The timing is perfect: 51 years ago this weekend Stonewall happened; five years ago the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was a right nationwide; and last week the Court ruled that it is illegal to discriminate against an LGBTQ person in the workplace. And June is, of course, Pride month.
It’s time to celebrate; so Out Front Theatre Company is giving us all a treat this Friday night, June 26: an A-list lineup of writers is offering “Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays,” nine short theatrical works that highlight the highs and lows of matrimony. The collection of short plays and monologues is by Mo Gaffney, Jordan Harrison, Moisés Kaufman, Neil LaBute, Wendy MacLeod, José Rivera, Paul Rudnick, and Doug Wright. The project is conceived by Brian Shnipper.
Each of the performances will be performed by the following prominent Atlanta actors and streamed from their homes: Abby Holland, Ben Thorpe, Charles Thomas, Danny Martin, JL Reed, Keena Hunt, Robert Lee Hindsman, Robert Wayne, Sofia Palmero, and Wendy Melkonian.
Paul Conroy, founder and artistic director of Out Front says: “These short plays showcase a wondrous jubilee of same sex marriage, and run the gamut from touching and tearful to hilarious and heartwarming. We are thrilled that we can bring this event honoring equality right into people’s homes, and even though we may not be together physically, we know that as a community we can still celebrate.”
Of course I haven’t seen the show yet, but here are couple of comments about the work from national publications: “Backstage”: “Standing on Ceremony puts a human face on a hot-button issue and delivers laughter and tears rather than propaganda.” “NY Observer”: “All you have to do is listen, shed an occasional tear and laugh a lot. There is something for everybody…’Standing on Ceremony’ holds a magnifying glass to the highs and lows, joys and fears, courage and silliness of people bucking trends and making history. It’s a fine evening, heartily recommended.”
I am intrigued, and I wouldn’t miss Out Front’s virtual screening, a free performance on June 26, 8pm, Facebook.com/OutFrontTheatre. Stonewall’s original “rioters,” some of whom are still with us, would be fascinated.