GayFest NYC Presents MOTHER TONGUE, 5/13-5/23

GAYFEST NYC, Inc., (Bruce Robert Harris and Jack W. Batman, Producers), the country's premier producer of new LGBT-themed plays, continues its Fourth Annual Festival, a five-week event (May 6 - June 6, 2010) filled with new theatre works spotlighting gay issues, with the world premiere of the new play Mother Tongue written by F. J. Hartland with direction by Margarett Perry. Performances began May 13, 2010 for a limited engagement through Sunday, May 23, 2010 in the Dorothy Strelsin Theatre at the Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex (312 West 36th Street). Opening night is Friday, May 14, 2010.

Mother Tongue is play about a young painter who finds his life turned upside down by a new lover with a mysterious past and a mother pursuing a career as a stand-up comedian. Whose side will he take? The 3-member cast features Jake Paque as Matt, Kevin Spirtas as Cale and J.J. Van Name as Bertie.

The creative team includes Michael Hotopp (Set), T. Michael Hall (Costumes), and Jesse Belsky (Lights). The Production Stage Manager is Andrea Wales.

Mother Tongue will play the following performance schedule: Tuesdays - Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. and Sundays at 6:30 p.m. with a special matinee performance on Saturday afternoon, May 15th at 2:00 p.m.

Currently in performance through May 16th is the U.S. premiere of Romeo and Hamlet by written by R. Jonathan Chapman and Kevin Stefan and directed by Sidney J. Burgoyne. The Festival concludes with 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).

As a special added event, The Festival will present 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, starring Steve Hayes, John K. Bixler (May 24-29, 2010, June Havoc Theatre). Steve Hayes: Tired Old Queen At The Movies: Live! plays the foll0wing performance schedule: Monday - Saturday at 8:30 p.m. with a Saturday matinee at 2:30 p.m. on May 29th.

Single tickets are $18 each for the 3 plays in the Festival. Ticket for the special added event are $35. All proceeds from GAYFEST NYC benefit the Harvey Milk High School. Tickets are now on sale at or by calling 212-351-3101. For additional information log onto:

Sponsors of GAYFEST NYC include American Airlines, Macy's, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Bud Light, Grey Goose Vodka, Lladro, Sutter Home Vineyards, DG Neary Real Estate, Jamie deRoy, Sutter Home Vineyards, Starbright Floral Design, The Protein Bakery, Bamboo 52/Philip Marie, Burgers & Cupcakes, and media sponsors including the Village Voice, Back Stage, Edge Publications, Next Magazine, GO! Magazine, FunMaps, Mark Nelson Events, HHC Marketing 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 Lily Tomlin, 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."

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