Open

About the Show

In this Queer love story, a woman called The Magician presents a myriad of tricks for our entertainment, yet her performance seems to be attempting something more impossible than illusion—to rescue her girlfriend from death after a vicious hate crime. The play asks its audience to revel in the joy of queer love, yet grieve and process the trauma of fighting against intolerance in this timely, cathartic story. With a message of resilience for Queer communities, OPEN has since been produced across the U.S with other theatres in NM, MN, LA, FL and OH.

The premiere production was filmed live in June 2019 at The Tank in a co-production with All for One in New York City. The play is written by Crystal Skillman; Directed by Jessi D. Hill; Featuring Drama Desk Award nominee Megan Hill.

The 2019 film of the live performance OPEN received an encore seven day showing with All for One for one week as part of The Tank’s June, 2021 Pridefest, streaming on demand to acclaim. In 2021, The Flying Carpet presented the film as part of the 2021 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and was nominated for an Off West End Award.

In November 2022, we received a Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation touring grant to revive the original production and bring the show to 4 locations in Italy (Rome, Venice, Pescara, and Cagliari). The Flying Carpet Theatre Company will produce the Italy tour in a partnership with The Tank. This production features Lily Ali-Oshatz, costumes by Madeline Wall, Production management by Nicholas Cotz, and with the rest of the original production team returning.

OPEN’s original production’s creative team included lighting & scenic design by Sarah Johnston, sound design by Emma Wilk, costume design by Becky Bodurtha. The production stage manager was Sydney Golden and Donghyuk Chang served as production supervisor.

During the original run it was noted in the NYTimes which highlighted the film as a must-watch and praised the show as “Wonderful” and it was recommended by TDF Stages as Number One of their Top Five plays on demand to view.


On Stage

Lily Ali-Oshatz in OPEN by Crystal Skillman. OnStage! Festival Italy Tour November 18-25, 2022. For more info and to get tickets, click HERE


Press and Reviews

“Kristen, the narrator and sole character of Crystal Skillman’s new play OPEN at the Tank, executes magic tricks because she is the one who needs to believe. The miracle this lovely show pulls out is that by the end, she does — and so do we.”
— Critic’s Pick – Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Times

“Besides its intrinsic worth, OPEN should bring more attention to a pair of downtown’s most bracing talents, [Crystal Skillman and Megan Hill].”
— Critic’s Pick – Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Times

“Kristen, the narrator and sole character of Crystal Skillman’s new play OPEN, at the Tank, executes magic tricks because she is the one who needs to believe. The miracle this lovely show pulls out is that by the end, she does — and so do we.”
– New York Times

“The show transforms into an exploration of how romance OPENs you up and leaves you both stronger and more vulnerable”
– TDF Stages

“Jessi D Hill is such a gifted director and choreographer. She beguiles her actors to become dancers, magicians, clowns, mimes, musical instruments of storytelling. And she makes it all look like a walk in the park.”
– The Front Row

“Five stars. But, like her lesbian uniform, The Wizard’s magic tricks are an over-compensation. Hill is brilliant as an enigmatic show-woman, part Janelle Monáe and part Doctor Who. But she becomes truly astounding when The Magician’s facade breaks down, and the golden spotlight turns to a bleak, blue wash. The sad smile in her eyes when she recounts embracing at a party — ’Jenny takes my hand, which smells of frosting’ — is just heartbreaking.”
– EdFringe Review

“Five stars. OPEN is about more than just opening up to the world, it is about opening up inside, accepting and growing in love.”
– EdFringe Review

“I enjoyed OPEN and admired its humour, its bravery, and its honesty, and as an addition to the LGBT+ dramatic space, this is welcome into the room. As a female-led collaboration, it shows the synergy between writer, performer and director.”
– LouReviews, UK
“A fascinating performance.” – The Wee Review, UK

“Endearingly quirky … both script & performance exude passion, with stunningly intense moments that leave your heart racing.”
– Fringebiscuit, UK


Stills