A father. A separated son. A reality show.

In Robert Macke’s play House of Chavis, a father discovers that his estranged son is on a reality TV show…as a drag queen. The play is a funny and moving exploration of the bonds that unite families, both biological and elected, as well as the forces that separate them. “This beautiful piece celebrates the concept of ‘how our families relate to us’; something we all carry with us on our journeys as members of the LGBTQIA+ community,” said TOSOS’ artistic director. Mark Finley. “What I love about this piece is its unique and contemporary take on something deeply personal to each of us and universal to all of us.” Vernon has not seen or spoken to his son Vincent since the traumatic incident eight years prior that drove the boy away. The only news he gets of his son’s whereabouts comes from Vernon’s kind-hearted sister-in-law, Paulanne, so it’s a shock when a film crew shows up at Vernon’s doorstep asking permission to film him for a segment on the reality show.

Playwright Robert Macke writes, “It’s a startling portrayal of how toxic masculinity can forever damage relationships between queer youth and their parents. with a priest in an ornate cupboard. This play is about a man who seeks absolution. Except there’s no priest and there’s no ornate cupboard. There is a film crew and a reality TV producer. I wanted to explore what is owed to the victim and what the victim owes in return.” House of Chavis is produced by TOSOS (The Other Side of Silence), directed by Mark Finley and begins previews July 13-15 with opening night July 16 at the Flea Theater, where it runs through August 6. Performances are at 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday (tickets start at $35).

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Robert Macke (he/him) is a bisexual playwright based in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 2019, he earned a master’s degree in drama from the University of Idaho, where House of Chavis was originally a studio. Robert’s plays have been performed at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival and the Know Theater in Cincinnati. His works include The Kingdom’s at Hand but the Game’s Afoot, Golconda, If A Tree Falls… and Space Pornography 2000: A Crowdsourced Musical with music and lyrics by james allen. He shares a writing credit with Alexx Rouse for their short play A Rolling Stone Gathers No Loss. If you want to see what Robert is up to, you can find him on twitch.tv/angelamurkrow every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday morning.

Mark Finley Director (he/she) is the artistic director of TOSOS and has directed many of its acclaimed productions, including Doric Wilson“Street Theatre” won the 2016 IT Award for Outstanding Revival. He made his Off-Broadway directorial debut with Chris Weikel“Penny Penniworth” of “Penny Penniworth” and recently directed the TOSOS production of Byron Loyd“Rebel Boy Fireworks” by (which premiered at the United Solo Arts Festival) and Virginia Baeta‘s “Damaged Goods” (emerging artists). Mark is also an author, actor, and a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

TOSOS (The Other Side of Silence) is New York’s oldest and oldest professional LGBTQIA+ theater company. In 1974, veteran Off-Off-Broadway Doric Wilson, cabaret star Billy Blackwell and director Peter dell Valle, founded the first professional gay theater company in New York. It was called The Other Side of Silence-TOSOS for short. In 2002, the directors Mark Finley and Barry Child and playwright Wilson resurrected TOSOS. The company has produced over 30 main stage shows and so many readings of new plays and works in progress that we have a hard time counting them all. www.tososnyc.org

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