Examining the difference between gender and sexuality

The Pipeline reading premiere of J. Julian Christopher’s Bundle of Sticks is coming to the Week of Extraordinary Risk on June 30, 8PM. In advance of the reading, we learned more from Julian about this new play focused on gender, sexuality, gay conversion therapy, and the Aboriginal God of Erections.

Learn more in our interview below and reserve your seat now for Bundle of Sticks, June 30, 8PM, Jefferson Market Library (425 6th Ave, NYC).

Pipeline Theatre Company: What do you want us to know about your play?
J. Julian Christopher: The play has evolved since its inception. At first, I thought I was writing about the dangers of gay conversion therapy, which of course is an aspect of the play. Upon completion of the first draft I realized that I was examining the often confused differences between gender and sexuality. How does the world measure masculinity and femininity? What are the expectations of each and how are those who don’t define themselves in the binary treated? 

PTC: When and where did you decide to start writing this play?
JJC: I’ve been wanting to write this play since my visit to Australia in 2012. It took about five years of research and brainstorming to begin writing it this past year. I think I was afraid to write it, because of the magnitude of the play. PlayLab really helped me tackle the fear head on, and I just went for it. I’m happy I completed a draft. I can’t wait to pick it apart. It has been a long process.

PTC: What excites you most about this project?
JJC: Each actor plays at least two characters without significant costume changes and preconceived notions of a gender binaries. That’s exciting to me. I love seeing actors transform just through the use of their bodies.

PTC: In one sentence, tell us something strange that happens in your play.
JJC: There is a genital sniffing symphony that leads to a naked rebirth of one of the characters.

PTC: Are you working on anything else?
JJC: Currently, I am turning my first play, Nico Was a Fashion Model, into a young adult novel. I’m also in the research stage of a new play about 80’s Freestyle Dance music.

PTC: What’s next for you?
JJC: I will be spending July at PlayPenn Theatre Conference workshopping Bruise & Thorn, which I wrote a first draft for last year during PlayLab. I’m excited to work on the play further and so thankful to Pipeline Theatre Company for supporting the work last year. 

About Bundle of Sticks

by J. Julian Christopher | directed by Christopher Burris
Saturday, June 30, 8PM
Jefferson Market Library | 425 6th Ave., NYC
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Gay men from across the globe go deep into the outback of Australia for a secret gay conversion therapy retreat. When they arrive, they are not only challenged by Otto, their toxically masculine group leader, but also by Ungud, the Aboriginal God of Erections.