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LURED is a brutal, vital new play by Frank J. Avella 

Based on true accounts of anti-LGBTQ persecution in Russia 

LURED had a sold-out World Premiere run at Theater for the New City, November 8-25th, 2018. 

"I wrote LURED because of human rights violations in many parts of the world - not just Russia - being perpetrated against the LGBTQ community. The government and church sanctioned mistreatment and persecution of gays must be exposed and the scapegoating must end. I also wanted to explore notions of hate and how no one is born to hate, it's a learned trait. LURED is a play about humanity and how people can easily be swayed into doing unspeakable things. We want to shed light on these horrible crimes that are being committed against LGBTQ people. The LURED team plan to produce a compelling show that will create dialogue and debate."

- Frank J. Avella

An early version of LURED received its first performances during a sold-out limited engagement run at Theater for the New City in NYC in September 2016. The latest version of LURED was produced in New York City in November 2018, and then traveled to Rome, Italy in January 2019.


We're thrilled to announce that our Indiegogo campaign was successfully 110% funded! View our video below, and visit our campaign to find out more. You can always make a tax-deductible donation and be a part of telling this important story. 


In 1934, in the USSR, sex between men became a criminal offense with a prison term of up to 5 years hard labor. During the Soviet reign, thousands of men were convicted of sodomy and carted off to labor camps and psychiatric institutions. Same-sex relations between men were decriminalized in 1993 and in 1999 the Russian Ministry of Health depathologized homosexuality.

In June 2013, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed an anti-LGBT Propaganda Law (Federal Law No. 135-FZ) banning the distribution of information about LGBT relationships to children. The law effectively legalizes discrimination based on sexual orientation. Its passage coincided with a surge of homophobic rhetoric in state media and a rise in homophobic violence around the country. 

In 2013 and 2014, Russia saw a dramatic increase in attacks by vigilante groups and individuals against LGBT people.  

LURED is based on real events. I set out to write a frank and brutal depiction of the consequences of scapegoating. It is meant as an exploration of what could happen anywhere when a government, and church, decides to blame an already loathed group, in this case the LGBTQ community, for their country’s economic and social strife. 

I hope the piece leaves you asking a few fundamental questions about hate, which feels epidemic in today’s world.


- Frank J. Avella  


Here is just a small selection of news articles. Please reach out if you'd like to learn more.

The New York Times: Fueling Homophobia in Russia - an Op-ed

Edge Media Network: Hate Group Leader Hopes Trump Will Enact Putin-Style Anti-Gay Laws If Elected

The New York Times: Russia's Anti-Gay Crackdown

The Daily Beast: The "Hunted" Gays of Putin's Russia

The Guardian: Russian LGBT Activists describe victimization, repression... and hope. 

RT: St. Petersburg bans gay propaganda and promises to punish Rammstein

Human Rights Watch: Russia court rules against LGBT activist

LGBTQ Nation: Russia detains pro-LGBTQ U.S. pastor, tells him to leave the country

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