Three years ago, after seeing the film Milk, Nathan Manske was struck by an image of Harvey Milk—one of the first openly gay elected officials in the U.S. and the subject of the film directed by Gus Van Sant—in San Francisco holding a sign that said “I’m From Woodmere, NY.” The sign was intended to show how far people had traveled to attend the 1978 San Francisco Gay Pride march. But it meant something more to Nathan. It meant that there are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people in every small town and every big city across America and, indeed, the world.
Inspired, Nathan, who is from Driftwood, Texas, set off with a video camera on a 50-state tour to collect stories and spread a simple message to queer youth: “You are not alone.” The result, “I’m From Driftwood,” has exploded into an online community and non-profit organization that has collected and documented nearly 1,000 stories from all over the world, through videos and written testimonials. Fifty-one of these stories have been organized into a book and this weekend they are finding their way onto the New York stage.
For the first time ever an ensemble of actors will bring these stories to life at Project Y Theatre Company’s New York New Playwright Festival. Adapted by Luke Harlan, Joe Basile, and Jeffrey James Keyes, and directed by Luke Harlan, I’m From Driftwood will play the Access Theatre located at 380 Broadway at White Street on Friday, Oct. 14th at 8pm and Saturday, Oct. 15th at 9pm.
Visit their website for tickets and more information.