Needing It Applications

The application for this program is now closed.

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Are you hungry for a queer-centered space to develop and explore live performance? In this class, we will study queer performance practices and histories (shall we say “quistories?”) in New York City. This class will introduce new techniques while strengthening participants’ natural talents, so artists from any discipline and level of experience are welcome, including those brand new to performance.

Each week, we will explore different queer artists and arts movements along with exercises, games, and techniques related to their work, including, but not limited to performance art, theatre, film, movement, literary arts, drag, and interdisciplinary performance.

We will discuss the interplay between the individual artist and a broader sense of collectivity, especially as it relates to queer communities’ struggles against intersectional oppressions, while celebrating queer ingenuity and resilience. Queer people have always been foundational to cultural production, and often forerunners in major artistic movements. It is important that we learn our “quistories” in order to continue these artistic legacies. We are not just cultural consumers. Queer people are, have always been, and always will be culture creators.

The instructor, performer/writer/director, Heather María Ács will work closely with students to identify individual topics of interest and personal artistic goals to help students create passionate, risk-taking performance.

Classes meet Wednesdays, October 23 – December 11 from 7:00-9:30 pm, culminating in a public performance of original student work on December 18th.
Participants are required to attend all workshop sessions including the tech and showing.

NEEDING IT was originally developed by Dan Fishback as a project of the Helix Queer Performance Network.

Heather María Ács is an award-winning performer, filmmaker, and cultural worker whose work explores queer, radical subcultures, punk/d.i.y. aesthetics, and femme-inine identities. Her company, FemmePower Productions commits to intersectional equity on screen and behind the scenes. Her directorial debut, Flu$h, premiered at the prestigious lgbt/queer film festivals, Outfest LA and Newfest NYC. She is the Co-Founder of Heels on Wheels, a queer femme-inine spectrum, gender-inclusive performance collective, and winner of the LAMBDA Literary Award for Glitter & Grit, a queer performance anthology. She is working-class raised, Appalachian, and mixed-race Anglo-Xicana. She is a university professor and has worked as a teaching artist in under-resourced communities for over 15 years.


(Photocredit: Shameless Photography)


This class is ideal for people who are seeking structure and/or community in their performance practice, new to performance, interested in trying a new mode of performance, looking for alternatives to college/university settings, and/or seeking to infuse their performance practice with a deeper political awareness.

Students of ALL races, genders, ages, sizes, and class backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Students MUST be prepared to work extensively and rigorously on assignments outside of class.

Participants must be able to commit to all sessions including the tech and showing and state this commitment in their application.

Students do not have to identify as queer/lgbt, as long as they identify as being part of an queer/lgbt community.

NOTE: individuals currently enrolled in a college/university program are not eligible.


  • Application Format: Applications to be submitted via email to
    Please address your email to the instructor, Heather María Ács.
  • Explain why you want to take this class, share a brief history of your artistic pursuits, and/or your involvement with queer/lgbt communities. If possible, please include any documentation of previous work (writing samples, photos, links to videos, audio files, etc), although such documentation is NOT necessary if you do not have it. You will not be judged by the quantity or stature of your achievements, or the quality of the documentation.
  • If you do not identify as queer/lgbt, please explain how you relate to queer community or queer performance tradition.
  • Be specific and honest. Ideal applicants will use this introductory email to show their passion and hunger for the work. Do you NEED IT? Tell us why.
  • 8 students will be selected for the residency. The curators will be looking toward building a cohort of artists rather than simply choosing individual artists.
  • Include your PHONE NUMBER.
  • Send your email to with the subject heading “NEEDING IT APPLICATION – FALL 2019.”
  • Include your letter in the body of the email. Do NOT attach your letter as a separate document. Your letter MUST NOT EXCEED 500 WORDS


NOTE: Acceptance letters will go out during the last week of September. Please be prepared to submit a bio and photo should you be accepted.


Each student will receive a stipend of $250 and 10 hours of free rehearsal space to use during the 8-week workshop period.
Additional rehearsal hours over the 10 will be billed at the discounted rate of $5/hour (normally $12/hour) during the workshop period.
Note: Participants are required to attend all workshop sessions including the tech and showing.


Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 7:00-9:30 pm
Wednesday, October 30, 2019, 7:00-9:30 pm
Wednesday, November 6, 2019, 7:00-9:30 pm
Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 7:00-9:30 pm
Wednesday, November 20, 2019, 7:00-9:30 pm
*NO CLASS November 27, 2019 (Thanksgiving)
Wednesday, December 4, 2019, 7:00-9:30 pm
Wednesday, December 11, 2019, 7:00-9:30 pm


TECH: Tuesday, December 17. 2019, 4:00 – 10:00 pm
and Wednesday, December 18, 2019, 2:00 – 6:00 pm

SHOWING: Wednesday, December 18th at 8:00 pm 


BAX is located on the second and third floors and does not have an elevator. If you need assistance or have further questions regarding the BAX Building, please email