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Tell 38: Overcome


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TELL is an evening of story telling from the mouths and minds of queers in NYC hosted by Drae Campbell at the Bureau of General Services—Queer Division since February 2014.

Overcome is the theme of the 38th installment of TELL. Featuring Thomas March, Ali Lemer, Rosie Frascella, Simba Sandra Yangala, and Mariel Reyes.

$10 suggested donation to support the Bureau and the performers. No one turned away for lack of funds.

Drae Campbell is a writer, actor, director, story teller, dancer, and nightlife emcee. Drae has been featured on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and on stages all over NYC. Drae’s directing work has appeared in Iceland, NYC, Budapest and in the San Francisco Fringe Festival. The short film Drae wrote and starred in with Rebecca Drysdale, YOU MOVE ME won the Audience Award for Outstanding Narrative Short at OUTFEST 2010 and has been shown in festivals globally. Drae won the grand prize at the first annual San Miguel De Allende Storytelling Festival in Mexico. She once reigned as Miss LEZ and also got dubbed “the next lezzie comedian on the block” by AfterEllen.com for her comedic stylings on the interwebs. Campbell hosts and curates a monthly queer storytelling show called TELL at BGSQD. Check her out online! www.draecampbell.com.

Originally from Springfield, IL, Thomas March is a poet, teacher and critic based in New York City. Aftermath, his first poetry collection, was selected by Joan Larkin for The Word Works Hilary Tham Capital Collection and will appear in Spring 2018. His poetry has appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, The Good Men Project, Pleiades, and Public Pool, among others. His reviews and essays have appeared in The Believer, The Huffington Post, and New Letters. With painter Valerie Mendelson, he is the co-creator of A Good Mixer, a textual-visual hybrid project based on a 1933 bartender’s guide of the same name; it will have gallery previews beginning in early 2018. Appearing regularly in Lambda Literary Review, his poetry column, “Appreciations," offers appreciative close readings of excellent poems from recent collections by LGBTQ poets. A past recipient of the Norma Millay Ellis Fellowship in Poetry, from the Millay Colony for the Arts, he has also received an Artist/Writer grant from The Vermont Studio Center. In recent years, he has written and performed monologues at a number of venues in New York City, including Ars Nova, Joe’s Pub, The Peoples Improv Theater, and Sid Gold’s Request Room. Twitter: @realthomasmarch, Web: www.thomasmarch.org

Ali Lemer is a writer and editor and the author of numerous guidebooks and travel articles for companies such as Thomas Cook and Lonely Planet, as well as the co-editor of Joyful Strains: Making Australia Home (2013, Affirm Press). She’s also been a radio DJ, a roller derby announcer, a tech support assistant, a first-year English teacher, a desktop publisher and a waiter, so her mother is still waiting for her to settle down and find a good job already.

Rosie Frascella is a teacher activist and queer mama. She is a core member of the New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCoRE) and a 12th grade English teacher.

Simba Sandra Yangala was born in Zaire (currently the Democratic Republic of Congo). She is a performing artist, choreographer, playwright, actress, dancer and educator. She studied Liberal Arts at LaGuardia Community College and Social Sciences at the College of New Rochelle. She is the founder and Artistic Director of her performing arts company JungleDom Network in which she founded the Kamutshima Dance Troupe.

As a daughter of Africa, she is committed to creating a greater awareness and appreciation of African culture, the performing arts and particularly, female performing artists. Simba has a special gift of emphasizing with children from her over 10 years experience of working as an ethics educator. She imbues them with confidence and strives to teach the importance of community. With her generous heart and enthusiasm for the arts she has already nurtured a generation of children through the Ethics for Children program at Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture. Tapping into her breadth of experience working with children, she has also taught drama with the Young Peoples Theater, is an assistant teacher with Education in Dance and thought African Dance with Arts East New York. At Play Kids she taught African Dance, French Sing-a-Long and Folk Sing-a-Long for children and also African Dance for adults.

Sitting down with her sisters, brothers and cousins, before bedtime as a child, Simba enjoyed story time by many family members including her maternal grandfather. That cherished valuable time of her childhood later influenced her own talent as a wonderful story teller. She has been in many of Susana Cook's plays and performing and producing off-Broadway theater since 2004. Catch her in her next wave of performances or caring and dancing with children.

While somewhat of a shy performer and storyteller, Mariel Reyes has written & produced works for some of your favorite experimental theater spaces in NYC (Dixon Place, Brooklyn Arts Exchange) and has also appeared on screen in the film "Appropriate Behaviour" which premiered at Sundance in 2014.