A Comedy About Being Positive (Even When You?re HIV+)
?Being single, middle-aged and HIV+ in New York City isn?t always easy, but Merce couldn?t be happier! Hailed as ?Seinfield with HIV? by Poz Magazine,?Merce?follows the adventures of an HIV+ Polyanna who sings and dances his way through life in search of self-acceptance and true love. With his gal-pal roommate, three gay guy fairies that appear to him in musical fantasy sequences, and his Mama (on a webcam) always at his side, he?s gonna make it after all. The series is a surprising, bawdy look at HIV today, proving that life can be positive, even when you?re HIV+.
Created by openly gay HIV+ writer/performer Charles Sanchez,?Merce?was inspired by the rich lives and bright spirits of people living with HIV today. ?
STATEMENT FROM CREATOR CHARLES SANCHEZ
?One of my biggest gripes about any HIV movie or TV show is that it?s always tragic, always about 30 years ago when we were in the midst of the crisis. No one is really writing about what it?s like to have HIV today.?Merce?is a modern HIV story. There is an amazing negative stigma attached to HIV, and it?s outdated. It?s unbelievable how the mention of HIV can still invoke fear in people, and the reality is that it?s no longer the death sentence it was 20 or 30 years ago. It?s considered a manageable, chronic condition, and although it?s still serious, it?s totally possible to live a full, complete, healthy, sexy, fun life while managing HIV. I made the show a?comedy because comedy is the best way to show truth, and is a great way to change people?s perceptions. Funny, like music or love, is an international language.?
Charles Sanchez?(Writer/Merce) is an openly gay HIV+ writer/performer. His acting career took him from Lincoln Center to Murry?s Dinner Playhouse in Little Rock, AR. He?s performed his original monologues at the PIT and Le Poissen Rouge, as well as in storytelling venues in New York. He conceived, wrote and starred in?Manhattan Man-Travels, a comedy web series on YouTube, directed and co-produced by Tyne Firmin.
Tyne Firmin?(Director/Merce?s Mama) is a professional who?s worked as a director, actor and teacher in the NY theater community for over 25 years. He?s been involved in Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway productions, as well as film and video.?Merce?is his second video collaboration with Mr. Sanchez.
Ken Kruper?(Composer/Lyricist) In addition to musically directing many productions throughout Long Island and NYC, including productions at Hofstra University, Molloy College, SUNY Farmingdale and St. John’s University, Ken is also the composer of?GRIMM: A New Musical?which initially premiered at St. John?s University in 2009 and was later presented at the 2012 NYC Fringe Festival. A graduate of SJU, he currently teaches piano privately, is Executive Director of BIG Theatre Co., a presenter at the NYSTEA Annual Student Conference since 2006 and is the composer and piano player for LI-based The Free Candy Band.
The cast includes Colleen Hawks-Pierce (Broadway?s?Smokey Joe?s Caf?, Boy from Oz, Shrek), Rob Laqui (Here Lies Love) and Rich Graff (featured in the upcoming AMC series,?Making of the Mob?as Lucky Luciano). Every episode features an original musical number with music and lyrics by Ken Kruper.
“Flamboyant, funny, outrageous, glamorous, bawdy…?Merce?captures, ever so candidly, and also fearlessly, the reality of living with HIV/AIDS in today’s society.”-Alina Oswald, A&U Magazine
?Merce?has the low budget appeal of early John Waters.? -?Mark S. King, MyFabulousDisease.com
?Seinfeld?with HIV.? –Sean Decker, Poz.com
Merce?is available on?www.MerceTV.com.
Like the series?on Facebook at?https://www.facebook.com/LilMerced, and follow on Twitter at @MerceTheSeries.