Theater for the New City Stages LURED - An Honest and Brutal Depiction of Gay Persecution in Russia

By: Aug. 30, 2018
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Theater for the New City Stages LURED - An Honest and Brutal Depiction of Gay Persecution in Russia

LURED, a brutal and honest depiction of gay persecution in Russia, written by Frank J. Avella, and co-directed by Carlotta Brentan, will have a world premiere 3-week run at Theater for the New City (Crystal Field, Artistic Director) November 8-25, 2018. Following its New York run, the play will head to Europe where it was accepted into the Onstage! American Theater Festival in Rome, Italy, with performances there on January 25th & 26th 2019. LURED will be co-directed by Mr. Avella and Carlotta Brentan.

Based on factual accounts and events, LURED focuses on one particular Russian hate group's attack on a young gay man and the repercussions that follow, when his loved ones decide to take action. The play depicts how these vigilantes lure and entrap LGBTQ people, humiliating and torturing them on camera. LURED wonders if hate is inherent or taught and whether revenge is ever the answer. In this current world climate, the play could not be timelier. LURED is for mature audiences only.

The production had its first NYC performances at the TNC Dream Up Festival in 2016. The following year, the play was chosen to take part in the 36th Annual William Inge Theater Festival (PlayLabs). LURED was a semi-finalist for the 2018 O'Neill National Playwrights Conference and has received a 2018 grant from the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation.

The cast will feature Ms. Brentan, Brendan Daugherty, John DiMino, Cali Gilman, Kalen J. Hall, Marc Lombardo & David Joseph Volino.

LURED features lighting design by David Shocket, costume design by Victoria Ratermanis and fight choreography by Randall Rodriguez. The production Stage Manager is Emily Rose White. Dialect coach is Dayle Towarnicky.

Frank J. Avella (Author/Co-director) is the recipient of a 2018 Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship. He was also awarded a 2015 Fellowship Award from the NJ State Council on the Arts, a 2016 Helene Wurlitzer Residency Grant and the Chesley/Bumbalo Foundation Playwright Award for Consent, which was a 2012 O'Neill semifinalist. His play, Vatican Falls, took part in the 2017 Planet Connections Festivity and Frank was nominated for Outstanding Playwriting. LURED was a 2018 O'Neill semifinalist. Frank has written many plays and screenplays. He is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild.

Carlotta Brentan (Co-director) is a New York-based theater artist, specializing in fostering original play development as an actor, translator and producer. Recent acting highlights: world premieres of Paolo Bignami's The Journey I Never Made (Cherry Lane), Erik Ehn's Clover (LaMaMa), Cyndy A. Marion's You Are Perfect (WorkShop Theatre). Executive Producer of In Scena! Italian Theater Festival New York. Training: AADA, Academy Company.

The LURED performance schedule is as follows: Thurs., Nov. 8th - Sun., Nov. 25th, Thurs., Fri., Sat. at 8pm and Sun. at 3pm. With added performances on Sat., Nov. 10th at 3pm and Mon., November 19th at 8pm.

Tickets are $18 for all performances and are available online at, by calling SmartTix at 212-868-4444 or in person at the theater prior to each performance.

Please call 973-715-2356 for further information or e-mail

Carlotta Brentan, David Joseph Volino, Marc Lombardo, Cali Gilman, Kalen J. Hall and Brendan Daugherty. Photos by Shushu Chen.



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