Tyler Martin’s ‘What I First Desired’ at Soho Playhouse

Image via Tyler Martin

What I First Desired, a one-act play written by New York-based playwright and actor Tyler Martin, will be returning to the legendary Off-Broadway venue Soho Playhouse for a limited run next month. The production previously won the audience vote for Soho Playhouse’s Lighthouse Series, a competition that showcases and uplifts new playwriting talent in the Off-Broadway landscape.

Performances are scheduled for July 1, 6, 8, and 9, and the evening will also feature two other one-act finalists from the Lighthouse Series. 


Inspired by and conceived as a queer, modern, gender-bending prequel to Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, What I First Desired follows the thrilling 48 hours before the southernly fabulous Chance flees to his sister’s for refuge. However, as Chance relives his traumatic past, the lines of truth and his wild imagination are soon blurred, leaving him (and the audience) questioning what really took place. 

‘What I First Desired’ Poster

“Marginalization and discrimination can inhibit people from living the lives they truly want to live,” Martin says in a press statement. “Just like Tennessee Williams himself years ago, the queer community still struggles with this today—when we are not given the opportunity to simply exist and live in the way we desire, it is up to us to create that safe, uplifting reality for ourselves. And because of this, we often create an exaggeration or fantasy-like version of reality to exist in—a reality where we can live our one life to the fullest, triumphantly, unashamedly, and beautifully bold, even in the face of discrimination. At times this version of reality may seem distant from the truth, but really, what is the ‘truth’ if not what we believe and experience? This play examines that desire, that fantasy, that expression, and the obstacles placed in our way.”

Directed by Enrique Cavazos, What I First Desired quickly gained a growing fanbase. The July run will feature a new cast member, a varied set, and an extended script, elaborating on the already subversive, intelligent, and thought-provoking script by Martin.


He hopes to use this run as a step towards extending What I First Desired into a full-length project. 

Image via Tyler Martin

For more information, visit SohoPlayhouse.com.


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