National Queer Theater And Dixon Place Present CRIMINAL QUEERNESS FESTIVAL, June 9-29

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National Queer Theater And Dixon Place Present CRIMINAL QUEERNESS FESTIVAL, June 9-29

National Queer Theater and Dixon Place, in partnership with the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs and NYC Pride, are proud to present the second annual Criminal Queerness Festival, running online June 9-29, 2020.

This one-of-a-kind event showcases queer and trans artists from countries that criminalize or censor LGBTQ+ communities. The festival, an official event of NYC Pride, builds a global queer community rooted in activism and dedicated to the equitable treatment of LGBTQ+ people around the world. Through a dozen online performances, conversations, and master classes, the Criminal Queerness Festival brings together queer artists, activists, and audiences to address global homophobia and transphobia.

All events are free. More information and direct links can be found at

Originally curated as a live theater festival, the second annual Criminal Queerness Festival has been modified in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The programming centers on the work of four international queer artists whose new plays were scheduled to premiere at Dixon Place in June. They are Migguel Anggelo, a Venezuelan-born, Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist; Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, a resident playwright at New Dramatists and a 2019 Lambda Literary Award Winner; Amahl Khouri, a queer transgender Jordanian playwright and theater maker based in Berlin; and Omer Abbas Salem, a Chicago-based actor and playwright originally from Syria, Turkey, and Egypt.

Adam Odsess-Rubin, Artistic Director of National Queer Theater said, "While we can't gather in person to experience the work of these brave playwrights, I'm humbled that the second edition of the Criminal Queerness Festival has transformed into a truly global event. By moving online, audiences all over the world can now experience the festival's powerful message that all people deserve the basic human rights to happiness, respect, and safety."

Ellie Covan, Founder and Artistic Director of Dixon Place said, "We're so grateful for this extraordinary opportunity to partner with National Queer Theater and Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs. By supporting the Festival, the Mayor's Cultural Impact Award promotes freedom from persecution based on sexual identity -- NYC's progressivism and generosity can pave the way for policymakers across the country to acknowledge and advocate for the rights of queer people everywhere."

Bitta Mostofi, Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs said, "We are proud to partner with Dixon Place and National Queer Theater to present this year's Criminal Queerness Festival. Through our collaboration, we will lift up the voices of queer and trans immigrants who often face double marginalization and reaffirm our commitment to being a home to anyone fleeing oppression and persecution. We are grateful to the Department of Cultural Affairs for funding this amazing initiative."

More information at

Criminal Queerness Festival Programming

June 9 at 7pm
Master Class with playwright Omer Abbas Salem.

June 11 at 8pm
Reading of Mosque4Mosque by Omer Abbas Salem with talkback, moderated by director Sharifa Yasmin.

Mosque4Mosque is a comedy about a normal Muslim American family that asks us to wrestle with what we believe normal to be. In the play, Ibrahim is an average 30-something Arab American Muslim who is constantly being reminded of how unmarried he is by his relentlessly caring immigrant mother, Sara. Having helped raise his smart, popular, hijabi cheerleading younger sister Lena, Ibrahim has always been comfortable sinking into the background. Normal job, quiet life, easy men. But on the precipice of finding what could be his first real relationship, Sara feels compelled to take Ibrahim's future into her own hands by attempting to arrange her son's Big Gay Muslim Wedding all on her own.

June 13 at 2pm
Creative conversation on the impact of ongoing Syrian civil war on LGBTQ+ Communities with Playwright Omer Abbas Salem and guests.

June 16 at 12pm
Creative conversation on queer transnational activism in the Middle East moderated by director Sivan Battat and guests.

June 18 at 2pm
Master Class with playwright Amahl Khouri.

June 20 at 1pm
A Livestream performance of excerpts from Amahl Khouri's She He Me as part of the LGBTQ Digital Pride and Migration 2020 festival.

She He Me is the first Arab transgender play. It follows the true stories of three Arab characters who challenge gender norms. Randa is an Algerian transwoman who is expelled under the threat of death from her homeland because of her LGBT activism there. Omar is a Jordanian gay man, who rather than body dysphoria, suffers social dysphoria when it comes to the strict codes of masculinity imposed and expected of him by both the heterosexual and gay community around him. Rok is a Lebanese transman. His main challenge is convincing his very conservative religious mother that her daughter is actually a boy. Through humor and horror, the three characters come up against the state, society, the family, but also themselves.

June 21 at 4pm:
Facebook Live performance of She He Me by Amahl Khouri followed by a talkback with Khouri moderated by director Sivan Battat.

June 23 at 7pm
Panel on LGBTQ+ human rights in Central and South America with multidisciplinary artist Migguel Anggelo.

June 26 at 7pm
Live screening of vichitra: an anthology of queer dreams, directed by Shayok Misha Chowdhury with video by Kameron Neal and sound design by Jeremy Bloom. Post-show discussion with Shayok Misha Chowdhury.

In this audiovisual patchwork, LGBTQ+ folx of South Asian origin recall the queer logic of their dreams: good and bad, vivid and blurry, ordinary and extraordinary.

June 28 at 7pm
An original video from Migguel Anggelo with a screenplay by J. Julian Christoper, musical direction by Jaime Lozano, and directed and developed by Srđa Vasiljević.

June 29 at 3pm
Master Class with Playwright Mashuq Mushtaq Deen.

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