June is arguably the best time of year to be gay. Or queer, or bi, or trans. In Miami, we have an extra reason to celebrate our pride with Out in the Tropics, a performing arts festival with an LGBT theme. Don't get us wrong - the gay theme is usually the only thing the performances have in common - the festival offers a very varied schedule.
Andrea Askowitz, from Lip Service: True Stories Out Loud, shares, "I love that Lip Service is participating in Out in the Tropics. We're taking a very broad approach to queer art. We didn't do anything different than we always do. We asked people to submit true stories. The best stories we get are always about being different--the stories about someone trying to figure out who he or she is. This is queer in my book, no matter what the subject. Out in the Tropics is relevant and fun because it illuminates differences in an interesting and accessible way."
And, again, don't get us wrong. Just because it's a queer performing
arts festival, doesn't meet straight people do not attend. "Part of my
personal goal with this year's festival, is to bring together both the
GLBTQ community and the 'straight' community," explains Susan Caraballo
from Fundarte, the arts organization putting on the event.
Everybody is welcome during Out in the Tropics. Even the "straights."
Susan continues, "I am not a huge fan of labels, but I do see the
importance of a GLBTQ arts festival, especially for the GLBTQ
community. I am also really interested in the 'straight' community
coming out as well to see the work of GLBTQ artists."
"Last year, Teatro
El Público's Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant attracted a very mixed
audience. This year, Keith Hennessy/ Zero Performance's piece Crotch (pictured above) has
the potential to attract the vibrant visual arts community with its
strong Joseph Beuys component. Really, all of the artists would appeal
to the wider public. I really do hope our audiences are as diverse as
the community that we live in."
The festival opens with a free panel discussion and reception at the
Shore Club (1901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach) on Thursday at 9 p.m. On
Friday at 8 p.m., check out recording artist, Bitch, at the Colony
Theater (1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach), whose "mouthy wordplay and
virtuous electric violin playing are ferociously hot" according to the
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Out in the Tropics starts tomorrow and runs until June 19. Individual tickets cost between $15 and $20 and VIP
festival passes cost $100. Call 305-910-7898 or visit fundarte.us.