GAYFEST NYC Announces Fourth Annual Festival May 6 - June 6

GAYFEST NYC, Inc., (Bruce Robert Harris and Jack W. Batman, Producers), the country's premier producer of new LGBT-themed plays, launches its Fourth Annual Festival, a five-week event (May 6 - June 6, 2010) filled with new theatre works spotlighting gay issues, with the U.S. premiere of the play Romeo and Hamlet written by R. Jonathan Chapman and Kevin Stefan and directed by Sidney J. Burgoyne. Performances began May 6, 2010 for a limited engagement through Sunday, May 16, 2010 in the June Havoc Theatre at the Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex (312 West 36th Street). Opening night is Friday, May 7, 2010.
Romeo and Hamlet is a comedy on marriage equality in the style of William Shakespeare. Romeo goes to the ball where he is soon to meet the beautiful young Juliet, but bumps into the dashing prince Hamlet instead. Naturally, the two fall hopelessly in love. While Hamlet strives to juggle the pressures of his new-found love, his arch-conservative family, and his quest for revenge, he must also keep his secrets from the woman he is sworn to marry: Hell hath no fury like a Juliet scorned. Winner of the 2005 Outstanding Original Script, CAT Awards (Canada).
The 9-member cast features Ellen Adair as Juliet, Maechi Aharanwa as Guildenstern, Chris Bannow as Romeo, Eve Danzeisen as Benvolio, Craig Wesley Divino as Hamlet, Amy Jackson as Mercutio, Kate Levy as (Gertrude/Friar Laurence, Peter Reznikoff as Claudius/Ghost of Hamlet's Father, and Phillip Taratula as Rosencrantz.
Romeo and Hamlet will play the following performance schedule: Tuesdays - Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 6:00 p.m. with a special matinee performance on Saturday afternoon, May 8th at 2:00 p.m.

The Festival continues with the world premiere of the new play Mother Tongue by F.J. Hartland

with direction by Margarett Perry (May 13 - May 23, 2010, Dorothy Strelsin Theatre), the world premiere of Steve Hayes: Tired Old Queen At The Movies: Live! The sensational YouTube Series comes to life on stage with direction by Vincent J. Cardinal, featuring Steve Hayes, John K. Bixler for three performances only (May 24-26, 2010, June Havoc Theatre). and the world premiere of the new musical This One Girl's Story (inspired by the proud life of Sakia Gunn and based on a true story) with Book by Bil Wright, and Music and Lyrics by Dionne McClain-Freeney with direction by Devanand Janki (May 27 - June 6, 2010, June Havoc Theatre). Please note: The previously announced New York premiere of the play The Legacy by Adam Siegel has been postponed due to a last minute scheduling conflict.
A 4-Play Festival Passport is available at $65, with single tickets priced at $18 for all productions. All proceeds from GAYFEST NYC benefit the Harvey Milk High School. Tickets are now on sale at www.Theatermania.com or by calling 212-351-3101. For additional information log onto: www.GAYFESTNYC.com.

Sponsors of GAYFEST NYC include American Airlines, HSBC Bank, Bud Light, Grey Goose Vodka, Lladro, RockStar energy drink, Andrew Christian, DG Neary Real Estate, Jamie deRoy, Interactive Male, Sutter Home Vineyards, Theatermania.com and media sponsors including the Village Voice, Where New York, IN New York Magazine, Next Magazine, Back Stage, The New York Blade, GO! Magazine, FunMaps, Mark Nelson Events and others. GAYFEST NYC receives generous support from the Office of the Manhattan Borough President.

"GAYFEST NYC's mission is twofold," said Jack W. Batman, co-Producer of the festival. "First, to develop new voices for the LGBT community and, in doing so, expand the reach and accessibility of both emerging and established playwrights, composers and lyricists while providing high level entertainment to a discerning and supportive audience. The second part of our mission is to give back. To that end, through our fundraising efforts and the generosity of our sponsors, advertisers and supporters, we have established a scholarship fund to benefit students of Harvey Milk High School," continued Batman. "Since 2007, GAYFEST NYC, Inc. has awarded twenty-three scholarships to graduating seniors and established an accredited elective Playwriting program at the school."

Harvey Milk High School (HMHS) is a fully-accredited, voluntary NYC public high school focused on the educational needs of teenagers who are in crisis or at risk of physical violence and/or emotional harm in a traditional educational environment.

"GAYFEST NYC, Inc. is also committed to producing plays that will have a life outside the Festival," said Bruce Robert Harris, co-Producer of GAYFEST NYC, "plays that will represent the Festival in productions around the English-speaking world and which might also be brought to life in television and/or film presentations. Board members of GAYFEST NYC, Inc. include Terrence McNally, Charles Busch, Douglas Carter Beane, Mario Cantone, Kate Clinton and a distinguished group of Broadway producers, actors, writers, artistic and executive directors of regional theatres plus other entertainment professionals."

www.GAYFESTNYC.com

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