Monday, July 08, 2013

'Rainbow' Themes on Display at FPCT



Steve Ferguson (L.) and Rasheed Green in Hoya Saxa Photo: Ken Stanek
The 32nd annual Baltimore Playwrights Festival started off on the right foot with Rich Espey’s The Rainbow Plays currently running at the Fells Point Corner Theatre.  Mr. Espey, a Baltimore-area resident, is a three-time winner of the Carol Weinberg Award for best play at the Baltimore Playwrights Festival for Fifty-Fifty, Hope’s Arbor, and Following Sarah.
In The Rainbow Plays, under the strong direction of Lisa Davidson who is making her Baltimore directing debut, six distinct mini-plays, each about 10 minutes long representing the different themes contained in the rainbow or gay pride flag are presented.  A seventh play attempts to sum it all up with a humorous, clever, rap-dominated performance.  As in the case of that flag, The Rainbow Plays consist of a tapestry of discrete stories, with the only common thread woven throughout is that they are gay- or lesbian-related.

The rainbow flag, which originally had eight colors and now contains six, was designed by the artist Gilbert Baker in 1978 as a positive alternative to the pink triangle used by the Nazis to identify homosexuals.  Some theorize he was inspired by the death of Judy Garland of “Over the Rainbow” fame—an iconic gay anthem—which occurred just a few days before the Stonewall uprisings in June 1969.  Mr. Baker recently told a Chicago television station: “The rainbow came to mind almost instantly as an obvious expression of diversity and acceptance.”

For full review, visit MD Theatre Guide

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