$10,000 federal grant for play set in town where ‘gender and sexual identity are fluid’

The National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) is contributing to the production of a new adaptation of “Our Town,” set in a town where “gender and sexual identity are fluid.”

The Foundry Theatre, Inc., a theater company in New York City, received $10,000 to reimagine the quintessential American play about love and marriage in a fictional New Hampshire town set in the early 1900s. The Foundry Theater’s new version, which will go by another title, takes place in the present in a queer community.

“Playwright Casey Llewellyn will use [Thorton] Wilder’s text and strive to maintain his aestheic [sic] and social relevance while she considers cultural and social issues within contemporary society,” a description of the NEA grant states. “The play will explore questions of love, marriage, and loss within the context of a town where the inhabitants’ gender and sexual identity are fluid.”

Melanie Joseph, the founder and the artistic leader of the Foundry Theater, told the Washington Free Beacon that federal funding has gone to support a huge cast, workshops, and to develop the script. The play is set to open later this fall.

“It’s really exciting,” Joseph said. “It’s so rare that we can support a young writer with such a huge cast.”

“It’s really interesting to grapple with belonging, and family, and community within a queer community,” she added.

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