Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

TVC is Bringing Visibility To Trans Performers to The Duplex


TVC is Bringing Visibility To Trans Performers to The Duplex

New York City's premier cabaret highlighting the talents of transgender, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming performers returns to The Duplex with the all new show, "Make 'Em Laugh", for it's 8th performance at The Duplex on Saturday, April 27th at 6:30pm. The show is directed by Donnie Cianciotto, with Musical Direction by Anessa Marie. Cianciotto will also serve as the emcee for the evening.

The mission of Trans Voices Cabaret is to bring awareness to and raise the visibility of TGNC performers in musical theater, as well as opera, song-writing, and other types of vocal performance. "Make 'Em Laugh" is a show featuring some of the best comedic numbers from the musical theater cannon, as well as original comedic songs being performed by the writers.

Creator and producer of Trans Voices Cabaret, Donnie Cianciotto, says he would love to see the success of shows on television and Netflix that feature transgender characters like Pose, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and Orange is the New Black transfer that success to the professional theater industry. "These award-winning shows feature transgender actors playing transgender characters," Cianciotto says, "or in the case of Netflix's You, features an actor who happens to be transgender while her character's gender history is never addressed. It's wonderful to see Hollywood finally making strides to tell these important and authentic stories, and in 2019 there is no reason the theater industry should be left behind."

Some of the cast's combined performance credits include The Public Theater, Steppenwolf, 54 Below, Carnegie Hall, The Laurie Beechman Theater, Joe's Pub, Lincoln Center, and Birdland. Trans Voices Cabaret also includes a branch in Chicago, and will soon be announcing its first international location. Since its creation in 2017, over 50 TGNC identified singers have been showcased with Trans Voices Cabaret, and Cianciotto has become a go-to in the casting industry for shows looking to cast diverse talent. Limited industry tickets available by emailing

Returning cast members Preston Allen, Donnie Cianciotto, Salem Corwin, Stevie Goughnour, Felix Graham, Anessa Marie, Kai Pelton, and George Ronis will be joined by first-time performers Milo Jordan, Linda LaBeija, and Andrea Sears.

Tickets are $10 in advance, and $15 at the door. As these shows sell out quickly, it is strongly suggested to purchase in advance, or arrive early to be put on the cancelation list. Tickets can be purchased directly at: The Duplex is located at 61 Christopher Street, NY, NY 10014. For more information, please visit, or email


PRESTON MAX ALLEN is an NYC-based writer and composer whose work has been featured at the New Amsterdam Theatre, Signature Theatre, Musical Theatre Factory, New York Musical Festival, Feinstein's/54 Below, Joe's Pub, Second City Chicago, and Lululemon (it's a long story). Preston conceived, wrote, and composed WE ARE THE TIGERS (Hudson Backstage, L.A. Stage Alliance Ovation winner, Best Lyrics/Composition), NEVER BETTER (NYMF Developmental Reading Series), and CARRIE 2: THE RAGE, AN UNAUTHORIZED MUSICAL PARODY (Underscore Theatre, Jeff Nominee, Best New Musical). Additional projects include music/lyrics/book for AGENT 355 (collaborator Jessica Kahkoska), book/lyrics for FRANKLIN PIERCE: DRAGON SLAYER (composer Will Buck), music/lyrics for THE HUNTED: ENCORE (Charging Moose Productions), and music/lyrics for BRADICAL AND THE PINK SOCKS (Diverging Elements). For completely unprofessional updates and cat photos, find him @prestonmaxallen.

Donnie Cianciotto is an actor, singer, activist, emcee, comedian, and the kind of trans man you'd like to take home to meet your parents. He attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, and made his off-Broadway debut in Southern Comfort at The Public Theater. He is active in the cabaret scene, having performed at 54 Below, The Cutting Room, The Town Hall, Birdland, Le Poisson Rouge, and The Duplex. He appears in Broadway For Orlando's What The World Needs Now music video, and has been featured in videos for NowThis and BuzzFeed. He appeared on two panels at BroadwayCon in January 2019, and can often be found speaking about trans representation in the performance community. He is the subject of an Emmy award-winning documentary short about his experiences as a transgender man; the film is being released as a feature length in 2019 by director Ania Augustowska. Follow him on Instagram @thedonniecianciotto

SALEM CORWIN is a transmasc/nonbinary actor and songwriter from the Catskill Mountains. A recent graduate of Buffalo State College, Salem has appeared in several short films in Buffalo NY (and one feature film!) Most recently they performed the role of Pepper in the Hudson Valley premiere of "Mamma Mia!", transforming (pun intended) the typically hyper-masculine beach hunk into a soft, overly-confident cabana boy. Offstage you can find Salem in the process of writing a short musical about mental health and queer identity - titled "Aaand Cut!" Salem's ultimate goal in life is to use theater as a vessel to help and heal mentally ill/queer kids, as they once were.

STEVIE GOUGHNOUR is delighted to be on stage with Trans Voices Cabaret after many performances as an audience member. Since moving to New York, Stevie has worked with TOSOS, Odd Voices NYC, and holds down a day job with the New York Foundation for the Arts. Stevie also enjoys poetry and comedy, and writing bios without pronouns.

FELIX GRAHAM was an operatic mezzo in another life, singing pants roles (a kind of operatic drag, where women sing the roles of young men). Since beginning his transition, however, he is refocusing his performing career - bringing that same gender fluidity to contemporary music through both traditional stage performance and in drag. Most recently, he produced and performed in Love is a Many-Splintered Thing, an off-broadway musical set in 1930s queer New York. Felix is thrilled to be joining the Trans Voices Cabaret!

MILO JORDAN is thrilled to be on stage at Trans Voices Cabaret after many performances as the over-zealous audience member. Previously seen in such classics as "Prudence" in Nutritional Yeast and "Vampire Potter" in My Immortal: a DRAMATIK Reading, Milo also professionally dopplegangers "Aiden Abett" from America's Favorite All-Boy Band. When not on stage, he can be found in his recurring role of "That Dog Walker" in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. [Exit, stage left, pursued by six dogs.]

LINDA LaBEIJA is a multidisciplinary artist, organizer and curator from the Boogie Down Bronx of New York. Her work explores the complexities of living as a transgender woman of color in today's America. With origins in both Black America and the English/Spanish-speaking Caribbean, Linda's transnational experience of living at the intersection of embodied, social, and national borders hones in on the critiques of hegemonic power. Born out of the Iconic House of LaBeija in the underground New York City Vogue Ballroom scene, Linda's pursuit of spoken word infused musical sound has been featured in articles in both AFROPUNK and The Fader. Performing behind voices and writers such as Staceyann Chin and Me'shell Ndegeoecello. She can also be seen in the feature film "Pariah" directed by Dee Rees and in the FX series "Pose" produced by Ryan Murphy.

Anessa Marie is a composer/lyricist, music director, pianist, orchestrator, actress, and singer based in New York City. Her original musicals currently in development include A Glimpse of the Rainbow (book, music, and lyrics), Come From Terminal C (book and lyrics by Charles Baran, music by Anessa Marie), The Imperfect Hour (book by Michael Stang, lyrics by Kim Hawkey and Anessa Marie, music by Assaf Gleizner and Anessa Marie), and City of Runaways, a song cycle based on the lives of New Yorkers. Anessa works as a music director in the theatre community of New York City. NYC credits include City of Light (directed by Tony Award winner Cady Huffman as part of SHENYC Summer Theatre Festival), Lysistrata Jones (Ophelia Theatre Group), An Intolerant Vaudeville (The Secret Theatre). Off-broadway credits include Frankenstein, Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas, Stinky Kids the musical, The Bully, and Twinkle Tames A Dragon. Regional Credits include: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Parade, Fiddler on the Roof, 42nd Street, West Side Story, The Last Five Years, Songs for a New World, The Wild Party (Lippa), Sweet Charity, La Cage Aux Folles, and Ragtime. Anessa has also served as music director for various cabaret shows, and has graced the stage at Carnegie Hall, Feinstein's/54 Below, Green Room 42, and The Duplex, among countless others. Anessa's debut album will be released in early 2019. Anessa teaches private voice and piano lessons out of her studio in Astoria, Queens. She also is sought after as an audition coach, helping students develop confidence in their audition book. Anessa plays various auditions throughout New York City, and works closely with Theatre Resources Unlimited helping to develop new work. Available for commissioned work, Anessa specializes in composition for musical theatre, along with arrangements and orchestrations for all genres.

GEORGE RONIS (he/they) has been doing anything for a laugh since age 7. This is Geo's second time performing with the Trans Voices Cabaret and they couldn't be happier about it. Recent credits include Into the Woods (Out of the Box Theatrics), Pass/Fail (Trans Theatre Festival), and Void (Laundryfest).

ANDREA SEARS is a transgender woman who transitioned more than 20 years ago. She is a singer/songwriter who performs at venues around NYC including The Bitter End, The West Side Lounge, the Delancy and The Well. She had a 30-year career as a radio journalist and for the past year has also been working as a background actor for films and television, primarily as a B Block inmate for seasons 6 and 7 of Orange is the New Black. She has also worked on Pose, Bull, High Maintenance, the upcoming Netflix Tales of the City series, as well as a few other TV shows yet to be released, 6 feature films, and a Keith Urban music video.

Related Articles View More Cabaret Stories

Buy at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More

More Hot Stories For You