My Cousin Nelu Is Not Gay

Created by Diana Lobontiu
Performed by Diana Lobontiu & Natalie Rich*
Directed by Elissa Goetschius

*These Actors are appearing courtesy of Actors Equity Association

Tuesday, June 14 @ 7PM
Ars Nova | 511 West 54th Street
& Streaming on Ars Nova Supra

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This is a two-person show performed by two butch actors. One plays Diana. The other, in drag, plays Nelu and a host of other characters from his life. Both actors wear identical Adidas tracksuits. My Cousin Nelu Is Not Gay features musings on the immigrant experience, an intimate dance with a disco ball, musings on the lesbian experience, two two-hundred-pound dogs, musings on the butch experience, and an epic yet disappointing cousin vs. cousin showdown in the space created at the ~threshold of revelation~. This is an absurdist comedy butting up against a confessional monologue. This is a bilingual play in which English clashes with Romanian and the gays wrestle the straights to take control of the stage. This is what happens when factual family history meets the stories we tell ourselves about how we grew up, or how we wish we had.

Created by Diana Lobontiu
Performed by Diana Lobontiu & Natalie Rich*
Directed by Elissa Goetschius
Stage Manager Dailee Morrone
Producer Zoe Wohlfeld
Assistant Director, Understudy Madison Tamayo
Dramaturg Christina Marks
Sound Designer Elliot Yokum
Lighting Designer Vittoria Orlando
Projection Designer Taylor Edelle
Projection Designer Robby Feffer

*These Actors are appearing courtesy of Actors Equity Association




DIANA LOBONTIU is a Romanian American playwright and actor. She is a playwriting MFA candidate at Brooklyn College and a graduate of Wellesley College and the National Theatre Institute at the O’Neill. She has performed her solo show Sfânta: Hell Bent on Heaven, about a teenage wannabe saint, at the Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Kalamazoo, Oregon, and Orlando Fringe Festivals. Recent writing includes The Cover Band (in development at Brooklyn College), Princeboy/Stableboy, and ten-minute play Bump Set Spike Bruise. Acting credits include #RomeoJuliet (all characters) with New Repertory Theatre, Hamlet with Praxis Stage (Laertes), and Well with Wellesley Repertory Theatre (Joy/Dottie/Herself). More at

NATALIE RICH is a Brooklyn based actor and writer from Louisville, Kentucky. She is the co-creator of The Weekend Detectives (Best Actress in a Comedy, Independent Television Festival), Gimme an F, KEVIN!!!!! (New York Innovative Theatre Award nominee), The Boehner Sisters and the improv podcast Imposter Syndrome. She has developed new work with Williamstown Theatre Festival, Audible, Cherry Lane, New Georges, Primary Stages, Vertigo Theatre Co, Dixon Place, New Harmony Project, The PIT and UCB. She’s a proud member of Recent Cutbacks and one half of Cookrat Productions. Natalie received her BFA from the University of Evansville

ELISSA GOETSCHIUS (she/her) is a Brooklyn-based director and Associate Artist at Sanguine Theatre Company. She has directed for Ensemble Studio Theatre, Ugly Rhino, the Austin Playhouse, Actors Theatre of Charlotte, Catholic University, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Glass Mind Theatre, EMP Collective, Wandering Souls, and Forum Theatre. Formerly the Literary Manager at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in DC, she has trained with the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, SITI Company, LAByrinth Theatre Company, Sojourn Theatre, and the Movement Theatre Studio. She studied at the British American Drama Academy and holds degrees from Brooklyn College and Columbia University.