The Theater Offensive

Theatre Offensive

Happy silver anniversary to The Theater Offensive (TTO), started in 1989 to present the diversity of LGBT lives in art up in the Boston area.

Growing out of the guerilla street performance troupe United Fruit Company, TTO  supports the creation of new and original work, and a majority of the productions have been by artists of color.  It is also the home to True Colors: Out Youth Theater, the nation’s oldest LGBT youth theater group.

Priding itself on community-based work, the company focuses all of its creative resources on building safer and thriving neighborhoods for the people who live there. Support for their work is strong, but the troupe knows its effort is still very much needed.

“We are thankful that in this day and age, most theater companies include at least one queer themed play in their season,” says Evelyn Francis, director of programs. “However, in most neighborhoods in most cities, you not only do not see any queer theater, you can’t see any theater at all. We are interested in saying, okay, what if queer theater was something that happened out in the neighborhoods in everyday places. This is something that would impact every single person, seeing culturally competent queer work in the places where we live, work and play in our day-to-day lives.”

This fall The Theater Offensive will be presenting River See from writer/director Sharon Bridgforth, author of The Bull Jean Stories. River See is set in the Deep South of the early 1900s, and tells the story of a queer Black woman, See, who has dreams to journey far away from home. The performance is a celebration of a woman’s love for her family and community, and her struggles of leaving a life she has always known to voyage on a juking boat up the Mississippi River.

“We were drawn to River See because of Sharon’s exceptional body of work and the ties of this subject matter to Boston,” says Francis.” River See focuses specifically on the migration of a queer woman of color, and there are many queer people in Boston today, including me, that have sought safety and refuge in the North.”

Be on the lookout for Kat Evasco’s Mommy Queerest in April, 2015, as the troupe tells the story of  a young Filipina, who discovers that her mother is lesbian before she figures  it out for herself. The show embraces honest humor and an in-your-face approach to navigate personal journeys and to address homophobia, abuse, and deep self-exploration.