Theatre B and Minnesota State University-Moorhead’s Rainbow Dragon Center presented “Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays” on Nov. 7. The play featured nine short works centered around gay marriage as a theme.
Some of the works were satirical, some comedic or even dramatic.
“They’re all in the playwright’s voice,” said Brad Delzer, director of the play. “They take on different subject matters like what being gay and being married means.”
Over 40 theatres in 25 states showed the play on Nov. 7 to remind people that in 2012 voting will take place on proposed constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage. This includes Minnesota.
“This is a very hot-button political item,” Delzer said. “Personally and socially it affects us as a community and a country.”
At least three of the fourteen actors in the play are gay, according to Delzer. He said the subject matter makes them even more likely to participate.
“Theatre humanizes the people that are directly affected by these policies,” he said.
Concordia senior Chris Damlo agreed that theatre can be an effective way of getting the issue out into the community.
“It’s important to understand that gay people are people too,” he said. “Any kind of theatre is less throwing-the-issue-in-your-face. It’s more subtle about how it would address the issue. It’s a safer environment.”
According to a press release from Theatre B, contributing playwrights include Jordan Harrison, Jeffry Hatcher, Moisés Kaufman and many other award-winning playwrights. Kaufman also wrote the well-known play “The Laramie Project,” a story about the 1998 murder of college student Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyo.
One of the plays included was “On Facebook,” which was adapted from a fight among friends on Facebook about gay marriage. Another play, “The Flight Tonight,” is about hope and happiness in a lesbian marriage in Iowa.
Delzer said the toughest part about learning the play was that the series of plays were all new and getting constantly revised.
“It’s a living script in constant flux,” Delzer said. “We have a limited time period of only one week to learn it.”
Donations earned from the play will be given to Minnesotans United for All Families, a coalition of faith organizations campaigning to defeat the 2012 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.