Kev Berry
he/him/his
New York, New York
playwright, performer, life of the party
Biography

Kev Berry is a New York-based playwright, performer, and life of the party.

His work, both as a writer and a performer, has been seen at The Tank, Joe's Pub, Feinstein’s/54 Below, 3-Legged Dog, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Judson Memorial Church, HERE Arts Center, New York Live Arts, the New Ohio Theatre, The Duplex, the Dramatists Guild Foundation, Dixon Place, The Brick Theater, Access Theater, Littlefield, The 9 Studios, Otto's Shrunken Head, The Cobra Club, Skidmore College, and across the harsh North Country of upstate New York.

Kev is an Associate Artist at The Tank, the September 2018 Artist-in-Residence at Judson Memorial Church, a 2017 Artist-in-Residence with Fresh Ground Pepper, a January 2019 resident with Hot Bread, and the former Artistic Associate at 3LD. He is a member of the 2019-2020 INKubator Playwrights Cohort at Art House in Jersey City. Alongside his collaborative partner and director Alex Tobey, he is a Full Access Resident Artist with Access Theater.

Kev serves as the curator and producer of the series Fast and Furious: Rapid Responses to Current Events at The Tank.

His play Peter was a Semi-Finalist for the Princess Grace Award in 2019, and a Semi-Finalist for the Playwrights Realm Writing Fellowship in 2020. He was the recipient of a Pet Project Grant from Jeremy O. Harris and The Bushwick Starr. 

His performance in Nadja Leonhard-Hooper and Dan Nuxoll’s Eat the Devil was recently hailed by the New York Times as “vehemently campy.”

B.Sci. Theater, B.A. Gender Studies, Skidmore College.

Plays

by Kev Berry

Peter is a magic realist tragedy about the way gay men grieve. Henry is a lonely accountant living in Queens who has devoted his entire basement to the construction of an elaborate and intricate miniature model world, whose citizens include figurines of the most important loved ones from his life. He spends most of his free time caring for his elderly neighbor, Angie, whose recent medical diagnosis gives her months left to live. When a button appears on Henry’s workbench giving him the chance to revisit the past by descending into the model world he’s created, Henry’s emotional stability is thrown off balance as he reunites with his deceased ex-boyfriend, Peter, while simultaneously beginning a new relationship in the real world with a new man, also named Peter. Peter is about a man caught between two Peters and two worlds, and how a community of gay men who have dealt with so much loss over many generations still don’t quite know how to take care of each other.

Cast:
4m, 1w
by Kev Berry

Living together was going just great for best friends Bunting and Finch, balancing ruthless day jobs, pursuing their respective visual arts careers, and still finding time to blackout at Hardware after one too many vodka sodas. But when Finch starts dating a wealthy pharma daddy finance bro, the intertwining web of Gay New York proves just how toxic and self destructive it can be. Rough Trade is a comedy about classism, chosen family, and holding on (too) tightly to the ones you love.

Cast:
4m
by Kev Berry

Vincent is a painter and so is Paul. They're lovers, though history would tell you otherwise and call Paul Vincent's mentor. It's the 1880s in the South of France, and everything is gay gay gay. Vincent's sick, Paul's kind of a prick. They argue, they paint, they drink, they fuck. And then one night, Vincent cuts his ear off. Vincent van Gogh is a retelling of a story you maybe think you maybe know that looks at what stories stand the history of time and what is erased into the annals of queer history for the sake of straight folks' comfort.

Vincent van Gogh is currently in development.

Cast:
3m, 1w
by Kev Berry

A Faggot's Theology is a searing examination of the playwright's own queer sexuality and a personal plea for the existence of gods in a world where it’s nearly impossible to believe. What does it mean to believe in God as a gay man? What does it mean to not believe in God as a gay man? And if the gods are out there, what do they think of the mess we’ve made? This quirky and honest Catholic Mass for One carefully balances these big questions with playful lightness and a heavy pour of bourbon.

Part 1 of Berry's Harsh Cacophonies Cycle.

Cast:
1m
by Kev Berry

A Sissy's Physiology, Berry's follow-up to last year's A Faggot's Theology, digs into the same man's quest for a passably good body as it relates, again, to his own queerness. Why are gay men so obsessed with desirability? Why do gay men wish they were born into a different body entirely, with a better metabolism and a better ass? And why the hell is the fitness journey as an entity so Sisyphean? This frank Traffic Jam tries to unpack all of this with a few swigs of cider.

Part 2 of Berry's Harsh Cacophonies Cycle.

Cast:
1m
by Kev Berry

A Mary’s Mixology is a document of a fag’s first year on the wagon. What does it mean for a gay man to give up liquid courage? How does he stay brave in gay environments that often feel insidious after a certain point of the night? How does he not become a party pooper? Will he ever stop wanting a fucking margarita? This brutally honest Night at the Club knocks back a seltzer with a splash of grapefruit juice with ease and tries to define a potential future.

Part 3 of Berry's Harsh Cacophonies Cycle.

Cast:
1m
by Kev Berry

{IN DEVELOPMENT}

It's everyone's favorite time of any election cycle: that period of time where there's a debate every week and candidates aren't actually asked questions about their policies and the answers they give are focused on giving Left Twitter something to buzz about. Not this debate. No. The folks in this play are here to present and argue what they think the title of the third Mamma Mia! film should be and why.

What starts as a polite debate quickly descends into low blows and personal shots, before descending even further into a carefully wrought experiment in conjuring and creating chaos and calamity on a dying planet.

Cast:
6m, 4w
by Kev Berry

{IN DEVELOPMENT}

The Sky Was Brilliant is a trilogy of plays about New York right before, in the immediate aftermath of, and well after the supposed recovery from a great crisis. It tells the story of Kent St. John's legendary Passage Restaurant Group, which may or may not look like any number of famous corporate hospitality groups in the city today. 

Part 1, Tonglen, told through the lens of the company's reservations office, is about the clientele of the restaurant group as the world they're used to living in hurtles towards a devastating crisis. A hectic choral extravaganza with six actors playing up to 25 roles apiece, Tonglen asks its reservationists and its audience alike what it means to be fully committed to a cause that might end up falling apart despite all efforts to hold it together.

Part 2, This Actual Year, maps out Kent St. John's attempt to reopen his iconic Meatpacking District late night supper club, Absinthe, in the wake of the crisis and the loss of his husband. A gentle meditation on what it means to attempt to move on from trauma, This Actual Year tries to figure out what it means to dust your hands off and say "Now what?" 

And Part 3, The Spot Where It Had Gone, is the story of Jonas Bruckner, the executive chef at Passage's French steakhouse, Cote de Boeuf, reeling in the wake of a re-review by the New York Times that took away their previous two stars. A communal attempt to figure out how to revamp a system resistant to change when it becomes clear that very system is no longer serving the folks it's supposed to, The Spot Where It Had Gone looks to the future and tries to balance hope and pragmatism in an industry as relentless as it is necessary. 

Cast:
The Sky Was Brilliant is written to be performed by 9 men and 9 women.
by Kev Berry

{IN DEVELOPMENT}

A successful drag queen made famous by her time on a particular reality show finds out the hard way what happens when you bite the hand that feeds you. During a confrontation held far from the public eye, two queens hash out what's real and what's really real in reality television production in a heated debate about liberal politics and the weather and religion. Everything Mother told you not to bring up.

Note: no actual drag required for this play.

Cast:
2m