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{Your Name Here} A Queer Theater Company

Lesbian Juliet & Romeo Keys Advocacy Efforts

What started as a campaign against the North Carolina state legislature to ban gay weddings has developed into a Shakespearean production by the {Your Name Here} A Queer Theater Company in New York City. Juliet & Romeo, an adaptation of Shakespeare's play with lesbians as the titular couple, will play at The Tank, 151 W 46th Street, 8th Floor, June 15–23.

When the North Carolina Senate passed ballot initiative Amendment One to change the state's constitution to decree that legal marriage would be defined as only between a man and a woman, New York theater artist and North Carolina native Victoria Tucci took action through a theatrical performance called Romeo & Juliet: Forbidden Love Comes to North Carolina. Tucci worked with director Samantha Hirsch to develop a lesbian take on the play. "The show not only served as a way to have discussions about gender and sexuality, but also was a place where political action could be taken," Tucci writes on the Kickstarter page for Juliet & Romeo. The performances turned into political activism events with petitions and voter registration.

This prompted Tucci to develop a "Theatre As Advocacy" initiative with {Your Name Here} A Queer Theater in New York and revise Romeo & Juliet. With a new adaptation by Mark Duncan, who is also directing, Juliet & Romeo recasts the teens as a lesbian couple in modern America. "Through this queer lens, the themes of hate become more prescient as we explore what happens when LGBT youth are not given the support they need," Tucci writes.

This production kicks off the company's Theater As Advocacy campaign. "Our campaign is focused on what we can do as individuals and as a community to support the LGBT youth in our lives," Tucci writes, a campaign she hopes will expand beyond New York City.

In addition to staging this adaptation of Shakespeare's famous love story, {Your Name Here} A Queer Theater is inviting youths to get involved in its Letters to Romeo Campaign. The letter is a four-question survey people can answer anonymously via email or Twitter. The campaign is intended to gather information on how the LGBT community can better support youths, focusing on issues such as suicide, homelessness, and hate crime.

For tickets to Juliet & Romeo and more information on the Letters to Romeo Campaign, visit

June 1, 2013

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