23-Year-Old Playwright James Fluhr Aims To Inspire Gay Youth With Original Play

Photo: (Jesse Sheldon)

We LOVE a person who rises above and uses their journey to inspire others. James Fluhr’s story just may inspire you for days. The 23-year-old change-making playwright’s original play based on his life, Our Lady, premiered to a sold-out crowd this week!

The concept behind his play came from a moment that would change James’s life forever. On a cold winter night, James was attending Boston University and, as he recalls, was outside his house when he received a call from his father. Filled with rage, his father began to express how he found photos of James on the internet dressed in drag. James soon was rejected by his father. “And for the first time,” he says, “I saw why suicide had become an answer to so many young gay people.”

As haunting as a moment this was for James, he turned it into a positive by expressing himself through writing his play that is now inspiring audiences, both young and old, at FringeNYC. James told us:

“Like most artists, a need for social change motivated me to write ‘Our Lady.’ At first I was trying to battle my own experiences with hate, I was trying to rid myself of a feeling of worthlessness and darkness. Now, I’m trying to stand by gay youth that need someone to tell them they are beautiful no matter who they are. I’m trying to give them the story that saved me from suicide. I hope to create a change. Of course, I am inspired by great organizations like The Trevor Project. I support any organization that actively pursues this battle against the Monster of Hate.”

Marle Becker from New York’s Out-FM radio show went on to say it “may be the sleeper hit of the 16th Annual New York International Fringe Festival,” adding that James’ play “has the power to change and save lives, and what more can one ask from an evening in the theatre?”

And get this: James fully funded his play through Kickstarter! He rallied friends, family and other supporters to help bring his work to life. Looking to do something like this yourself? Be sure to check out Kickstarter, or other funding sources like Do Something seed grants.

We are so impressed with James! With four more shows to go, you’ve got a chance to go if you’re in the area — so get tickets! Once again, bravo to all those who worked to create this powerful play.

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