Last week, we sat down with Skye O'neal Adrian, LGBTQ youth advocate and actor with the Ali Forney Center troupe. See what he had to say about his experiences of making change through theatre.
How long have you been connected to AFC?
I have been with AFC for ten months.
Why did you decide to start with the theatre troupe? What excited you?
I was excited about the energy [of] the jokers (group facilitators) and the idea of being on stage and taking the spotlight, and who can forget the networking.
You are very active in your community, tell us about the skills and experiences you bring to the theatrical process?
I first and foremost brought my experience to add reality to the plays. I also possess strong communication skills, dynamics, versatility, a creative mindset and a strong passion for the arts.
What was the most valuable part of making the play for you?
The real secret is that these plays are not scripted. They are improvised and created by the actors under the guidance of jokers. No two plays are ever the same.
What was your first reaction to being told you were performing on stage?
AWESOME! When can I start?!
What was it like in the lead up to the Legislative Theatre Festival?
[We] had a structured rehearsal schedule, creative costumes and props, test performances, a lot of hard work.
How did you feel on stage?
I felt like Jennifer Hudson on Broadway. I graced the audience with my handsomeness, courage and bravery to share my experiences.
What inspired you to be a part of the policy summit and rally?
The ability to effect change in a creative way by directly impacting and connecting to influential and authoritative individuals.
Why is it important to work with TONYC, specifically using theatre as a tool for social justice?
They create a window of opportunity for LGBTQ [homeless] youth to share their experiences and provide recommendations for how these cracks in the system can be mended to avoid [having future] generations endure the same experiences.
What is the biggest achievement (personally or affecting others) with TONYC?
Giving LGBTQ youth a voice through creativity.