Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal
Though in-person theater is halted, Aaron Leventman sees one silver lining — a wider audience.
Leventman has been producing the ongoing LGBTQ+ Online Short Play Series for months through his Almost Adults Productions.
The online series has since moved to once a month.
“The first series for 2021 was in January and it was our biggest audience yet,” Leventman says. “It’s really taking off now and we’re having people from all over the world.”
The next production is at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, and will be livestreamed on the Almost Adults Facebook page, which can be found by searching @almostadultstheatre or on Zoom.
The event will last 90 minutes and includes a talkback after the readings.
Leventman decided to move the series to monthly because he needed a break from presenting the series twice a month.
“After the break from the holidays, there was this new excitement about the series from some of the playwrights and actors,” he said. “They are helping put out the word in a major way. Our live component is doubling in size on the night of. Then, people watch on Facebook and YouTube after it’s aired.”
Leventman said that, as the series has grown in popularity, he’s begun to look at programming second plays from some playwrights.
“I’m constantly taking new submissions,” he said. “There is this whole new crop of actors from New York and Los Angeles that is helping increase the diversity of the company.”
The company is also getting a new website designed by Michael Karpienski Web Design Services.
Almost Adult Productions is also taking part in a South by Southwest Conference and Festival’s mentoring session.
“We’re going to be part of one of their panel sessions,” Leventman said. “Because it’s happening virtually, it makes it easier for the company to be there and be represented in SXSW.”
The lineup for the upcoming show is as follows:
“The Masseur and the Movie Star” by William Ivor Fowkes of New York. It is directed by Matthew Cogswell, and features Brewer Daniels and Tony Melson. It tells the story of a former closeted gay movie star who meets an attractive masseur and fan at a social club for senior men.
“Fury Like a Drag Queen Scorned” by Diana Burbano is based on the transcripts of Sylvia Rivera. It is directed by Talia Pura and stars River Coello. It tells the story of Sylvia Rivera who sets the record straight on Stonewall, the gay liberation movement, and the erasure of queer people of color and members of the LGBTQ community who do not conform to gender norms or typical gender categories.
“Uplift by Rachael Carnes” of Portland, Oregon, is directed by Georgina Hahn, and features Leventman and Chris Covell. It tells the story of two trapeze artists reckoning with nine months of quarantine.
“… Last and Always” by Allan Baker of Austin, Texas, is directed by Duchess Dale, with Bryce Townsend and Tony Melson. On 9/11, a gay couple — one in the WTC and one at their home in the city — must say goodbye.