The third annual “Briefs” festival featuring short LGBT plays will be held downtown next weekend at La Perla. This year the plays were selected from over 100 submissions, said Joan Lipkin, artistic director of That Uppity Theatre Company, which puts on the festival in partnership with The Vital Voice.
“It is really hard to write a good 10 minute play … It has to contain an entire world, has to have a whole journey for the characters and of course for the audience, so what happened was some of the pieces that came in had great promise but they needed help to find that core, to find that narrative structure,” Lipkin said.
So she asked director and playwright Chris Limber to help with the re-writes. First-time playwright Donald Miller was happy for the help in fleshing out the characters of his short play, “Strange Bedfellows.”
“Going back and re-reading it after feedback, it did read more like a point, counterpoint argument,” Miller said. His play tells the story of a gay couple who had recently started dating. During the course of an everyday conversation, one of the men reveals to the other that he is a conservative Republican.
But now after some work, it’s a really strong play, said Lipkin, who had been searching for plays that went beyond the main 3 LGBT narratives of coming out, AIDS and marriage.
The play Limber is directing, “Messages Deleted,” also has a unique storyline; one that crosses the barrier between life and death.
“It’s a very affecting scene about a gay couple, one of the partners has just been in a car accident, and his partner is cleaning out his apartment. And they have to deal with the whole issue of the family of the deceased person, who is in denial about his homosexuality,” Limber said.
Part of the purpose of “Briefs” is to spark dialogue, so the venue is set up to allow for conversation and interaction after the performances.
“There’s a vast diversity in the audience, gay and straight, that comes to see the plays. The plays have dimension for the gay community but they’re also universal,” Limber said. “It’s a great place to see wonderful new theater and also have a place afterwards where you can talk.”
That Uppity Theatre Company and The Vital Voice Present "Briefs," A Festival of Short LGBT Plays
Friday, March 21, 2014
Saturday, March 22, 2014
4:00 and 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 23, 2014
La Perla, 312 North Eighth Street
For more information, call 314-256-1196 or visit the That Uppity Theatre Company website.
Cityscape is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer, hosted by Steve Potter and funded in part by the the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis, the Regional Arts Commission and the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.