"Growing Into My Beard" or GIMB, had a successful three show run in Brooklyn @Jack at the end of January 2016... as part of One Catches Light Festival. Written/Performed by Bay Bryan / Dir. by Artem Yatsunov
GROWING INTO MY BEARD: A singer/songwriter meets storytelling coming-of-age tale centered around the search for that fairytale-esque first-love experience... Once we find it, it may not work out quite as we had imagined. But perhaps that's for the better...
This completely personal coming-of-age 'first love' solo-show combines Bay's original music (songs between the piano and guitar) with his own unique style of storytelling, adding flourishes of fascicle dance and physical comedy. On the surface, it's a story that follows Bay growing up "ginger" (gay) in a small town, hopelessly longing to find that fairy-tale love that he's learned about from life-changing films like Never Been Kissed starring Drew Barrymore; He leaves his small town of Golden, landing in a town just 20 miles over, soon experiencing his much-needed but brief sexual awakening (Boulder, CO)... Then by way of an unexpected audition in Chicago, he flies once again, this time, even further away, to the "land of gingers" (Scotland) where he does finally realizes his dream --though it's not entirely what he expected it would be... By the end, we find Bay exactly where he is right in this exact moment (in a long distant relationship with this same first love, we learn), and his newfound personal idea of love and what it means to him has changed. This is experienced through his final song, "I Love You..." Underneath it all is a journey toward self-acceptance --A celebration and sharing of personal queerness (message: embrace your weirdness and share it with the world!).
"Bryan’s performance is open and vulnerable. His storytelling transports us to an uncomfortable and confusing time in a queer person’s life, while his authenticity creates a warm safe place that resonates with any personal experience of “queer” and fosters a strong sense of community between performer and audience."
The first renditions of "Growing into My Beard" debuted in the East Village at Under St Marks Theater in May & then at The Kraine Theater on July 2nd, as part of the 1st Annual Queerly Festival. This was a launching point for a Festival tour that would see GIMB at the Minnesota Fringe Festival in August, and the Philly Fringe Festival in September, with warm reception from both: L'etoile Magazine Review (Minnesota Fringe), Philly Weekly & Phindie Reviews (Philly Fringe).
GIMB is currently planning an extended run in NYC, as well as a US tour this summer (2016). subscribe to this blog for news & updates!