June 27 - june 29
ABOUT: It is the morning after the brutal murder of Julio Rivera, a gay Puerto Rican man in Jackson Heights, Queens. The murder became the first gay hate crime tried in New York State during the 1990s. In Julio Down By The Schoolyard, the community reacts and is taken on a journey of self-discovery by a fabulously unapologetic queen personifying the beauty and brutality of Jackson Heights. The play is an examination of the political and societal environment of Jackson Heights capturing the fear and outrage of the LGBTQIA+ Community leading to the borough’s first public demonstrations against homophobia. Like many Queer stories, the play does not follow a traditional narrative, as LGBTQIA+ people are often forced to follow non-traditional lives due to laws and societal pressure. The play focuses on poetry, imagery, and Fabulism to take a hard look at how Queer bodies are seen as threats to the status quo; in this case, Julio Rivera, but also in the current political climate.
J. Julian christoher
is a Queer, Puerto Rican and Dominican playwright. He holds an MFA in Acting from The New School for Drama. Acting credits include: TBA (by Carla Ching), Holiday Movies (directed by Liz Swados), and The Karaoke Show (directed by Diane Paulus). Awards include: The 2009 Public Theater Emerging Writers Group, the 2014 Best New Work Motif Award, the 2015 Queens Arts Council Grant, the 2017 & 2018 Pipeline Theatre Company PlayLab, and the Class of 2025 New Dramatist Residency. He has workshopped his plays at LAByrinth Theater, TerraNova Collective, Fuse Theatre, and The Working Theatre. Productions include: Man Boobs (Pride Films & Plays, 2011), Nico was a Fashion Model (Counter-Productions Theatre Company, 2013),Animals Commit Suicide (First Floor Theater, 2015), and Locusts Have No King (INTAR, 2016). Julian's short plays, Metro Psalmand SCHWARZ! (Hansel und Gretel) were selected as finalists in the Off-Off Broadway Samuel French Short Play Festival two years in a row (2009 & 2010). He was also the book writer for Peril Forest, a musical written for the 24 Hour Musicals in May 2016. Julian has been a finalist for Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Rising Circle, and SPACE at Ryder Farm’s Working Farm Residency. Other plays include, Alligator Mouth, anOTHER, ¡OSO FABULOSO! & The Bear Backs, and Bruise & Thorn (2018 PlayPenn Conference). He is a co-producer and co-writer of the hit web series, Bulk - The Series, the chair of Region 1’s National Playwriting Program for The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, and an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Queensborough Community College.