Join us for The Theater Offensive’s inaugural Queer Family Festival (QFF), as part of The Theater Offensive’s Queer Family Series on Sunday, June 11, 2023!
Please Note: Masks are required.
In partnership with The Theater Offensive, QFF is an open access festival that accommodates anyone with the dedication to starting dialogues on queerness, being, growing, and becoming yourself. Centering families, community, and theater education, this festival will showcase family centered and queer friendly vendor expo, performers, interactive play stations, facilitated conversations, drag story hours, performances, and more.
There will be programming available for anyone ages 3-18!
Queer Family Festival Lineup
Drag Story Hour | 11:00 AM
It’s just what it sounds like! Storytellers using the art of drag to read books to kids. Drag Story Hour captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real. Join us as drag performers read to us, and for a special interactive lip sync edition of follow the leader afterwards. Recommended for children ages 3-8.
Queer Family Planning Panel | 12:00pm
Everyone has different approaches when it comes to preparing for a family, and that certainly is the case when queer people make that move. The traditional process to welcome a newborn is still rooted in the gender binary, but we find more and more kids are embracing queerness as the language is available for those. Queer Family Planning is a panel discussion on how to build a queer family; for families who have kids coming out, to queer couples who want to introduce a little one to their growing family, we welcome you to join this discussion.
Youth & Family Meditation Workshop with Marlene Boyette | 1:30 PM
Join Trauma-Informed wellness practitioner and social justice educator, Marlene Boyette for an Intentional Rest & Day Dreaming session that welcomes participants to experience ease as they are lulled by a sound meditation, and guided through intention setting and a body scan that encourages softening of the physical body, the emotional and mental states, as personal permission is granted to let the imagination bloom and wander. This offering is holds space for all ages.
Performance by Pineapple Project | 2:00 PM
Enjoy a fun and engaging original show that explores gender, creativity, and each child’s freedom to be who they are. Recommended for children ages 3-8.
“Boys can’t be princesses!” The impetus for The Pineapple Project came out of this moment during play between Mal and Mal’s niece. As a nonbinary person and theater artist, Mal knew that this moment could not go by without recognizing how early in a child’s development, ideas and influences can form around gender. And with years of experience working with LGBTQ youth who struggle with their gender, Mal, Becca, and Renee, felt it was time to create a theater piece that could help broaden the conversation as well as advocate for and validate each child’s individual freedom to be who they are. For more information regarding Pineapple Project visit their website here https://www.pineappleproject.org/
Drag Story Hour | 3:00 PM
It’s just what it sounds like! Storytellers using the art of drag to read books to kids. Drag Story Hour captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real.
Join us as drag performers read to us, and for a special interactive lip sync edition of follow the leader afterwards. Recommended for children ages 3-8.
Queering the Theater Canon with AJ Helman | 4:30pm
This workshop will begin with an interactive lecture on the history of queer theater canon and the pitfalls of shows like 1776 that try to put representation in stories that weren’t written for us/by us. Participants will then craft their own trans protagonist and monologue as the start of their own queer theatrical piece. Recommended for children ages 14+
Teen Performance Story Circle | 6:00 PM
In the story circle tradition, we gather to tell stories from our lives and bear witness to the patterns that emerge: sameness, difference, and the beauty that grows between and beyond. At this story circle, we invite all youth to share stories from our experiences of [family, rebirth, and words creating action.] “This is how the spell works. We say what is real about our own lives. We mold the clay of what is into what we need, and glory at its beauty.” Join Mica Rose for this gathering grown in the lineage of John O’Neal, Márquez Rhyne, and generations of BIPOC circle keepers. The StoryCircle will cover the following prompts & more: [Tell us a story about your words creating action Tell us about a time when sharing “family business” led to a moment of transformation and change Tell us a story of rebirth that came after, or because of, a conflict] Recommended for children ages 14+.
Zine Workshop with Des Bennett | 6:30 PM
Join zinester and collage artist Des Bennett for a Zine Making Workshop! In this workshop, you will learn how to make and design a one-page zine to send a message of belonging to a friend, family member, stranger — or yourself! Paper, collage materials, makers, colored pencils, and more will be provided to bring your zine to life. Have something in mind? Feel free to bring your own materials as well! Recommended for children ages 14+
Drag Makeup 101 with Neon Calypso | 7:30pm
Join the phenomenal Neon Calypso in this hands-on Drag Makeup 101! In this class you will learn basic Drag Makeup characterization techniques on how to exaggerate features, including:
- Advanced highlighting and contouring of the face and neck
- What works better for stage
- The use of upper and lower false eyelashes and their positioning when creating a new eye shape
- Concealing the eyebrows for an elevated brow design
This class will mention the optional use of wigs, but not necessarily cover their application extensively. Please bring any wigs or hairpieces you would like to use and, time permitting, wear them at the end. Please keep in mind Drag Makeup takes a long time and we will consume the entire 90 minutes creating ONE look.
Recommended for children ages 14+.
A Note From The Organizers
Dear Valued Community Member —
We are excited to invite you all to The Theater Offensive’s inaugural Queer Family Festival, as part of our Queer Family Series (QFS)! The Queer Family Festival (QFF) is an open access festival that accommodates anyone with the dedication to starting dialogues on queerness, being, growing, and becoming yourself. Centering families, community, and theater education, this festival will showcase family centered and queer friendly vendor expo, performers, family meditation sessions, facilitated conversations, drag story hours, youth performances, and more.
At The Theater Offensive, we believe that community safety is a pillar to creating an inclusive environment. In the tradition of art made by Queer and Trans People of Color, we want to create an intentional, inclusive, and healing space for this event centered in radical empathy and universal love.
To create this sacred space we are setting some community standards to prevent further trauma and/or oppression to QTPOC community members.
We invite you –
to feel how you want to feel,
to speak from your own experience
to claim and own your emotions and struggles, and express your wants and needs as such
No bullying, xenophobic, homophobic, and/or transphobic behavior of any kind will be tolerated in this sacred and brave space. If such incidents happen we will remove said person(s) immediately so other folks can process their respective thoughts, emotions, connections, and questions while at the festival. TTO and BCA are committed to creating a place where individuals can come as they are, and engage with the art without risk of harm or trauma from any of our audience members. We thank you in advance for helping us maintain and defend this sacred space.
In partnership, Boston Center for the Arts and The Theater Offensive have created this FAQ to answer questions and concerns around safety for this festival.
Tonasia Jones Director of Programs at The Theatre Offensive
& Michaila Cowie Associate Director of Theatre Arts at BCA