TOSOS Hosts Free LGBTQIA+ Play Reading Series Beginning This Week

The performance is on Thursday, February 22, 2024 at 7:00 p.m.

By: Feb. 22, 2024
TOSOS Hosts Free LGBTQIA+ Play Reading Series Beginning This Week
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New York City's oldest and longest producing LGBTQIA+ theater company TOSOS has announced The 2024 Chesley/Chambers Reading Series, celebrating queer voices as part of the company's 50th Anniversary Season. Inspired works by notable playwrights Lanford Wilson, Danielle Frimer, and John Patterson will activate the free reading series of five plays to be read at The Flea Theater, 20 Thomas Street in NYC's TriBeCa neighborhood.

Plays in this year's Reading Series include:

Thursday, February 22, 2024 / 7:00 p.m.

Lemon Sky by Lanford Wilson

Directed by Reesa Graham

Registration Link:

Synopsis: Written in 1970 by legendary queer playwright Lanford Wilson. At seventeen, Alan visits the California home of his father and his father's former mistress turned wife. His father's life now centers around his two young sons, a tiresome job at an aircraft plant, and two teenage girls who are boarded with the family by the state. Will Alan get the love and support of a father he so desperately wants and needs?

The Cast: Jamie Heinlein (TOSOS's Pride House, and Penny Penniworth); Jake Mendes (Off-Broadway: Bunnicula, Pinkalicious!); Dawson Sciacca; Raquel Sciacca; Hannah Snow; Tom Souhrada (Broadway & National Tours: Mary Poppins; Kinky Boots,; Evita; My Fair Lady; The King & I; and The Boy Friend, directed by Julie Andrews); and Sean-Edward Varner.

Thursday, March 21, 2024 / 7:00 p.m.

P. Pan Et Al by Danielle Frimer

Directed by Hannah Katz

Registration Link:

Synopsis: Hot Take: Peter Pan was a lesbian who invented color films.* A hundred years ago, the famous and famously private actress Maude Adams-whose name was synonymous with the iconic role written for her by J.M. Barrie-retired from the stage. Still reeling from the deaths of her mother and best friend and recovering from the flu that had just swept the globe-she moved to upstate New York, where a lightbulb went off that would change the art of storytelling forever. P. Pan Et Al follows Adams as she corrals a team of General Electric engineers and inventors in their attempts to lasso the sun. Their collaboration yields incandescent lamps powerful enough to capture "living photographs" in color, yet Maude's name leaves barely a trace in the annals of cinematic history. P. Pan Et Al explores the complicated place of a queer woman in STEM before Women in STEM and the peculiar power of the wizards and wizardesses who shape the technology that shapes us. *a historical re-imagining based upon true events.

May 8, 2024 / 7:00 p.m.

MASK4MASK by John Patterson

Directed by Rulas A. Muñoz

Registration Link: Coming soon

Synopsis: When country singer Grant Collins is publicly outed, he struggles to reinvent himself as a gay pop star. MASK4MASK explores what happens after coming out. How do we create (and re-create) ourselves, given the limited scripts provided for us? How do these narratives inhibit real growth and prevent true connection? And what is the psychological toll of being in a constant state of reinvention?

The Chesley/Chambers Reading Series is a celebration of impassioned LGBTQIA+ voices contributing to our collective theatrical heritage through TOSOS's Robert Chesley/Jane Chambers Playwrights Project, an ongoing forum for playwrights to have their work presented and voices heard. The series honors playwright Jane Chambers (1937-1983), a pioneer in writing theatrical works with openly lesbian characters and perhaps best known for Last Summer at Bluefish Cove; and playwright Robert Chesley (1943-1990), a theater critic and musical composer, known for his play Jerker. Click here for more information.

TOSOS launched its ground-breaking 50th Anniversary Season with sold out performances of the world premiere of Chris Weikel's Pride House, directed by Igor Goldin (Yank!, With Glee). A reimagination of Doric Wilson's Street Theater with be the company's second full production at The Flea Theater in July. Multiple fundraising events that are open to the public and activated to celebrate the community will include TOSOS's annual cocktail party (May), Pride party (June), and Annual Gala (October).

TOSOS (The Other Side of Silence) is New York City's oldest and longest producing professional LGBTQIA+ theater company. In 1974, Off-Off-Broadway veteran Doric Wilson, cabaret star Billy Blackwell and director Peter dell Valle, started the first professional gay theatre company in NYC. It was called The Other Side of Silence-TOSOS for short. In 2002, directors Mark Finley and Barry Childs and playwright Wilson resurrected TOSOS. The company has produced over 30 mainstage shows and so many readings of new plays and works in progress we have trouble counting them all.