Curtain Rises on Bruise & Thorn, a Play Written by C. Julian Jiménez, Award-Winning Playwright and Professor of Theatre at Queensborough

Published: March 21, 2022

The world-premiere of Bruise & Thorn, a one-act play written by renowned playwright C. Julian Jiménez and produced by Pipeline Theatre Company, is now extended through April 3rd at the Mezzanine Theatre/A.R.T. New York Theatres, 502 West 53rd Street, Manhattan.  

The plot centers on Bruise and Thorn, cousins who are Nuyorican, Queer, and tired of their jobs at a busted-up laundromat in Jamaica, Queens. 

“On top of its well-realized performances, “Bruise & Thorn” counts a memorable authenticity among its best qualities….” The New York Times, Critics Pick.

“This play is a celebration of Queer joy for the Queer community,” said Jiménez, Associate Professor, Communication, Theatre & Media Production. “It’s a spectacle—a lot of fun. Rapping, vogue dancing!” 

Jiménez, who has been collaborating with the Pipeline Theatre Program since 2017, had this to say about the production process.  

“This is a wonderful experience. I need to be around collaborators where there is no drama—no authority figure or gatekeeper. What’s so special about the Pipeline program is it breaks down that structure so people can be more fluid, more joyful.” 

Jiménez, who holds an MFA in Acting from The New School for Drama, has garnered many playwriting awards over the years: New Dramatist Residency (Class of 2025), Rita Goldberg Playwrights' Workshop Fellow at The Lark (2019/2020), Pipeline Theatre Company PlayLab (2017 & 2018), LaGuardia Community College’s LGBTQ History Project Grant (2018), Queens Arts Council Grant (2015), Best New Work Motif Award (2014), and The Public Theater Emerging Writers Group (2009). 

Georgia McGill, Chair and Professor, Communication, Theatre, & Media Production said, “We celebrate Julian’s talent and creative work. He is an asset to our department, the College, and the performing arts community.” 

“I am an educator first,” said Jiménez. “Our students are the reason I create—to offer them opportunities and to learn from the continuing knowledge I gain as a working artist.” 

He reflected on the mission of Pipeline and how its philosophy informs his work.  

“We want to diversify the typical theatre audience and attract young people of color. That is why Pipeline has supplied a tier system so that barriers to access are removed, especially for students like ours.” 

Queensborough President Christine Mangino added, “Julian shares so much of himself in his work. He is an amazing inspiration to us all and exemplifies what it means to be an inclusive leader committed to helping our students discover their passion both in and out of the classroom.” 

“Fluidity has always been a theme in my work and in my life and in my gender. I don’t abide by the standards of society of what a man should be. I don’t like binaries in any way, not just black and white. To be an interesting artist and educator you must be fluid to keep up because things are changing, and we need to reach students.” 

This spring marks the first time that Jiménez will produce and direct an ensemble student play on campus that he has written called, The @s. The 12-person cast explores how people connect and create intimacy through a digital system. Jiménez says the inspiration grew out of the disconnect caused by the pandemic and asks the question: Can the heart extend through a computer screen? The premiere is Wednesday, April 6 @ 12:15PM, Thursday, April 7 @ 7:00PM and Friday, April 8 @ 5:00PM. 

Also debuting at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theatre is ¡Oso Fabuloso & The Bear Backs! at Joe's Pub at The Public Theater. The musical stars Jiménez as the queer Latine bear named Oso Fabuloso and Queensborough alums Joseph Distl and Vasilios (Billy) Leon as backup singers, Gummy and Grizz. The show runs for one night only on March 24 at 9:30PM. 




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