LURED by Frank J. Avella
Based on factual accounts, Lured is a brutal, revelatory new play by Frank J. Avella. St. Petersburg, Russia, 2014. As they’ve often done before, a vigilante hate-group use social media to lure a young gay man to a remote location to torture, expose and humiliate him on camera. But tonight, things don’t go to plan…
Pulling no punches in its graphic depictions of real events, Lured asks whether hate is innate or learnt, and whether revenge is ever the answer. In the current world climate, Lured couldn’t be more timely.
Having collaborated with Frank on numerous new plays since 2012, I first got involved with Lured in 2016, originating the role of “Zhanna” in a workshop production at Theater for the New City’s Dream Up! festival. Two years later, I was thrilled to reprise the role, as well as step into the project as co-director and co-producer.
Lured had its sold-out, critically acclaimed World Premiere at Theater for The New City in November 2018 - then travelled to Italy to be featured in the inaugural edition of the OnStage! American Theater Festival in Rome in January 2019.
Scroll below for pictures & reviews! We were blown away by the reception to this vital, unique new play.
Lured by Frank J. Avella. Directed by Frank J. Avella & Carlotta Brentan. With Brendan Daugherty, John DiMino, Cali Gilman, Kalen J Hall, Marc Lombardo, David Volino & Carlotta Brentan. Theater for the New City, NYC Nov. 8-25, 2018. Rome, Italy, January 2019. Photos by Ashley Garrett.
The New York press raved about Lured…
“Brentan's Zhanna is the play's soul, yet the actress is a beautifully understated stage presence, allowing her character's importance to flower naturally. It's especially impressive that she is directing herself here.” - BoyCulture
"It's a brisk hour and change, with a lithe cast undertaking the difficult material with guts and moxie... by the end there is no way to not talk about this play and the uncomfortable facts of our reality it presents. The script is blistering. The performances, scalded. The direction, untempered and abrasive. It blazes a trail through the psyche that will not cool any time soon."- Popdust
"A revelatory new play... Lured tackles a topical theme in an artful, non-exploitative way... Lured is not an easy play to watch, but it is 70 minutes of truth — you can't ask for more, and the LGBTQ people who have been tattooed by violence forever deserve no less." — BoyCulture
"A bold, harrowing new play... among the most arduous and exhilarating 70 minutes I’ve spent at the theater in recent memory. The piece asks who should decide what is moral, and if hate is inherent or learned. It also contemplates the value of revenge. At the play’s climax, we are left with no easy answers." - Gay City News
"Lured lures us in and doesn't let go! Lured is timely, relevant to our political climate, and heart wrenching. There were audible gasps of outrage throughout this 70 minute glimpse into Russian persecution. This is a prime example of Theater That Matters!"
- Theater That Matters
"Its straight-from-the-headlines message is one that deserves to be heard... this ensemble of young actors delivers a portrayal of modern-day Russia that hits close to home in spite of its far-off locale." - Broadway Blog
“A shocking kind of horror… it couldn’t be a more timely reflection of our current political and social climate. Definitely something that I haven’t seen before, on stage or anywhere else. It is dark, realistic and unwilling to hide behind any form of lies... A very real story told in real time. It’s a very important side of humanity to tell, one that tends not to be shown, but it is a reality that humanity needs to face.” - TDF Seen
Check out our amazing trailer & teaser videos.
Lured was made possible by the generous contribution of many individuals, as well as by a grant from the Arch & Bruce Brown Foundation. Take a look at our fundraising video…
Keep up to date with the future of Lured on our website.