| Art |

LGBT Plays Take Center Stage at OUTLOUD in Downtown Phoenix

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

The man behind this week’s cleverly titled OUTLOUD: More Stories from the Gayborhood insists there’s still relevance in a gay-specific plays festival.

“There’s less of a need to be on a soapbox about gay rights these days,” says the event’s organizer, journalist Richard Schultz. “But there are still points of view about how we’re living in the 21st century. Now that gays and lesbians have a higher profile, playwrights have to be more creative in their approach to depicting our issues.”

The festival premiered in 2014 at Phoenix’s LGBT Community Center. This year’s edition, also sponsored by the Center, will take its bows from the stage of downtown’s Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center. Comprised of a half-dozen one-acts written by and often about homosexuals, OUTLOUD features exclusively local playwrights, directors, and actors. The six short works include a musical, a surrealist comedy, and an historical drama.

Death appears to be a secondary theme in most of the plays here. Bee Dee Heywood’s Two Dragons is a drama set in 17th century Japan in which a vanquished warlord hooks up with a military captain on the night before he kills himself. In Execution of a Queen, which Schultz directed, a transgender woman reflects on her life moments after she’s died. Rohno Geppert’s Waiting in the Guff is set in Heaven’s lobby and concerns itself with the possibility of life after death.

The writers involved made a year’s commitment to developing scripts. “The majority of them had never written in the dramatic form before,” Schultz admits. “So part of the process became a kind of Theater 101, where we talked a lot about conflict and how to write dialogue for actors.” Many of the pieces, Schultz says, are adapted from the writers’ own stories and novels.

Schultz, a columnist for gay monthly The Echo, hopes to make the festival an annual thing. “Because we have no gay-specific theater here, there’s really a need to give voices to these stories,” he says. “These stories still need to be told.”

OUTLOUD: More Stories from the Gayborhood performs March 3 through  5 at the Helen Mason Performing Arts Center, 1333 East Washington Street. Call 602-258-8128.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.