QueerSpawn is probably not a word that most folks hear on a daily basis. Is it a derogatory remark? A video game? Is it even a real thing, and if so, what?
A word that has been acknowledged by LGBT scholars and authors as a term used to label the children of gay and lesbian parents, “queerspawn” is now also the title of an off-Broadway performance written by playwright Mallory Avidon.
The show, a comedic drama for adults, features a high school freshman known only as “The Kid,” who is continuously tormented by his peers for being gay. The twist is, The Kid isn’t actually gay at all, but is assumed to be because of his two lesbian moms. He isn’t gay, just the son of queer parents, which brands him regardless of his sexual orientation, queerSpawn.
QueerSpawn, acted and produced by the New York City based performance collective A Collection of Shiny Objects, is directed by Jesse Geiger, and is being hosted by the HERE Arts Center. HERE couldn’t be a more fitting space for the show, or A Collection of Shiny Objects, a group committed to exploring representations of gender, race, sexuality, and class in the form of multimedia and performance art. HERE is equally devoted to bringing visibility to artists seeking to share and create groundbreaking contemporary works that are often controversial.
Avidon’s queerSpawn demonstrates how performance can be used as a medium to explore bullying, the experiences and struggles of young people today, and the differences between all of us. Her research for this play was supported by Colage, a national organization that unites and supports people with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer parents, some of which she was able to interview and learn from personally. Whether or not queerSpawn will delight audiences with its dark humor, it’s a performance piece that can create important dialogue surrounding LGBT issues.
For more information about HERE and queerSpawn, visit http://here.org.
Also be sure to check out Charles Isherwood’s review of the performance in the New York Times.