- Full Length
It is the morning after the brutal murder of Julio Rivera, a gay Puerto Rican man in Jackson Heights, Queens. The murder became the first gay hate crime tried in New York State during the 1990s. In JULIO DOWN BY THE SCHOOLYARD, the community reacts and is taken on a journey of self-discovery by a fabulously unapologetic queen personifying the beauty and brutality of Jackson Heights. The play is an examination of the political and societal environment of Jackson Heights. The play captures the fear and outrage of the LGBTQIA+ Community leading to the borough’s first public demonstrations against homophobia. Like many Queer stories, the play does not follow a traditional narrative, as LGBTQIA+ people are often forced to follow non-traditional lives due to laws and societal pressure. The play focuses on poetry, imagery, and Fabulism to take a hard look at how Queer bodies are seen as threats to the status quo.