"I was a gay Jewish boy in the hills of West Virginia when the Blacksville mine disaster killed nine men. Throughout my childhood, whenever I’d gone to the doctor, I’d sat next to emaciated miners, hacking their guts out from Black Lung. So I pictured those men crushed and burned in Blacksville. My Dad brought me along to a stormy United Mine Workers protest where speakers struggled in vain to express the horror of the disaster. Then folklorist Michael Klein stood up in the hot rain and he sang a traditional mining song with the words artfully altered to address the tragedy. I found myself crying, everyone did. My heart opened to the pain all around me. In the face of catastrophe, the beauty and anger of the music—the unexpected depth Michael found in a little old ditty—swept us all up and pulled us all together."
The Theater Offensive
55 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02116
The Theater Offensive’s OUT in Your Neighborhood approach engages community members in creating art that expresses the diversity of experiences within and beyond the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities. With a focus in the Roxbury, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, & South End neighborhoods, The Theater Offensive (TTO) produces neighborhood productions, community events, and collaborative creations such as workshops and showcases to present these works. Founder and Artistic Director Abe Rybeck reports that in the first two years of OUT in Your Neighborhood, TTO has presented over 200 events serving almost 6000 LGBT and allied Bostonians.
The Theater Offensive's work provokes vibrant discussion about the realities of being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Through social gatherings, soirees, workshops, and post-show discussions, the organization transcends traditional theater boundaries and opens new avenues of understanding, awareness and inclusion within queer communities as well as outside of them.