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Big Gay Book Launch: Tea Leaves by Jacob Budenz

Jacob Budenz

September 24

Suggested Donation

Brick Aux presents
Big Gay Book Launch: Tea Leaves by Jacob Budenz
with Caelen Ernest, Jen Diamond,
and a collaboration between Theresa Buchheister & Peter Mills Weiss
September 24, 2023
at Brick Aux – 628 Metropolitan Ave
Entry by Suggested Donation

Join us for the book launch of Baltimore-based queer author, multi-disciplinary performer, and witch Jacob Budenz, whose debut collection of short stories, Tea Leaves, explores the intersection of contemporary queer life and the unseen world–the queer “other” and the otherworldly.

This event will feature work by local luminaries: playwright and comedian Jen Diamond (author of Here We Are, one half of OLGA Comedy), poet and performer Caelen Ernest (author of night mode and ICONOCLAST, publicist for Gray Wolf Press), and NY art lifers, Peter Mills Weiss and Theresa Buchheister.

Physical copies of Jacob’s book, as well as limited edition tea tins and USBs that house the audiobook, will be available for purchase onsite. There is a suggested donation at the door, but nobody will be turned away for lack of funds 🙂

Follow them:

Jacob Budenz @dreambabyjake jakebeearts.com
Caelen Ernest : @transputation, transputation.com
Jen Diamond: @thejenerald, jen-diamond.com
Theresa Buchheister: @bucheistertheresa, theresabucheister.com

Jacob Budenz is a Baltimore-based writer, actor, director, musician, and performance artist with an MFA in Creative Writing from University of New Orleans and a BA in Writing Seminars and Spanish from Johns Hopkins University. As a resident actor with the Baltimore Annex Theater from 2012-2017, Jacob was involved in several acclaimed productions, including as a writer and director of an original adaptation of The Master and Margarita which appeared on Baltimore City Paper’s Top Ten Staged Productions of 2016. Jake’s poetry chapbook, Pastel Witcheries, debuted in 2018 with Seven Kitchens Press, and an extended edition called Spellwork for the Modern Pastel Witch was one of the winners of the Hard to Swallow Chapbook Contest at Birds Piled Loosely Press. Among other things, Jacob Budenz’s work focuses heavily on dreams, storytelling, the occult, mysticism, queerness, the grotesque, and the unfamiliar. This work in all mediums seeks to empower audiences and move them to experience dramatic catharsis, while exploring the lives of society’s outliers. Jake has performed all over Baltimore, as well as New York, Pennsylvania, DC, New Orleans, and Spain. Jake’s writing has been published in traditional print presses such as Assaracus and Slipsream alongside of zeitgeisty online publications like Taco Bell Quarterly and Wussy Mag or anthologies by Mason Jar Press and Unbound Editions. Jake has also been commissioned or awarded by organizations such as The Writer’s Digest, The Baltimore Museum of Art, and Spark Creative Anthologies.

Caelan Ernest (they/she) is a nonbinary poet and performer living in Brooklyn, NY. They are the author of two collections: night mode (2023) and ICONOCLAST (forthcoming in 2024), from Everybody Press. Most recently, their work has been published in Blush Literature, them., WUSSY, Hayden’s Ferry Review, baest: a journal of queer forms & affects, We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics, and elsewhere. They hold an MFA in Writing from Pratt Institute. They are Publicist at Graywolf Press.

Jen Diamond is a playwright, screenwriter, and performer. She is currently working towards her MFA in Playwriting at Hunter College. Her plays include a new, American myth (Here We Are – Johns Hopkins University Theatre, Kennedy Center/Page-to-Stage, Interrobang Theatre); a dystopian romance about the ways the internet ruins our brains (Porn: A Love Story – Cohesion Theatre, Inkubator New Works Development Laboratory); a murder mystery about fuck boys (The Alibi Play– Baltimore Theatre Project, Maryland State Arts Council Creativity Grant recipient); and a revenge fantasy/ghost story (All My Ghosts Come Back to Me – DC Scribe Night).

Theresa Buchheister is a Kansan New Yorker and founder and co-director of Title:Point, founder and Artistic Director of The Exponential Festival,  and co-founder of Vital Joint. Theresa directs, produces, performs, curates, facilitates and writes for theatre and theatre-adjacent performance realms. Their work has been seen at The Ontological Theater, The New Ohio, Dixon Place, HERE, Housing Works, NACL, The Brick, Silent Barn, Vital Joint, The Parlour, Target Margin’s The Doxsee, on rafts, in warehouses, in trucks, in bars. They are also a voice over director, performer, teacher and engineer (current: BoyGirlDogCatMouseCheese, multiple audiobooks and podcasts; past: Pokemon, The Winx Club, World of Winx, How Music Works, Perks of Being a Wallflower, A Young Innovator’s Guide to STEM, Arrow of Time, Recursive Cast, etc).


The Brick is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. We rely on the generosity of our patrons. Consider giving a tax-deductible donation today to help make The Brick a sustainable hub of experimental performance for many years to come. Donate Here or Join Our Patreon

Mask Policy: The Brick strongly encourages but does not require masks for audience members. We are in ongoing conversation with our artists and audiences as we continue to adapt our covid policies and it is subject to change at any time. Thank you.

A Note on Accessibility: The Brick has trigger warnings posted in the space for each show for you to check if you so choose. If you would rather ask questions in advance of being in the space or would like to enter in advance of house opening due to our seating not being assigned, please reach out to theresa@bricktheater.com.


September 24, 2023
7:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Suggested Donation


Jacob Budenz


Brick Aux
628 Metropolitan Ave
Brooklyn, 11211 United States
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