Criminal Queerness Festival

National Queer Theater & Dixon Place Present

In Partnership With the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs and NYC Pride 

Global stories for global impact.

June 2020 | Tickets on sale soon

Bringing together renowned queer playwrights from around the world, National Queer Theater and Dixon Place are providing a platform for artists facing censorship, shining a light on critical stories from across the globe. In order to build a truly global queer community, these writers are inspiring activism and shaping our culture towards the equitable treatment of LGBTQ people around the world. A Mayor’s Grant for Cultural Impact awardee, the festival is proud to partner with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs for community engagement and outreach. Don’t miss The New York Times and The Advocate recommended theatrical event of the Pride season!

"Don't skip" - New York Times

"Not to be missed" - Instinct Magazine 

"One of six ways to resist at WorldPride" - The Advocate 

"Can't miss...The National Queer Theater is giving a censorship-free voice to four international playwrights whose stories of love, oppression, and injustice shed light on the paucity of civil rights progress made in other parts of the world."

- Thrillist 

"Brilliant...The work itself will charm the socks off you. Another resounding success by National Queer Theater." - Hi! Drama

2020 Plays



Ibrahim is the average 30-something Arab American Muslim who is constantly being reminded how unmarried he is by his relentlessly caring immigrant mother, Sara. Having helped raise his smart, popular, hijabi cheerleading younger sister Lena, Ibrahim has always been comfortable sinking into the background. Normal job, quiet life, easy men. But on the precipice of finding what could be his first real relationship, Sara feels compelled to take Ibrahim's future into her own hands by attempting to arrange her son's Big Gay Muslim Wedding all on her own. Mosque4Mosque is a comedy about a normal Muslim American family that asks us to wrestle with what we believe normal to be.

Omer Abbas Salem is a Chicago-based actor and playwright originally from Syria, Turkey, and Egypt. His Chicago acting credits include: Linda and Earthquakes in London (Steep Theatre), Pinocchio (The House Theatre), Princess Mary (Bailiwick Chicago), Le Switch (About Face), INVASION! (Silk Road Rising), Merge and Even Longer and Further Away (The New Colony), and Washer/Dryer (Rasaka Theatre). Regional Credits include: Angels in America I/II, A Christmas Carol, You Across From Me (Actors Theatre of Louisville). Off Broadway: Eddie and Dave (The Atlantic Theater) and I am Going to Change the World (Roundabout Theater). His writing has been featured by Jackalope Theater, The New Colony, The Actors Theatre of Louisville, and Theater Viscera. He is a proud Core Ensemble Member of The New Colony and an Actors Theatre of Louisville acting apprentice 17/18.

Director: Sharifa Yasmin is a trans Egyptian-American director based in NYC. She was the Artistic Director and founder of Sojourner Stage Theatre Company, and has completed directing fellowships with The Drama League, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Manhattan Theatre Club, Geva Theatre, Pure Theatre and Hypokrit Theatre.  Directing Credits include plays by Naomi Wallace, Marco Ramirez, Suzan-Lori Parks, Ntozake Shange, Harvey Fierstein, Dael Orlandersmith, Eve Ensler, Saviana Stanescu and Tasha Gordon-Solmon. Yasmin graduated cum laude from Winthrop University with a B.A. in theatre performance and a minor in sociology. She will be a Brown/Trinity MFA Directing Candidate for the class of 2024.



When mob violence took over the streets of New Delhi, India, following the assassination of the prime minister, thousands of Sikhs were murdered and to excuse that, it was said, "when a big tree falls, the earth shakes." Based on the true events of the 1984 anti-Sikh massacres, and told through an intimate family lens, this play uncovers the sanctioned violence that took 8,000 lives and the repercussions of that trauma for survivors who fled to the west.  


Mashuq Mushtaq Deen is a resident playwright at New Dramatists and a 2019 Lambda Literary Award Winner. His full-length plays include Flood, The Betterment Society, The Shaking Earth, and Draw the Circle (productions: PlayMakers Rep, Mosaic Theatre, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre; published: Dramatists Play Service; winner Lambda Literary Award). Deen’s work has been presented/developed/supported by a number of institutions including New Dramatists, Sundance Institute/Ucross, Blue Mountain Center, The Public Theater, NYTW, MacDowell Colony, Bogliasco Foundation, Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, Target Margin Theatre, Keen Company, New Harmony Project, among others. He is represented by the Gurman Agency. 

Director: Shayok Misha Chowdhury is a queer Bengali director, writer, and performance-maker based in Brooklyn. He is currently in residence at The Public Theater and BRIC, and recently at New York Theatre Workshop, Soho Rep, Ars Nova, The Drama League, and The Flea. Recent/upcoming collaborations: MUKHAGNI (Under the Radar) with Kameron Neal; BEAST THING (The Drama League) with Aleshea Harris; SPEECH (BRIClab & Philly Fringe) with Lightning Rod Special; HOW THE WHITE GIRL GOT HER SPOTS AND OTHER 90s TRIVIA (Joe’s Pub) with Laura Grill Jaye; ANTIOCH MASS (The Shed) with Troy Anthony; RASGOS ASIATICOS (Soho Rep) and YOUR HEALING IS KILLING ME (PlayMakers Rep) with Virginia Grise. Misha has also made work at SPACE on Ryder Farm, Playwrights Horizons, NYMF, HERE Arts Center, Clubbed Thumb, Signature Theatre, Bushwick Starr, New Orleans Film Festival, Deepwater Literary Festival, Vox Populi, and the Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics. A recipient of fellowships from Fulbright, Kundiman, and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Misha has been published in The Cincinnati Review, TriQuarterly, Asian American Literary Review, and elsewhere. He was a soloist on the Grammy-winning album Calling All Dawns, which he performed in concert at Lincoln Center. He has taught and directed at Stanford, Brown, CalArts, Fordham, Syracuse, and Williams. MFA: Columbia.



She He Me is the first Arab transgender play. It follows the true stories of three Arab characters who challenge gender norms. Randa is an Algerian transwoman who is expelled under the threat of death from her homeland because of her LGBT activism there. Omar is a Jordanian gay man, who rather than body dysphoria, suffers social dysphoria when it comes to the strict codes of masculinity imposed and expected of him by both the heterosexual and gay community around him. Rok is a Lebanese transman. His main challenge is convincing his very conservative religious mother that her daughter is actually a boy. Through humour and horror, the three characters come up against the state, society, the family, but also themselves.

She He Me was staged at Kosmos Theatre in Vienna in March 2019. It also had a staged reading at the New York Public Library in 2017, the Münchner Kammerspiele in December 2016, as well as at the Arcola Global Queer Plays and the Lark hotINK international play reading series.


Amahl Raphael Khouri a queer transgender Jordanian documentary playwright and theatremaker based in Berlin. Khouri is the author of several plays, including She He Me (Kosmos Theatre, Vienna 2019), ICH BRAUCHE MEINE RUHE (Politik im Freien Theater Festival, Munich 2018) and No Matter Where I Go (Beirut 2014). Khouri is also a part of the Climate Change Theater Action and their play Oh, How We Loved Our Tuna! was read internationally as part of the initiative. Khouri was a selected playwright at the Arcola Global Queer Plays (London 2018) and the Lark hotINK international play reading series (NYC, 2015). Khouri was a member of the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab (NYC, 2013) and was the recipient of a Rosenthal Emerging Voices fellowship for poetry from PEN USA (Los Angeles, 2007). Khouri’s work has been published in several U.S. journals, as well as Global Queer Plays (Oberon Books 2018), Skrivena Ljubav (Samizdat 2018) and International Perspectives on Where Performance Leads Queer anthology (Palgrave,2016). Khouri's work will also appear in the upcoming International Queer Drama Anthology published by Neofelis Verlag in 2020.

Director: Sivan Battat is an Iraqi-Jewish theatre director, cultural worker and educator. Sivan has worked at numerous theaters across NYC and elsewhere, including with the Atlantic Theater, Ars Nova, MCC, NYTW, Audible Theatre, Studio Theatre, Mosaic Theater, American Conservatory Theater, Seattle Repertory Theater, the Shakespeare Theatre, the Arab-Hebrew Theatre of Jaffa and more. As a cultural organizer, Sivan works with NYC-based Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ), most recently creative directing the first ever JFREJ Mimouna, a celebration of identity & ritual led by members of the Mizrahi/Sephardi Caucus. Sivan trained at the Moscow Art Theater School, and attended Wesleyan University.



In a defunct religious sanctuary-turned-safe space called La Misa, LGBTQ revelers interact with Manuela, the celebrated drag queen and high-priestess of the glittering disco club. This one-actor, six-character play performed by Migguel Anggelo weaves a compelling, narrative collage celebrating the history of queer safe spaces in America and the LGBTQ communities that come together nightly in times of joy and crisis. Welcome to La Misa, Baby inspires audiences to contemplate what understanding, tolerance, belonging and safety mean for Queer and Latinx communities in the United States today.

Migguel Anggelo is a Venezuelan born / Brooklyn based multidisciplinary artist.  His work explores the intersections of queer, Latino, and immigration identities, as well as the role of the artist in contemporary society.  Migguel Anggelo is currently a 2020 Resident Artist of the NY Presenter Consortium and was previously a 2019 Joe’s Pub Working Group resident.  As a musician, Migguel Anggelo has released two albums (Dónde Estará Matisse and La Casa Azul) and as a theater artist, has been awarded residencies to develop new works at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Philadelphia) and BRIC (Brooklyn). He has been featured in festivals like LPAC’s Rough Draft and Provincetown’s Afterglow and has served as a cultural attaché, under the auspices of the U.S. State Department, in two separate 10-city tours of Russia. Currently, Migguel has been rigorously developing and performing his outrageously queer and gender-bending concert experience, LatinXoxo, created with J. Julian Christopher, Jaime Lozano, and Srđa Vasiljević.  He also conceived and performed So Close: Love and Hate, Another Son of Venezuela, I, Inmigrante, and Welcome to La Misa, Baby all co-created with Obie Award-winner David Drake. Migguel is concurrently developing several new works and recording projects, including an album entitled English with an Accent, and a multi-character and immigrant-driven musical entitled The Last Supper with Christina Quintana (CQ) and Jaime Lozano.  For more, please visit: 

Instagram: @migguelanggelo


David Drake is the Artistic Director of the Provincetown Theater as well as a director, writer, and actor.  He is most widely known as the Obie Award-winning playwright/performer of The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me. NY directing credits (new works): Theatre for the New City, Joe’s Pub, HERE, Dixon Place, multiple shows (and awards) at the NYC International Fringe Festival and Under the Radar at The Public Theater. Artist residencies: Dance Theater Workshop, New School, Maryland Institute College of Art, Out North Art House, the Kimmel Center, BRIC. David has twice been a Directing Fellow at the Sundance Theatre Lab. His production of The Be(a)st of Taylor Mac won a Herald "Angel" Award upon its debut at the 2007 Edinburgh Fringe. David’s production of Taylor Mac’s The Lily’s Revenge at HERE landed on many publication’s “Best of the Year” lists and won a 2010 Obie Award. Most recently, David directed the premiere of J.Stephen Brantley’s The Jamb at The Kraine, off-Broadway, and has written and directed Migguel Anggelo’s So Close: Love & Hate, Another Son of Venezuela, and I, Inmigrante at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater.

Director: David Mendizábal is a director, designer, and one of the Producing Artistic Leaders of the Obie Award winning The Movement Theatre Company. He is also the Associate Artistic Director of The Sol Project. Select directing credits include: Don't Eat the Mangos (Magic Theatre/Sundance/Sol Project) On The Grounds of Belonging (Long Wharf), the bandaged place (NYSAF), Then They Forgot About The Rest (INTAR), The Maturation of an Inconvenient Negro, or iNegro (Cherry Lane Mentor Project), And She Would Stand Like This, Look Upon Our Lowliness, and Bintou (The Movement), and Tell Hector I Miss Him (Atlantic / Drama League Nomination). Member of Latinx Theatre Commons. Alumnus of Drama League, Lincoln Center Director's Lab, NALAC, & artEquity. BFA NYU/Tisch.

Welcome to La Misa, Baby is created and developed by David Drake and Migguel Anggelo in a new play written by David Drake. Welcome to La Misa, Baby has been developed in collaboration with the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center.

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