In 2004, I co-founded Theatre Askew with the mission of exploring how to create "queer theatre" in New York in the 21st century? The company called for a radical new approach to the representation of "queerness" defines queerness as a metaphor for ALL those who stand outside of mainstream, consumerist models. Theatre Askew would make ever-evolving programming choices and create a diverse body of work of social impact and spiritual consequence that reflects the complexity of our experience.

Askew's early productions emphasized adaptation and the ways in which a queer perspective can illuminate classic texts. I co-created Bald Diva! an original absurdist farce inspired by Ionesco's The Bald Soprano. Directing The Tempest, I explored the Radical Faerie movement and interpreted Shakespeare's play as an expression of the healing capacity of "gay spirit." Our episodic satire I, Claudius Live was a parody of the BBC series, irreverently adapted to address politics of the Bush II presidency, and told from the point of view of a disabled heterosexual character who could never be a "real" man by the standards of Roman culture. Our 2007 production of i google myself explored the social and emotional impact of the internet, and our first fully original play.

Fundamental to Askew's mission is the inclusion of LGBTQA youth as significant members and the future leaders of the community. In 2005, I co-founded the Theatre Askew Youth Performance Experience (TAYPE) to provide a creative forum to develop and empower the voices of this population. TAYPE is an arts skills program that encourages youth to build community, acquire responsibility, and experience leadership, teamwork, and the personal rewards of achievement – within the process of creating, producing, and performing theatre. In addition to theatrical skills, the program introduces youth to the New York theatre world, including working theatre artists who can inspire, guide, and serve as role models, and point them towards internships and opportunities beyond our projects.

Theatre Askew has garnered positive notices from The New York Times, The Village Voice, Time Out New York as well as other media outlets; we have been nominated twice for the GLAAD media award, listed on Theatermania's best-of-the year lists, and in 2007 was named on's People of the Year list.

In 2011, I left Theatre Askew in order to concentrate on my freelance work as a director, writer, and teaching artist. You can explore pictures and press from our productions on the portfolio page.

Copyright 2008 Jason Jacobs. All Rights Reserved.