FEBRUARY 4th, 2023
5pm PST, 6pm MST, 7pm CST, 8pm EST

starring Emmett Ramstad, Maxe Crandall, and Constantine Zavitsanos
with charles ryan long as switchboard operator
and Chandler Daily as helping hand

Free show, as always. If you are moved to donate, please give:
Defend the Atlanta Forest ︎          
Brown Boi Project ︎

Reading Courtesy of Victor Bumbalo of the Robert Chesley Foundation, Broadway Play Publishing Inc, and a Eureka Commission from Onassis USA.

Special Thanks: Victor Bumbalo, Claudia La Rocco, Isaac Fellman, the GLBT Historical Society, What Would an HIV Doula Do?, Chandler Daily and Sylvester, Diana Cage and Judy Garland.

Love to our cast, co-conspirators, audiences, friends and lovers at past shows:
Radio: Diana Cage, Montez Press Radio, and Carly Dashiell.

Chicago: charles ryan long, Krystal Languell, Mel Leverich and Gary Wasdin at the Leather Archives and Museum.

Philadelphia: Abdul-Aily A. Muhammad, Gem Cut, John Anderies and the William Way LGBT Community Center.

Minneapolis: Chandler Daily, Kelly Meister, Claude Peck and Evan Allgood at Quatrefoil Library.

Brooklyn: Stephen Ira, Aldrin Valdez, Liam O’Brien, Becca Teich, Adam Baran & NYC Inferno.

669-275-1807: Constantine Zavitsanos, charles ryan long, Gem Cut, Joe Tally and Theater Rhinoceros.

Read more about this project in the forthcoming title Trans Hirstory in 99 Objects, edited by David Evans Frantz, Christina Linden, and Chris Vargas.



Artists Maxe Crandall and Emmett Ramstad present a free live phone reading of Robert Chesley’s 1985 play Jerker, or The Helping Hand: A Pornographic Elegy with Redeeming Social Value and a Hymn to the Queer Men of San Francisco in Twenty Phone Calls, Many of Them Dirty. Jerker tells the story of two strangers who develop an erotic fraternal relationship through phone sex. As the two characters get each other off, they demonstrate the power of sexual fantasy in processing the grief, rage, and loneliness of living in pandemic.

Inspired by their obsession with Robert Chesley’s archive at the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco, this live phone reading concludes a performance research tour at archives and queer/trans spaces about “corresponding intimacies,” a term used to describe deep bonds people create through experimental relations.

A 60-75 min live phone call introduced by charles ryan long, read by Maxe Crandall, Emmett Ramstad and Constantine Zavitsanos.  

Content Warning: graphic sexual description, kinky/BDSM scenarios, death, AIDS

Access Notes: Email maxecrandall at gmail.com for text PDF.


Robert Chesley was a composer, activist, and playwright. Born in Jersey City, New Jersey. Chesley left New York City for San Francisco in the late 1970’s, where he became a central voice in the queer theater scene, first as a theater critic for the San Francisco Bay Guardian. His first one act, HELL, I LOVE YOU was produced at Theatre Rhinoceros in 1984. In the same year, Chesley’s NIGHT SWEAT was the first full-length production about AIDS. In a 1986 radio presentation, Chesley’s phone sex play JERKER was deemed “indecent, possibly obscene” by the FCC. Chesley died of AIDS in San Francisco on December 5, 1990.

Maxe Crandall is a poet, playwright, and director. His performance novel about AIDS archives and intergenerational memory The Nancy Reagan Collection made the NYPL’s Best 10 Poetry Books of 2020 and was a Lambda Literary Award finalist in Transgender Poetry.

charles ryan long is a Chicago based multi-disciplinary artist, activist and Black liberationist. He explores issues of representation, legacy, and loss through paper making, print, performance and other mediums that lend themselves to the principles of the democratic multiple. His work seeks out the audience and hopes to stir within them a push towards the future where we center the needs of those with the least amongst us.

Emmett Ramstad is an transdisciplinary sculptor exploring body maintenance and the intimate collectivity of public space. He is a 2022 Mcknight Visual Arts Fellow.

Constantine Zavitsanos works in medium based time.


[Image Descriptions: A black and white promotion photo of an early production of Jerker with two naked men, eyes closed in bed, entangled by black and white phone cords. A second photo depicts the artists Emmett Ramstad and Maxe Crandall entangled in white, black, beige, and silver phone and computer cords. Ramstad licks the end of a phone receiver while Crandall holds another receiver up to his ear.]

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