Since 2004, Theatre Askew’s productions have redefined LGBT theater by using queerness as a metaphor for all who stand on the margins of American society.
Theatre Askew’s productions have straddled many contradictions: popular and alternative; gay and straight; pleasing and provoking. The company draws from theatrical and literary heritage to create exciting new works that confront cultural and political concerns and that have social impact and spiritual consequence.
Since the company’s founding it has presented six mainstage works: Bald Diva! (one of Theater Mania’s 10 Best Productions of 2004 and a GLAAD Media Award nominee); The Tempest; the six-part serial I, Claudius Live; i google myself (GLAAD Media Award nomination); Cornbury: The Queen’s Governor; and Bianca Leigh’s solo musical A Night at the Tombs. In addition, the Theatre Askew Drafting Table, the company’s developmental series, has presented workshop productions of That’s Not It (based on The Seagull); The Tale of the Good Whistleblower of Chaillot’s Caucasian Mother… in The Brick’s Antidepressant Festival; and Horatio’s Rise.
Theatre Askew is the only professional theater company in the New York area that offers an educational program specifically for sexual minority youth–the Theatre Askew Youth Performance Experience (TAYPE). Since it’s inception in 2005, TAYPE has presented LGBTQ youth in the original plays, Just to Be Safe, Thirsty, and HOME/Away.
In 2007, NYTheatre.com recognized Theatre Askew co-founders Jason Jacobs and Tim Cusack as “People of the Year,” for “consistently spotlight(ing) important social issues without ever sacrificing entertainment value.” In addition, artistic director Tim Cusack has been twice featured in Next magazine, first as a “Future Legend” and last year as one of the leaders of the “New Gay Stage.”
Once a year, Theatre Askew presents an original piece created by the participants in the Theatre Askew Youth Performance Experience (TAYPE). TAYPE is the only educational theater program in NYC run by a professional company specifically for sexually minority youth (gay/lesbian/bisesxual/transgender/questioning) and their allies. Theatre Askew invites any interested high school educators to bring groups of students to these performances. In addition to appearing in the work they’ve helped to create, the TAYPE ensemble also participates in post-show discussions to foster communication and honest peer-to-peer and intergenerational dialogue around issues of sexuality, coming out, violence, and self-respect. Theatre Askew offers these performances for free to all school groups as a gift to the community.