard Rodgers award, was featured in the Village Theatre New Musicals Festival in Seattle, and was subsequently produced in workshop at the University of Hartford. Brandon recently produced and performed on Two Birds, the debut album of Trixie Mattel (RuPaul's Drag Race), which debuted at #2 on the iTunes top album chart. Brandon is currently touring on piano with Drag Race Season 9's Alexis Michelle. He has performed with and done arrangements for Tony award winner Daisy Eagan, Two-time Emmy Nominee Tituss Burgess, Tony Nominee Judy Kuhn and 12-time MAC Award winner Karen Mason. He composed the music for George Takei's comedy webseries It Takeis Two. A critically lauded singer-songwriter and music director, he has arranged and played shows in Beijing, LA, San Francisco, Miami, and in New York at Feinstein's, Birdland, Joe's Pub, 54 Below and on Fire Island. As a writer he has been an artist in residence at Ars Nova and is a 2015-2016 Dramatists Guild Fellow. MFA from NYU's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.

JORDAN HO: Jordan is a Brooklyn-based gender fluid actrex. Theatre credits include: Salt Kid Watches Brooklyn Burn (Joe's Pub at The Public Theater), The Female Role Model Project (The Clemente), and i wrote on ur wall and now i regret it (The Wild Project). Xe is also a company member of Honest Accomplice Theatre and tours with their shows, The Birds and the Bees Unabridged and ReconFIGURED, to share the narrative of cis women and trans people across the NorthEast. This summer xe wrote and workshopped xyr play Choose Your Character at The Trans Theatre Festival at The Brick. BA Acting Pace University. instagram:@leavanny, twitter:@skrelp

ELIJAH MCCORMACK: Elijah (soprano) is a Connecticut native. He most recently appeared onstage as Cherubino in Mozart's "Le Nozze di Figaro", performing in Austria and the Czech Republic as part of the Prague Summer Nights young artist festival. Prior to this, he appeared in the New York Lyric Opera Theater's concert performances of "L'incoronazione di Poppea" (Valletto/Lucano) and "Hansel and Gretel" (Sandman), and in Skidmore College's "Xerxes" (Arsamenes). While at Skidmore, he also appeared in the cabaret troupe's "Avenue Q" (Princeton understudy). He graduated from Skidmore in 2016 with a B.S. in studio art, and has moved on to study early music voice as a graduate student at Indiana University. He has studied voice with Sylvia Stoner-Hawkins, Gene Marie Callahan, and Joyce Erickson, and currently studies with Steven Rickards at IU.

CODY SLOAN: Cody is a Boston-based actor and activist. Recent credits include the Boston premiere of Men on Boats (SpeakEasy Stage Company); Amadeus (Moonbox Productions); Gay Shorts (Open Theatre Project); Daughter of Venus (Artists' Theater of Boston); The Extraordinary Fall of the Four-Legged Woman (NY Fringe Festival); This is Our Youth, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, and Brighton Beach Memoirs (Boston University). He is proud to have studied at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and the American Conservatory Theater. He is dedicated to increasing representation and opportunities for trans artists in the Boston theater community. Find him at

RILEN TAYLOR: Rilen is a transgender genderfluid actor based out of Manhattan. He is so excited to be joining this cabaret as this is his reintroduction to singing since moving to New York! Rilen completed his training at the Atlantic Theatre Company Acting School in December 2017 as the first transgender student to attend. Rilen originally hails from Wisconsin where he pursued his BFA in musical theatre from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. His most recent credits include, Chad in "Almost, Maine," Nick in "Still Trying" and himself in a web documentary called "I Want You To Know" where he spoke about mental health advocacy.

JULIAN WOLFE: Julian is a NYC-based actor who is jumping back into the biz after a hiatus to transition and develop a career as a therapist who focuses on the needs of trans*/GNC teens and adults. Julian performed professionally as the drag king, BenDover, while living in South Florida. He writes, produces, directs and is a performance artist. He earned a BFA from Tisch and studied at ETW. Favorite roles include: The Alto in Closer Than Ever, Monsieur Prouix in Quills, and the title role in Salome. Julian is pleased as punch to be joining the ranks with his fellow trans*/GNC performers.

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