Young Playwrights’ Theater kicks off its performance season with a new installment of its activist-oriented performance series “Silence is Violence.”
This latest iteration, the series’ fourth, is dubbed “LGBTQ+You” and will give local performers space to explore the topic through drama, spoken word, music, visual art and community engagement. It’s Monday, Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. at Blind Whino (700 Delaware Ave., S.W.).
Among the performers are Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi, Xemiyulu Manibusan, J Scales and more. Rayceen Pendarvis and Scott Whalen, PR director for Pointless Theatre, will co-emcee. Tickets are $12 in advance online or pay-what-you-can at the door. Details at yptdc.org. Patrons 18 and under get in free.
“YPT does such an amazing job at providing opportunities for young people to showcase their voices,” Whalen, a 28-year-old Queen Anne’s County, Md., native says. “This event takes that mission one step further by creating an avenue for our queer youth to speak their truths. So often as queer people we are told that these truths are invalid. … I want our queer youth to know you matter, your voice matters and you can affect change.”
Scott Whalen stayed in the D.C. area after finishing college at University of Maryland, College Park. He and a group of college friends started Pointless Theatre, a company dedicated to “creating bold, visceral and affordable spectacles that gleefully smash the traditional boundaries between puppetry, theater, dance, music and the visual arts,” in 2010.
Whalen is in a relationship with Matt Reckeweg and lives in Petworth/Parkview. He enjoys working in his flower garden, reading sci-fi and fantasy, walking around the city and making art in his free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I came out my senior year of college, so it has been seven years. During the initial process, telling my straight guy friends was hardest. My family was also hard. I’ve only been out to them for about two years.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
I’m a big fan of Uproar. I’ve found that the people there are very real. For dancing I gotta give it to Bossa in AdMo.
Describe your dream wedding.
A huge dance party with everyone I love that has great food, music and booze.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
Protecting our environment and sensible gun reform.
What historical outcome would you change?
The election of Donald Trump as our president.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
Crying at work with a table I was waiting on when we heard the news of Whitney Houston’s death.
On what do you insist?
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
A picture of the blow up Rat Trump in Dupont Circle and a call to borrow a pair of leopard print heels.
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
“Clowning His Way Through”
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
I wouldn’t change myself.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
Everything in the universe is connected, including me.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
We must be radically inclusive.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
My friends and family.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
I immediately want to be your best friend because I’m gay and you’re a girl.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
It’s not a movie, but I was obsessed with “Queer as Folk” as a young adult. Watching that show gave me the courage to accept my queerness.
What’s the most overrated social custom?
Immediately asking people “what they do” after meeting them for the first time. Let’s talk about something more interesting than work.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
I don’t really crave trophies or prizes.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
It’s OK to embrace your feminine side.
My friends and family are here. My theater company is here. I love the big city feel and the beauty of the neighborhoods. The art scene is thriving.