Mar 7, 2019
Mar 17, 2019

55 Shades of Gay: Balkan Spring of Sexual Revolution

By Qendra Multimedia (Kosovo)
Written by Jeton Neziraj
Directed by Blerta Neziraj

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55 Shades of Gay: Balkan Spring of Sexual Revolution is a contemporary burlesque story about LGBTI politics in the Balkans and Europe by acclaimed Kosovar playwright Jeton Neziraj. In a historically homophobic environment, local Balkan politicians try to manipulate and deceive EU officials; humanitarian mercenaries of international NGOs exploit intolerance for economic gains; and EU officials use their superior financial and political positions to subjugate everyone. This provocative, politically incorrect performance poses the question, “Is sexual liberation possible in the Balkans?”

Produced and performed by an eminent team of theater artists from Kosovo, Germany, France, and Serbia, 55 Shades of Gay is directed by award-winning directress Blerta Neziraj, a member of Lincoln Center Theater Lab. Her shows have been successfully presented across Europe in more than 30 international festivals and theatre venues.

The US Premiere of 55 Shades of Gay at La MaMa was made possible with support from:

Trust for mutual understanding logo
open society foundations logo
Republika Kosoves logo
Rockefeller Brothers Fund logo

Author: Jeton Neziraj
Directed by: Blerta Neziraj

Tristan Halilaj, Bujar Ahmeti, Shengyl Ismaili, Semira Latifi, Alketa Sylaj, Luan Durmishi (vocal)

Stage and Costumes: Sebastian Ellrich
Music: Irena Popovic
Choreography: Florian Bilbao
Stage Manager: Lendita Idrizi
Production Assistant: Verona Koxha
Technical Director: Denis Berisha
Lighting: Mursel Bekteshi & Denis Berisha
Translation of the play into English: Alexandra Channer


Qendra Multimedia is a theatre company based in Prishtina, Kosovo. It is considered to be as one of the most interesting and provocative theatre companies in South Eastern Europe. Qendra produces and coproduces fresh and innovative theatre performances and other literature events, for local and international audiences. Artistic exchanges with international partners are crucial in the work of Qendra Multimedia.

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lambda literary logo

Identifying as LGBTQ publicly is still a profoundly dangerous act in
Kosovo,where queer people risk their lives by living out. logo

55 Shades of Gay pulls back the curtain to reveal
the state of of gay rights in The Balkans.

open society foundations logo

55 Shades of Gay: The Intersection of Theater
and Rights in the Balkans

prishtina insight logo

55 Shades of Gay will be shown
for the first time outside Europe in March


“…an explosion of burlesque, music and possibly offensive humor; it is simply a riot.”
-Prishtina Insight

“Penned by the prolific former artistic director of the National Theatre of Kosovo…treats the locals’ homophobic bigotry and the international community’s patronizing attitudes with equal quantities of ridicule…”
-The Theatre Times

“Perhaps more than any other playwright working in the country today, Jeton Neziraj is constantly pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable subject matter in Kosovo. When his latest outing, 55 Shades of Gay, had its premiere last autumn police were stationed at the door of the theatre.”
–Equal Times

Special Event

Sunday, March 17th | Talk Back

Please join us for a post-show talk back with the company of 55 Shades of Gay immediately following this performance!