Photo by Kenneth B. Gall

Photo by Kenneth B. Gall


BareBones Festival

VORTEX presents The Barebones Festival—Plays of Trouble and Desire. For the first annual Barebones Festival, VORTEX received 111 submissions from around the US, Canada, England, and Israel. The five selected plays will be performed for two weeks.


  • Ezekiel’s Wheelchair by Trav S. D., Directed by Michelle Fowler
  • Figures from Giacometti by George Freek, Directed by Todd Essary
  • The November Boy by Stephen Cone, Directed by John Steven Rodriguez


  • Fuckjoy by Chris Kelley, Directed by Heather Barfield
  • Cruelty to Animals by Ryan Michael Teller, Directed by Marshall Ryan Maresca

Can winning the match mean losing the prize? Ezekiel’s Wheelchair sets in motion the primary conflict between mother and lover. Consumed with winning, Ezekiel’s women become color-blind, sucked into the VORTEX of Ezekiel’s colorless world. In Figures from Giacometti, on the surface we find two guys, a girl, and a wedding. Beneath the surface? Seething desire, deep regret, unresolved passion, and broken dreams threaten a promising future. In The November Boy, an older gay couple live out their days together, exploring life, love, and death together. A visit from the November Boy, helps them complete the circle.

Fuckjoy (or Necro Stix) is a game of happiness, regret, sadness, and philosophical inquiries into the persistent imbalance of emotions, love, and mental health. A man and woman see-saw between a fulcrum of infinite uncertainty and doubt, and only through mutual sharing of instabilities are they able to rest, for a short time. Cruelty to Animals is the story of Monty, an abnormal young man trying desperately to maintain a facade of normalcy in the world around him, but with no idea of what normal is supposed to be. Fed by the harsh interactions from his friends, family, and his imagined companion, Monty is torn between the expectations of others and acting on his own desires.