Swimming While Drowning is a new play written by Emilio Rodriguez. It’s having its World Premiere this month at Milagro Theatre, 525 SE Stark St. Rodriguez intertwines the everyday language of teenagers with poetry to capture the world of two young men in an LGBT homeless shelter.

The show is directed by Francisco Garcia who brings his experience of living in Los Angeles where the play is set. He worked with youth similar to the play’s characters and his passion for giving a voice to under-served youth is evident here.

“We have a very serious issue of homelessness in this city, particularly with youth,” Garcia said. “Teenagers that are living in poverty and teenagers in the foster care system either through issues that have been going on in their house or because of not feeling like they belong because of how they identify. We’re not seeing teenage characters that identify as LGBTQ and the real struggles they go through, so being able to give a voice to those types of characters, that’s important.

“It’s a coming of age story that resonates with anyone. Maybe this is a community you knew nothing about, that you want to learn more about or that you feel that you want to help support.”

The play runs February 9 –25, Thursday through Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 2 pm. Friday’s opening reception is catered by La Bonita.

Tickets and more at milagro.org