Are You My Last Stop
by T.J. L

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The Q train to Coney Island runs like it always does, but how often do you see cute ass courtship gone good on the MTA? Maybe Denali and Richie can show you a thing or two.




T.J.L (T.J. Lewis) (he/him/his) is a queer, Southern, Blck playwright, actor, producer and administrator, originally from the Carolinas, based in NYC. He received his BA in performance theatre from ASU. Since graduating, he has worked with various regional theatre companies along the East Coast. T.J.L has been a member of the writing cohorts for Playwrights Realm, The National Black Theatre, The COOP and the Gatekeepers Collective. He was given the honor of being named a finalist for the 2023 Founders Award from New York Stage and Film. So far, T.J.L has had his work developed and performed in the UK, New York, Los Angeles and Massachusetts. His goal is to craft worlds that house stories that allow the promotion of softness, celebration, encouragement and acceptance for queer BIPOC people, especially queer Blck boys.




When did you start writing plays? If you had a moment where you realized you wanted to write, what was it?

First play I wrote was back in my undergrad days. I had to write a full length show as a final project for a class taught by one of my favorite professors. After graduating I stepped away from writing, but like many people, I fully discovered my passion for writing during the pandemic when we had nothing to do but be in the house all day and night.


How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?

I think my path to this play was born from my love of meet cutes in romance novels. Well, this isn’t so much a “meet cute” more than the fanning of a continued flame. But I think I had been watching Bridgerton of all shows and I just thought about what would it be like to witness earnest flirtation between two Blck men in the least romantic place I could think of at that time. The MTA. Specifically the Q train. So I just started writing, and it rolled along from there.


What are five words that describe who you are as a playwright?

Earnest. Bewildered. Coy. Stark. Honest.


What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?

I would have to say a lot of the my influence comes from the various romance writers I have consumed. Austen (of course), Henry, McQuiston, Hibbert, Williams, Saenz and so many more. But also I get a lot of inspiration from the people in my life. Mainly my mother and older sister. They’re always teaching me new things or challenging me to think in new ways of looking at perspective in the world when I least expect it, which translates into the stories I craft.


What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?

I’m an identical triplet.


What are some of your favorite plays?

Wittenberg, surprisingly funny. People Places and Things for the character dissection. Detroit 67 for the excavation of race relations. Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet because everyone has their favorite Shakespeare they can call on. Sanctuary City for the unexpected queer twist. On Sugarland because of the raw Blck culture in the play.


Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?

A few. I find myself trying to type a million miles a minute to try and capture the ideas that form in my head. But currently I’m revisiting a historical drama I wrote about a forbidden unrequited love centered in a Blck family in the 1920s. I’m also working on a play centering two siblings as they try and tackle the grief of losing their grandmother via a spectacular adventure (very Ghibli inspired). I’ve started writing a story about Blck male dancers focused around the culture of Homecoming at HBCUs. And I’ve started writing a family play about a group of queer friends who are intertwined with one another as they get ready to finish college while trying to appease their moms, who try to influence the degrees they are majoring in. Also working on a short about two queer people sending messages to each other through the vacuum of space based a few hundred years in the future. While also working on an anthology series about different points in relationships around queer couples. I know. Plenty of things to try and complete!

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