Theatre UAB will present “Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays” from Feb. 27-28 and March 1-4.
An A-list lineup of writers offers unique takes on the moments before, during and after saying two little words: “I do.” Witty, warm and occasionally wacky, these plays are vows to the blessings of equality, the universal challenges of relationships and the often-hilarious power of love. These characters face the same challenges as everyone; they fall in love and feel things for other people of the same gender that are the same as people of the opposite gender.
The production will include “The Revision” by Jordan Harrison, “This Flight Tonight” by Wendy MacLeod, “The Gay Agenda” by Paul Rudnick, “On Facebook” by Doug Wright, “A Traditional Wedding” by Mo Gaffney, “My Husband” by Paul Rudnick, “London Mosquitoes” by Moisés Kaufman, and “Pablo and Andrew at the Altar of Words” by José Rivera. “Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays” was conceived by Brian Shnipper.
Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27-28 and March 1-3 and at 2 p.m. March 4, in UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, Odess Theatre. Tickets are $15, $6 for students, and $10 for UAB employees and senior citizens. For tickets, call 205-975-2787 or go to www.AlysStephens.org. Visit Theatre UAB online at www.uab.edu/cas/theatre.
|“It shows an audience that, despite our differences, we have so many more similarities, and we can’t make this work without everybody. Everyone contributes to what makes our world function. We should all be valued.”|
The opportunity to do this production came about when the annual Festival of 10-Minute Plays was moved to every other year, in order to give the student playwrights and their works more time to develop and become more stage-worthy, says Kelly Allison, MFA, chair of the department. A small movement is underway in educational theater to do devised plays, or collective creating, and the open space in Theatre UAB’s season gave them a “wild card” opportunity.
“It is that fifth card, like the wild card in poker,” Allison said. “It can be anything.”
Faculty charged with selecting plays for the season were looking for those that would foster understanding, and they started the season with the musical “Working.”
“It shows an audience that, despite our differences, we have so many more similarities, and we can’t make this work without everybody,” Allison said. “Everyone contributes to what makes our world function. We should all be valued.”
Gay marriage is still an issue in society, he says — it is the law of the land, upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, but to a lot of people it is not OK. Theater is about exploring what makes us human, and the more we learn, the more likely it is that we will recognize each other as human beings, Allison says.
“We do theater so that maybe some people will leave knowing more and understanding more,” Allison said. “Some people will leave the theater changed. They might be enlightened; they might have a sense of empathy they did not have before the show. What is more important than influencing society one way or another is to open a dialogue.”
The cast includes Jesse Clark, Royal Keeton, Laurel Floen, Juanita Pineda, Olivia Skillern, Brady Grimm, Lucas Bradley, Kaylee Radney, Travis Roddy, Terencea Holtzclaw, James Noah Duffy, Nia Evans, Ali Zeigler, Claire Stewart, Jorge Castro-Salinas and Brady Grimm. Noah Parsons is stage manager for the productions, with lights by the lighting design class and property design by Marc Quattlebaum.