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Photo: Patrick Frenette.

Posted In
October 20, 2021

During American Ballet Theatre’s 2021 Fall season, two special Pride Nights will be held on Wednesday, October 27 at 7:30pm and on Saturday, October 30 at 8:00pm in honor of Christopher Rudd’s Touché, a male pas de deux included in ABT’s “Rhythm and Rapture” program.

Pride Night Events

The two Pride Night performances will feature a special guest appearance by drag artist Lypsinka, followed by a panel discussion of ABT’s LGBT works with the creators of the male duet Touché:  choreographer Christopher Rudd, ABT Principal Dancer Calvin Royal III, and ABT corps de ballet member João Menegussi.  Sarah Lozoff, intimacy director for Touché, will join the panel on Wednesday, October 27 and ABT Principal Dancer James Whiteside joins on Saturday evening, October 30. The discussions will be moderated by trans-actress Tommy Dorfman.

Photo: Steven Menendez.
Photo: Steven Menendez.

(Special Appearance)

John Epperson (AKA Lypsinka) was born in Hazlehurst, Mississippi.  His film work includes Black Swan, Witch Hunt with Dennis Hopper, Wigstock: The Movie, Angels in America, Kinsey, Vampire’s Kiss, and Another Gay Movie.  His theater work includes Wallace Shawn’s Evening at the Talk House (Off Broadway, 2017), Once Upon A Mattress (Off Broadway, 2015), John Epperson: Show Trash; Lypsinka! The Trilogy (both 2014), I Could Go On Lip-Synching; Now It Can Be Lip-Synched; Lypsinka! A Day In The Life (2 Drama Desk nominations); As I Lay Lip-Synching; Lypsinka Must Be Destroyed!; Lypsinka IS Harriet Craig!; Lypsinka! The Boxed Set  (Washington, D.C. Helen Hayes Award Outstanding Non-Resident Production; L.A. Weekly Theatre Award Best Solo Performance; Drama Desk nomination); The Stepmother in New York City Opera’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella at Lincoln Center; The Passion of the Crawford, a fantasia on the personality of Joan Crawford, and a cabaret show John Epperson: The Artist Principally Known As Lypsinka.  Epperson has written the play My Deah: Medea For Dummies (Obie-winning production); two stage musicals – Ballet of the Dolls, Dial “M” For Model; and half a play: a rewrite of James Kirkwood’s notorious Legends! produced at Studio Theatre in D.CEpperson has also written for The Guardian, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Interview.  He was the guest curator of the Club 57 film series “You Are Now One Of Us” at the Museum of Modern Art 2017-18.  As a film historian, he has lectured about movies for MoMA, The New School, Anthology Film Archives, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  Epperson and Lypsinka are the subjects of an Emmy-winning television documentary for PBS.

Photo: Gizelle Hernandez for TIME Magazine.
Photo: Gizelle Hernandez for TIME Magazine.

Tommy Dorfman

Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Tommy Dorfman focuses her work on telling stories that give life to a range of interweaving and distinct queer experiences.
After graduating Fordham University in 2015, Tommy booked her first role as Ryan Shaver in the hit Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why. Tommy has since gone on to act in television and film while also shining a light on her experience as a queer person in Hollywood through her work with GLAAD and the Ali Forney Center.

She has spearheaded campaigns focused on bringing queer talent front and center with companies like Calvin Klein, Fendi, ASOS, the Body Shop, Ferragamo, and Balmain. She recently photographed and art-directed Pete Davidson as a Staten Island Ken doll opposite Julia Fox forPaper magazine’s break the internet cover and Zoe Levin for the cover of American Studies.

As an actor, she starred alongside Alan Cumming in Jeremy O. Harris’s Off-Broadway hit “Daddy” in 2019. Most recently she wrapped Lena Dunham’s newest experience, Sharp Stick, and Fracture, a limited series in the UK for Channel 4 out this fall.

As a writer, she’s publishing her first collection of essays with Harper Collins in late 2022.