History

History

Our company began in 2001 when our founders, Jeffrey Solomon and Emily Joy Weiner, were tired of witnessing bullying towards LGBT students. In order to take action against this epidemic, Jeffrey and Emily conducted interviews and researched tirelessly to develop our inaugural play, “Building Houses on the Moon”. About LGBT students and their educators, this critically acclaimed project has appeared nationally for the last 15 years.

Emily and Jeffrey found this development process to be so healing that they decided to replicate it with other untold stories: Houses on the Moon Theater Company was born.

Over the last 17 years Houses on the Moon has created and developed 6 original pieces of theater that all speak to our mission of amplifying the unheard voice. Our work is presented Off Broadway as well as in non-traditional theater settings nationally such as libraries, hospitals, community centers, schools and more. Read more about our projects here.

Critical to our mission is reaching underserved audiences, many first time theater goers, by providing a subsidized ticketing program that excludes none. All of our work has the dual purpose of presenting quality artistry as well as using our work as an educational tool.

From Emily Weiner, our co-founder and artistic director:

Jeffrey Solomon [co-founder] and I met in 1998 as teaching artist partners working at a school in Queens with a group of developmentally delayed teenagers. We were saddened by the amount of homophobia we were witnessing in the school environment and wanted to create a piece of theater that spoke to the isolation of LGBTQ+ students and educators. We set off on a creative development journey that included interviews with young people and educators around the country and beyond.

As part of our research we interviewed a lesbian teenager in New Haven and asked her about her role models. Having never had an adult gay role model, she talked about the impossibility of envisioning her own future life as an adult.  She said: 

It’s like trying to imagine your future taking place on the Moon. How can I picture what my house would look like on the moon? I’ve never been to the moon. Nobody’s ever tried to build a house at such low gravity. How do I know whether to picture it on the surface, or floating? Trees and grass, or just rocks?

This young woman so clearly articulated the need for our play and the space it should fill. She provided us with a title for our pilot theater piece, BUILDING HOUSES ON THE MOON, led us to the name of our theater company in its founding year of 2001, and captured the essence of our mission in a metaphor. By telling previously marginalized stories, we were ‘building a house on the moon.’ We were creating a safe place for new stories to be told and heard in previously alien, uncharted or even hostile terrain.