JJK's work as a playwright and librettist
"I believe fantasy, horror, and science fiction are great tools to help us examine the world, so all my work has a tinge of the unreal...or what we believe to be unreal. I basically view everything on stage as a ghost, demon, angel, memory, or dream that characters use to access hidden parts of themselves. Whether these agents turn out to be real or figments of a character’s imagination, they cause change. And, as a gay man, I always focus on LGBT+ characters and stories. We so often see fantasy used as a metaphor for the queer experience, but I like to see them coexist instead of being a stand-in for each other."
Breaking Character Magazine (Sept 2018)
JJK's dramatic work can be read at New Play Exchange
Or send an inquiry to the team.
Book by Jeremy J. King
Music and Lyrics by Sam Salmond
Adapted from the novel by David B. Feinberg
New York City used to be a party town, but 1986 finds everyone paralyzed with fear of AIDS. Everyone, that is, except BJ Rosenthal, who’s determined to keep the party going. When an ex-lover becomes ill, BJ is forced to face the nightmare enveloping him and redefine his life. Based on the celebrated novel of its time and set to a soaring pop score pulsating with joy and heart wrenching melodies, EIGHTY-SIXED unearths an epidemic that shook the world to reveal a community’s ferocious fight to reclaim its future.
EIGHTY-SIXED received its WORLD PREMIERE in May 2022 at Diversionary Theatre in San Diego. Watch this space for news on future productions!
Listen to Demos!
In May 1629, Reverend Francis Higginson documented that the ship Talbot set sail for the New World with a hundred farming families, thirty marines, six goats, nineteen cannons, and...“five beastly sodomitical boys.” Upon their discovery, he and his Puritan congregation deemed the boys’ acts so foul that they were sent back to England for prosecution. But there are no records of their return. Though the reverend’s journals contain the first written account of homosexual persecution in America, they fail to detail the identities or fates of those involved. THE PENTAD changes that. Anachronistically blending history with explorations of masculinity, queer friendship, and witchcraft, this new play imagines who these boys were, how they met, fought against Puritanical ideas, and left their mark on history.
Thomas Travers is a junior account executive at a luxury real estate firm, and he’s been offered the chance of a lifetime: to sell the architectural masterpiece, “Poehler House.” But this won’t be easy, as Thomas has to deal with the home’s mysterious and boisterous owner, Nicky Rubiano. When a freak accident strands Thomas at the house for longer than anticipated, the two men must engage in ways that people from their two generations rarely do. Inspired by the Dracula mythos, SUM OF MY BLOOD explores the divide between gay men of different ages, and the monsters they make of one another.
The Great Gatsby has long been the subject of contemplation, criticism, and debate. What’s it about? Whose story is it? Is its narrator reliable? While the novel is most remembered for its large, lavish celebrations, SMALL PARTIES dramatizes its more intimate gatherings to examine themes that are both explicit and suggested, as well as explore the inspiration, intent, and interpretation of possibly queer work in the early twentieth century.
The city is no longer habitable and Christopher isn’t adjusting to his new life in a small town. With the suffocating conservatism, threats from neighbors, and his boyfriend’s recent death, Christopher doesn’t feel safe or sane. It’s up to his twin sister, Becca, to keep her brother from unraveling by throwing an impromptu dinner party. But this get-together couldn’t happen at a worse time, for Christopher has just taken matters into his own hands by turning to some…seriously dark forces to help him find solace. As their home is plagued by mysterious visits, everyone must confront what really scares them—one another. SON OF MOURNING explores the horrors that lurk in the dark and inside us.