Pssst. Andrea, you should meet your cast member Royer. She's...a lesbian!
Queer identities have a history of being whispered in our industry. This is, in fact, how we met. But our friendship was born out of a mutual desire to shout our identities from the rooftop. We realized that while we inhabit a professional space that is gay-friendly, queer women and TGNC artists are underrepresented within that space, despite being a huge and vital part of the industry. Musical theatre is so gay but not queer. So, with Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori’s blessing, we created Ring of Keys in January of 2018, and became an official nonprofit organization in 2020. What began as two queer sopranos eating cheese and crackers in a New York City apartment is now a sprawling artistic service organization. Today, Ring of Keys includes 500+ individuals in 40 U.S. cities, Toronto, and London, as well as hundreds of allies and community partner organizations worldwide. Welcome to the Ring. Do you hear our hearts saying hi?
— Andrea Prestinario and Royer Bockus, Co-Founders
Andrea & Royer
Who We Are
Ring of Keys is an artist service organization that fosters community and visibility for musical theatre artists - onstage and off - who self-identify as queer women, transgender, and gender non-conforming artists.
The only organization of its kind, our community is made up of actors, directors, dancers, singers, stage managers, lighting designers, dramaturgs, artistic directors, producers, casting directors, librettists, lyricists, composers, props designers, scenic designers, sound designers, choreographers, costume designers, and production managers who self-identify as lesbian, bisexual, trans, queer, femme, masc, non-binary, and the diversity of genders that queerness contains. We represent 500+ individuals in 40 U.S. cities, Toronto, and London. We strive to kick (ball-change) the closet door open to create a vibrant, diverse musical theatre landscape for the future.
What We Do
By providing community outreach to advocate for and amplify these artists and widening the public’s engagement with and education about queer stories, Ring of Keys queers the stage to create a more inclusive musical theatre landscape for all. We elevate the work of our “Keys” through showcases, our social media platforms, and our monthly newsletter. We provide a visible, supportive community through our initiatives, with a focus on concerts, workshop programming, networking events, job-sharing, and monthly meet-ups. Believing that our diversity is an asset that we bring to the industry, we collaborate with arts organizations and community partners to mobilize and advance the musical theatre landscape and queer the stage.
Statement of Inclusion
What queerness means to Ring of Keys:
We support the exploration of the ever-expanding definitions of queerness. Queerness speaks to both gender identity and sexuality without conflating these two identities and can only be determined by an act of self-identification.
What diversity means to Ring of Keys:
We cannot begin to define the ever-changing human experience at all of its intersections; we support and believe in every emerging expression of human identity and welcome your collaboration toward equity for our community.
By standing together, we build intersectional awareness and community within our industry.
By prioritizing the full and fearless participation of our Members, we hold space for marginalized voices within our own queer community and beyond.
By representing a multitude of intersectional identities, we redefine the meaning and necessity of diversity within our industry.
By elevating queer women, transgender, and gender non-conforming artists in our industry, we give conscious and subconscious permission to all queer artists to elevate themselves.