In 1937 New York City, it was a dangerous time to live as a gay man. Chauncey Miles, the star of the Irving Place Theatre, is famous for his “nance” character (a stereotypical gay character in the burlesque scene). But for Chauncey, unlike other “nance” performers, it is not just an act. Chauncey falls in love with a young drifter named Ned, and his life begins to turn upside down. This gay burlesque performer must navigate living and working in NYC as Mayor Fiorella LaGuardia is looking to shut down burlesque clubs in an attempt to “clean up” the city before the World’s Fair arrives. Chauncey and the rest of the stars at the Irving Place Theatre are at risk of losing their jobs and their community as the burlesque clubs are targeted. The Nance is a powerful play that exposes the dichotomy of facing a changing world and being stuck in a vicious cycle of self-loathing.
The Nance guide sections