2nd Annual Criminal Queerness Festival Goes Global As Part Of NYC Pride

2nd Annual Criminal Queerness Festival Goes Global As Part Of NYC Pride
L-R Karen Eilbacher and T Thompson in Waafrika 123 (photo: Sean Velasco Dodge)

Guest post by Lawrence Pfeil Jr.

The uprising for social justice and equality in America, which has been expanding exponentially over the past weeks, is not unique to this country.  It has become the catalyst for demonstrations and protests around the world.

But in some countries conversations about equality especially for LGBTQ+ people are illegal and silenced.  Queer artists have no stage for their voice or work and are forced to go outside their own countries for the freedom to express who they are.

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 13–29, 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 masterclasses, the Criminal Queerness Festival brings together queer artists, activists, and audiences to address global homophobia and transphobia. All events are free.

A schedule, event details, and direct links can be found at dixonplace.org.

2nd Annual Criminal Queerness Festival Goes Global As Part Of NYC Pride

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.

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

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 of happiness, respect, and safety.”

Detailed descriptions for each event available HERE 


Lawrence Pfeil, Jr., is a freelance writer/playwright who has reviewed film and theatre, both on and off-Broadway, for media outlets including The Randy Report, the New York Blade, and Edge Publications. You can follow him at TheOUTfront.com.