The Drama of Our History
Theatre Rhinoceros in the Castro at the GLBT Historical Society Museum
Theatre Rhino presented a series of readings at The GLBT Historical Society Museum and Archives, 4127 18th Street in San Francisco monthly from July, 2016 through June 2017.
Readings were FREE and open to everyone!
In the Heart of America, by Naomi Wallace. During the First Gulf War, Craver, “white trash” from Tennessee, and Remiz, a Palestinian American, served together and fell in love. Later, Remzi’s sister just wants to know what happened to her brother. Lieutenant Boxler trained the two men, but he is haunted by events from the Vietnam War. Directed by Jon Wai-keung Lowe.
Blue Fire on the Water: A Memory Play with Music, by Renita Martin. There’s Jo, in his 80s, teaching Maybelle, a young woman with natural talent, to sing the blues. Maybelle loves Jo, but Jo has secrets. Can Maybelle still love Jo? Meanwhile, it’s New Orleans, and the water is rising. Directed by Kathryn L. Wood.
The Legend of Pink, by Kheven LaGrone. The time is the late Twentieth Century, the place is the streets of West Oakland. Drug wars rage and the lovely transgender woman, Pink, does her best to bring a bit of beauty to the harsh environment. But people are watching Pink as she tries to form a connection with a beautiful young man, and they don’t like it. Things turn dangerous and deadly. Directed by Darryl V. Jones
Blithe Spirit, by Noël Coward. Last year, Rhino staged a couple of Sir Noël’s comedies to discover the queerness he hid between the lines. We find his plays tend to be pretty gay, even when played “straight” (ahem). Directed by Jim McCunn
She Kills Monsters, by Qui Nguyen. Agnes regrets that she never got to know her teenage sister, Tilly, who was killed in a car accident. But when Agnes ventures into Tilly’s world of Dungeons and Dragons, she discovers a Tilly she didn’t know existed, along with Tilly’s girlfriend, a few enemies, and some unfinished business. Directed by Nick Gabriel.
Tenn, by Kathy Boussina. Tennessee Williams is one of our most celebrated and fascinating icons. In local playwright Boussina’s play, Tennessee, conflicted by his own success, is overtaken by feelings of inadequacy and regret. Seeking the help of a prominent psychoanalyst, a triad of intimacy develops between Tenn, his lover, Frank Merlo and Dr Kubie (“Dr Kaye”). As Tennessee’s unconventional relationship with Dr Kaye unfolds, a haunted past surfaces. Frank wrestles to save Tenn and to keep their life and love intact. Directed by Jeremy Cole
Monday, December 5, 7 p.m.
Juanita’s Statue, by Anne Garcia-Romero. This is a queering of the kind of farce produced during the Golden Age of Spanish Theatre (roughly 1590-1681). A woman caught in bed with a young man betrothed to a suitable young bride has to put on his clothes to escape the wrath of his father. She spends a day as a man, as the young man’s family seeks to catch her. During that day, numerous people (the young bride, a gay couple, her female best friend) fall in love with her/him. Directed by Erin Washington.
Bahala Na, by Clarence Coo. A young Chinese/Filipino man and his husband are about to adopt a baby, but he can’t tear himself away from the side of his ailing and unconscious grandmother. The family disapproves of the young man’s gay lifestyle (and his partner), but through the dreams of the grandmother, we see that she, too, has been pushing against gender restrictions her whole life. Directed by Alan Quismorio.
Oedipus at Palm Springs, by the Five Lesbian Brothers. A queering of an old tale, as the title indicates. Set at a lesbian B&B in Palm Springs, a group of middle-aged friends gather for a holiday. One brings along her much younger girlfriend. One too many secrets is revealed. Directed by Kathryn Wood.
Whale Riding Weather, by Bryden MacDonald. This is a “Pinter-esque” play about three men in an apartment: an older man with a young kept boy; and another young man who wants to get the kept boy out of the apartment. It’s suffocating and dysfunctional and kind of delicious. It also represents (we think) a kind of queer drama that was being written in the late eighties and nineties, and is an important part of our history/culture. Directed by Craig Souza.
The Bat, by Avery Hopwood and Mary Robert Reinhart. This play from the 1920s was one of the most popular of Hopwood’s, who was the most successful playwright of his time. He was also gay, though none of that could be explicit in his writing. However, we’ve engaged a Hopwood scholar to direct, and he feels with just a couple of gender alterations of the character list, it will become pretty gay. The story line is a murder mystery/who-done-it, but this will be an example of reclaiming and queering our own history/culture. Directed by Jack Sharrar.
Swollen Tongues, by Kathleen Oliver. This is a queering of Restoration Comedy (roughly 1660-1710 in England), including being written in rhyming couplets. It explores mistaken identities and “transgressive circulation of desire” as when the lead lesbian character competes with her brother for the love of the same woman. Directed by Nick Gabriel.