Stage, LGBT Theatre

[cs_content][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”false” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px 30px 30px;”][cs_column bg_color=”hsl(0, 0%, 0%)” fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 30px;color:#FFFFFF;”][cs_text]Some people say that the evolution of LGBT theatre has been over the past 20 years, but even as far back as the Ancient Greeks, gay characters and playwrights have been working both on and off the stage. From Sophocles in the Ancient Greeks to Sir Francis Bacon in the Renaissance, Noel Coward and Oscar Wilde in the turn of the century to Langston Hughes in the Harlem Renaissance along with modern day playwrights like Terrence McNally, Eve Ensler and Joe DiPietro; the theatre is eternally grateful to the talented LGBT voices that gave us some of the greatest works in history.

It’s impossible in such a short amount of words to cover the entire history of LGBT theatre. There are far too many talented people to cover and talk about, so I’ll talk about 5 key pieces from different points of history that are “Must Reads” for any literature/theatre lover.

[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_blockquote cite=”The Producers” type=”center”]“No matter what you do on the stage, keep it light, keep it bright, keep it gay!”[/x_blockquote][x_line style=”border-top-width: 1px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h2″ looks_like=”h3″ accent=”false” class=”man” style=”padding-bottom:30px;”]BENT[/x_custom_headline][x_image type=”none” src=”http://www.triggerlappy.com/plugmag/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/article-stage-01.jpg” alt=”” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””][cs_text]Martin Sherman’s Bent opened in London with Ian McKellen in 1979 and then in New York with Richard Gere. Sherman dramatized, in fictional form, the plight of gay men in Nazi Germany who were arrested and sent to concentration camps for their sexual orientation. Bent not only brought to audiences’ attention tragic historical events of which they may have heretofore been unaware of, but provided a symbol for the modern gay movement in the pink triangle, which became a badge of pride rather than opprobrium as it had been under the Nazis. It was the second “gay” play to hit Broadway after the very important, “Boys in the Band” premiered on Broadway in 1980.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_line style=”border-top-width: 1px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h2″ looks_like=”h3″ accent=”false” class=”man” style=”padding-bottom:30px;”]M BUTTERFLY[/x_custom_headline][x_image type=”none” src=”http://www.triggerlappy.com/plugmag/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/article-stage-02.jpg” alt=”” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””][cs_text]A take on Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly,” M. Butterfly takes place in China and explores issues for transgender and gay men living in Asia under “secret lives.” Written in 1988 by David Henry Hwang, it is supposedly based on the real life relationship between French diplomat Bernard Boursicot and Shi Pei Pu, a male Peking opera singer from Beijing.

The diplomat falls in love with singer Song Liling in the play, before realizing that Dans in traditional Chinese opera were played by men. He doesn’t stop loving Song once his true identity is revealed and their love turns to an obsession. It’s an interesting portrayal of secret romances and how manipulative some affairs can be. The great question becomes… What does the M stand for? Madame or Monster?[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_line style=”border-top-width: 1px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h2″ looks_like=”h3″ accent=”false” class=”man” style=”padding-bottom:30px;”]ANGELS IN AMERICA[/x_custom_headline][x_image type=”none” src=”http://www.triggerlappy.com/plugmag/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/article-stage-03.jpg” alt=”” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””][cs_text]Although many successful plays dealt with the AIDS crisis; including Terrence McNally’s notable Love! Valour! Compassion!—none had a more profound and lasting impact than Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. The first part of which, entitled Millennium Approaches, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for drama. The play also won two Tony Awards for both the first part and for Perestroika, the second part. Subtitled A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, Angels in America mixes historical and fictional characters, as well as humor and heartbreak to dramatize not only the effect that AIDS had on gay Americans but how they are inextricably woven into the fabric of American life. It later became an HBO movie.

While AIDS is not the almost unavoidable topic of gay theater today that it was 20 years ago, it is a topic that still continues to be addressed. Many playwrights are investigating both positive and negative aspects of gay history.[/cs_text][x_line style=”border-top-width: 1px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h2″ looks_like=”h3″ accent=”false” class=”man” style=”padding-bottom:30px;”]THE CHILDREN’S HOUR[/x_custom_headline][x_image type=”none” src=”http://www.triggerlappy.com/plugmag/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/article-stage-04.jpg” alt=”” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””][cs_text]Lillian Hellman’s only piece to openly discuss lesbianism is her most tragic. “The Children’s Hour” is set in the 1920s at a conservative girls school. Two teachers are accused of being in a lesbian relationship by a vindictive student. The play raises issues with discrimination, rumors, and how gay people had to live when being out of the closet wasn’t an option for them due to society.[/cs_text][x_line style=”border-top-width: 1px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h2″ looks_like=”h3″ accent=”false” class=”man” style=”padding-bottom:30px;”]DESIGN FOR LIVING
[/x_custom_headline][x_image type=”none” src=”http://www.triggerlappy.com/plugmag/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/article-stage-05.png” alt=”” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””][cs_text]This is easily Noel Coward’s most controversial play. The main characters, Otto, Leo and Gilda attempt various combinations of living arrangements until they settle on a ménage à trois. For being written in 1930, it was quite a scandalous production and was banned from the stage for more than 20 years before being performed again in the late 1950s in Australia.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to “gay theatre”. There are musicals like Chorus Line, Hedwig and Hairspray that are truly enjoyable and wonderful experiences for you to see on stage.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”false” marginless_columns=”false” bg_color=”hsl(59, 94%, 53%)” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 30px 0px 0px;”][x_feature_box title=”Thoughts? Comments?” title_color=”” text_color=”” graphic=”icon” graphic_size=”150px” graphic_shape=”square” graphic_color=”hsl(0, 0%, 0%)” graphic_bg_color=”hsl(59, 94%, 53%)” align_h=”left” align_v=”top” side_graphic_spacing=”20px” max_width=”none” graphic_icon=”question-circle” style=”padding-right:30px;”]As always, if you have any thoughts, comments or want to suggest your own movies for this list, feel free to email us at culture@plug-magazine.com or post on our website.[/x_feature_box][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 45px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_author title=”About the Author” author_id=””][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][/cs_content]

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