THE EMERGENCE OF GAY THEATRE
Boys in the Band, That Certain
Summer, Fortune in Men's Eyes
and other shows have centered
around the gay life style. Yet the
actors insist (very loudly) that
they are not gay; they are merely
"acting". "One need not be a
thief to play the part of a thief,"
There are two sides of the coin.
Visit backstage of a super/colossai
Broadway Musical, a touring Skating company, the Opera, the Ballet
or even the local college's "Little
Theatre". What percentage of the
cast is gay playing the parts of
As children we are taught "To
thine own self be true." Yet, at
the same time we are taught to
mask our true identies. Isn't it
about time this sham came to an
Many "have eyes, but seethnot."
But to those who will, they will
see gay history in the making --
the emergence of a gay culture.
In the beginning, there was one
tiny gay club, fearfully meeting
behind locked doors, shades tightly
drawn. A little gay magazine came
out. It had short stories, avent
gard poetry and book reviews. A
"physique" magazine dared to
show a hint of pubic hair. A few
more gay organizations, then more.
The gay movement reaches adolescents, flexes and admires it's
new muscles. Bolder publications
show cocks. A gay national newspaper. Courtbattles. Pickets, Confrontations. Zaps.
More momentum. Parades. A
gay church. "Hug a Homosexual".
Gay music by gay composers. Gay
movies, daring to be more than
But wait! Where is gay theatre?
In bigger cities there are sometimes gorilla theatre protesting
entrapment, unfair laws and closet
queens. But these productions are
like early morning mist, to be
enjoyed for the moment only. SIR,
the world's largest gay organization routinely mounts full - length
productions of excellent quality.
But in small towns (like Houston
and Dallas) gay theatre consists
of "drag" queens in elaborate
gowns, elaborate make-up and elaborate wigs impersonating Barbara Strisend, Judy Garland and
Liza Minella -- straight women.
We love our drag-brothers and
embrace them. They bravely led
the way while the rest of us
pretended to be straight. They
had balls, you see. But drag represents only a tiny fraction of the
gay life style.
So now, a star is born, the
Thespain Players of the Metropolitan Community Church. Ta-
What are the purposes of the
Thespain Players? Oh, noble to
be sure. We want to show GAY
GUYS AS GAY GUYS, GAY WOMEN AS GAY WOMEN. No. Even
more than that. We want to
Discover, Develope and Display
So we rehearse long hours, complain of acking muscles and rehearsal schedules. We make our
own costumes and worry about
missed ques, cracked notes and
being "out of step with the music."
But it's worth it. On opening night
we carefully apply make-up, nervously hold our hearts in our hands
as we wait in the dark wings while
the Overture is playing. Then we
go "on" and give brilliant performances! (Well, actually we've
only given one performance so far.
But we were good -- at least
that's what our friends tell us,
and never mind that jealous ol'
bitch who thought otherwise.)
Other noble objectives: We want
to bring the gay church to gays
who never heard of MCC before,
hoping they will see our performance, learn of the church and attend services. Also we want to help
our church and gay bars and gay
organizations financially. Hopefully our reputations as outstanding
performers will draw lots of business to the gay bars that book
us. (This proved to be true at
our premier performance at the
Encore in Dallas). Money collected at the door is split -- 2/3rds
for the local organization we are
benefitting, 1/3 rd for the Thespian Players and the Dallas MCC.
At present there are 16 members in our company, but we eagerly seek new talent and invite anyone interested to contact us. It's
real easy, just call 521-8299 or
821-5465 area code 214.
We are anxiously seeking new
engagements too. In the meantime
we will return to the Encore for
a performance on August 11th. Next
we play Oklahoma City benefitting
the Oklahoma City MCC on August
18th. We hope to have some kind
of representation at the General
Conference in Atlanta, Georgia
on the 30th of August. Plans are
being made to play Houston on the
22nd of September. Ft. Worth and
San Antonio engagements are in
the planning stage.
What other noble long range objectives? We want to develop a
repetoire of songs, dances, production numbers, skits, dramatic
and comic readings, plays and
musicals. We want to continually
enlarge our collection of costumes
and props. Most importantly, we
want to grow artistically. And
finally, like all acting troups,
someday we want to have our own
Defends Gay Student
Work on the half-finished University of Sydney was halted by
laborers when a student from nearby Macquarie Univ. was expelled
for being gay.
Workers at the construction
site went on strike at the request of the Students Union.
AS FAMILY UNIT
Homosexual couples have been
recognized as family units by the
Massachusetts Red Cross Blood
About 100 pints of blood were
donated by gay couples after the
Red Cross issued an emergency
Penny Perrault, intern minister of The Metropolitan
Community church, said the Red
Cross agreed to recognize the
couples as family units, eligible
to receive blood from the program
for any children of either partner.
She called the decision a "real
trail-blazer" and said the homosexual community would probably
organize to donate blood again in
The Red Cross reported that
many of the weekend donors were
first-time volunteers andprovided
a number of rare blood types.
RAPE LAWS SHOULD
PROTECT MEN, TOO
The First District Court of Appeals, meeting here in May has
ruled that the Florida rape law
protects men, as well as women,
from forcible intercourse.
A three-judge panel convicted
two Florida State Prison inmates
of rape and forcible carnal knowledge of a fellow male prisoner
in 1971. This is the first such
decision in the country definitely
covering male-male rape.
In 1971, The Florida Supreme
Court struck down the state's "
crime against nature" misemea-
nor law was also overruled by a
DAUGHTERS OF BILITIS
The Nation's Oldest Lesbian Organization
Consciousness Raising - Educational Projects -
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JOIN US - First and Third Fridays Each Month
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