Teen play inspires audience

Ali Brown, left, joins Sienna Williams, Victoria Lavin, Elsie Phillips, and playwright Nichole Martinez after their September 6 performance in Confide in Me. Photo: Khaled Sayed
Ali Brown, left, joins Sienna Williams, Victoria Lavin, Elsie Phillips, and playwright Nichole Martinez after their September 6 performance in Confide in Me. Photo: Khaled Sayed

A play with an uplifting message about LGBT youth finding personal

identity received a positive reaction from the audience at its only

performance last week.

Confide in Me was performed one night only, September 6, at the

Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts. The play is about the struggles

of LGBT youth and how those often get overlooked. Starring in the play

were Sienna Williams, Elsie Phillips, Victoria Lavin, and Ali Brown, all

emerging community actors from Nicky’s Youth Theater and LGBTQ

activists.

Confide in Me was presented as a play that hoped to inspire audiences to

find personal identity, trust, and sympathy with those who share an

untold story.

Nichole Martinez, playwright, director and light operator, worked all

summer on the project. She was very happy to see it come together on

the stage, and see the audience’s reaction.

“The play shows the difficulty with family as well as the inner struggle

and the violence that can occur with the general public,” Martinez, 20,

said. “This show is about perseverance through those struggles, and

finding inner peace and the ability to choose happiness for yourself over

the comfort of the people who can not accept you.”

In the play, Mary-Anne (Williams) wants to come to terms with her

gender identity, but she has a mother who will not accept her.

Meanwhile Julie (Phillips) is fighting for her identity and the acceptance

of the people in her life. Julie and Mary-Anne must make a hard choice

between making the town happy or becoming who they really want to

be.

Martinez, who identifies as a gender-fluid lesbian, wanted to feature the

transgender community because she feels that it is under-represented.

“I included a transgender character in my play because I believe they

are the least represented in our communities,” Martinez said. “They are

discriminated against and I wanted to present a show that called

attention to the discrimination and hardships people of the LGBTQ

community have in general through my transgender character, Mary-
Anne/Martin.”

The audience’s reaction overall was very positive.

“I was really nervous that people wouldn’t understand my play or react to it the way I intended them to,” Martinez said. “But it

was a great surprise to have them laugh at the parts I intended to be comic relief, or become uncomfortable, and even think

deeply about the story I presented them. And I was really happy to find they appeared to understand, or at least respect, the story

being told. And that all really reflected during the Q&A.”

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