Month: March 2012

Who are you?

A. Nora Long, producing associate

Tonight is the final dress rehearsal and there will be LOTS more to say on that soon.BUT, I wanted to take a moment to tell you all about a little experiment we are engaged in.

As you may of heard (or I may have already mentioned) we received a grant from Mass Humanities to produce some supplementary programming for The Temperamentals and audience engagement activities using social media (the blog is part of the idea, for example). One of the other activities centers around a virtual photo booth.

As some of the central themes in the play are identity and self-expression, we thought it might be fun to give the audience a chance to express themselves in our virtual photo booth. You are invited to dress up with some of our props and costumes, write a thought on a white board, or just come as you are into our “booth” (regulars might recognize it as the alcove with a curtain). The photos will then by uploaded to our Facebook page, for you to tag, share, and comment on. 

Our hope (besides cleverly luring you to our Facebook page) is that these photos will be a way to continue the conversation from the theatre with us and other audience members. Our front of house staff gave the booth a test-run tonight, and those photos will be up tomorrow, but here’s a little teaser for you:


The Lyric Stage Company’s fabulous front of house staff!

Who are you?

A. Nora Long, producing associate

Tonight is the final dress rehearsal and there will be LOTS more to say on that soon.BUT, I wanted to take a moment to tell you all about a little experiment we are engaged in.

As you may of heard (or I may have already mentioned) we received a grant from Mass Humanities to produce some supplementary programming for The Temperamentals and audience engagement activities using social media (the blog is part of the idea, for example). One of the other activities centers around a virtual photo booth.

As some of the central themes in the play are identity and self-expression, we thought it might be fun to give the audience a chance to express themselves in our virtual photo booth. You are invited to dress up with some of our props and costumes, write a thought on a white board, or just come as you are into our “booth” (regulars might recognize it as the alcove with a curtain). The photos will then by uploaded to our Facebook page, for you to tag, share, and comment on.

Our hope (besides cleverly luring you to our Facebook page) is that these photos will be a way to continue the conversation from the theatre with us and other audience members. Our front of house staff gave the booth a test-run tonight, and those photos will be up tomorrow, but here’s a little teaser for you:

The Lyric Stage Company’s fabulous front of house staff!

Coming Out

A. Nora Long, producing associate

Our lighting designer, John Malinowski, forwarded this article along to members of the production staff and company with the subject heading, “Coming Out in the 21st Century”. It is a beautiful little story about one American family, and offers a different (and more inclusive) perspective on the “traditional” family values rhetoric. I am reminded of what Ellen DeGeneres said regarding calls to boycott JC Penney for having a woman representing “a non-traditional lifestyle” as their spokeswoman. “Here are the values I stand for: I stand for honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you’d want to be treated and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values.”

Thanks for sending the article along, John!

Coming Out

A. Nora Long, producing associate

Our lighting designer, John Malinowski, forwarded this article along to members of the production staff and company with the subject heading, “Coming Out in the 21st Century”. It is a beautiful little story about one American family, and offers a different (and more inclusive) perspective on the “traditional” family values rhetoric. I am reminded of what Ellen DeGeneres said regarding calls to boycott JC Penney for having a woman representing “a non-traditional lifestyle” as their spokeswoman. “Here are the values I stand for: I stand for honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you’d want to be treated and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values.”

Thanks for sending the article along, John!

The Original Mattachine

A. Nora Long, producing associate


Mattachine Society Christmas Party, 1951 or 1952. From left to right: Konrad Stevens, Dale Jennings, Harry Hay, Rudi Gernreich, Stan Witt, Bob Hull, Chuck Rowland, Paul Bernard. Photo by Jim Gruber.

This picture is of the original Mattachine Society, at a Christmas party in the early 1950s. It is a rare shot – in fact, one story goes that the only reason Harry agreed to sit for the picture in the first place is because the photographer, Jim Gruber, assured him there was no film in the camera (a classic trick).

The hesitancy to be photographed was not unfounded paranoia -the Mattachine Society became the subject of an internal FBI investigation starting in 1953. Due to his affiliation with the Communist Party, Harry was already under FBI surveillance, and in 1955 was summoned to appear before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. The fear of being arrested, harassed, or physically abused by members of law enforcement was rooted in the reality of experience.

Which makes this photo all the more remarkable and valuable to us today.

The Original Mattachine

A. Nora Long, producing associate

Mattachine Society Christmas Party, 1951 or 1952. From left to right: Konrad Stevens, Dale Jennings, Harry Hay, Rudi Gernreich, Stan Witt, Bob Hull, Chuck Rowland, Paul Bernard. Photo by Jim Gruber.

This picture is of the original Mattachine Society, at a Christmas party in the early 1950s. It is a rare shot – in fact, one story goes that the only reason Harry agreed to sit for the picture in the first place is because the photographer, Jim Gruber, assured him there was no film in the camera (a classic trick).

The hesitancy to be photographed was not unfounded paranoia -the Mattachine Society became the subject of an internal FBI investigation starting in 1953. Due to his affiliation with the Communist Party, Harry was already under FBI surveillance, and in 1955 was summoned to appear before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. The fear of being arrested, harassed, or physically abused by members of law enforcement was rooted in the reality of experience.

Which makes this photo all the more remarkable and valuable to us today.

Radically Gay

Jeremy Johnson, director.

When I was 15, this old guy Andy (I think he was probably 30 at the time) worked with me at the local community theatre in Randolph, New Jersey. One day Andy handed me Reflections of a Rock Lobster and One Teenager in Ten. I don’t recall if we had a conversation about being gay or not but those books changed me. I read them dozens of times and carefully hid them under my bed.

When I was 16, I got my driver’s permit and Melissa Etheridge released a CD called Yes I Am. She sang a song called “Silent Legacy” and I pulled over on the highway because I couldn’t see the road anymore. I sobbed for about twenty minutes pressing repeat each time the song ended. She had written a song for me and she felt like I did.

When I was 17, I walked into the Drama Bookshop in NYC and with butterflies in my stomach and sweating hands bought The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me by David Drake and read about what it was like to be a sissy and a badass all at the same time. I met David in Provincetown two years ago and it continues to be a very special day for me. Sometimes I think he saved my life.

When I was 32, I read The Temperamentals and all the memories above came rushing back to me immediately.
There is nothing more powerful than the moments when you realize you are not alone.

If the Mattachine Society did nothing else in those formative years of the gay rights movement it reached out with welcoming arms and embraced hundreds of men and women who up until that point had lived their lives alone and in the dark. What is even more incredible to me is that they did this during the early 1950s, a period in American history marked by extreme paranoia, rigidity and an almost inflexible adherence to a moral standard that we look back on today as largely a fantasy of politicians and advertising.

One of the fascinating and frustrating things about being gay is that we are all largely “self-taught” especially when it comes to our place in history. Black families and Jewish families pass down the words, ideas and customs of their culture and occasionally schools will fill in some of the gaps. 
Will Roscoe says in Radically Gay, a book on the writings of Harry Hay, “There is no mechanism, except by the initiative of the individual, for Lesbians and Gay men to learn their own history. And this is a very serious problem when one realizes the role that the construction of the past plays in any social movement.”

I’m embarrassed to admit that up until a year ago, I was among the many who thought the movement for our rights began on a hot night in June at the Stonewall Inn. I read earlier this year of 20-year old gay men leaving the recent revival of The Normal Heart, looking at their friends in their 40s and 50s with a mixture of horror and awe, saying “I had no idea that’s what you went through.” We have a history and it’s an important one. It’s an American one and it matters. It matters to the 15-year old that always felt a little bit different who comes to see this show. This play is for them.

Radically Gay

Jeremy Johnson, director.

When I was 15, this old guy Andy (I think he was probably 30 at the time) worked with me at the local community theatre in Randolph, New Jersey. One day Andy handed me Reflections of a Rock Lobster and One Teenager in Ten. I don’t recall if we had a conversation about being gay or not but those books changed me. I read them dozens of times and carefully hid them under my bed.

When I was 16, I got my driver’s permit and Melissa Etheridge released a CD called Yes I Am. She sang a song called “Silent Legacy” and I pulled over on the highway because I couldn’t see the road anymore. I sobbed for about twenty minutes pressing repeat each time the song ended. She had written a song for me and she felt like I did.
When I was 17, I walked into the Drama Bookshop in NYC and with butterflies in my stomach and sweating hands bought The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me by David Drake and read about what it was like to be a sissy and a badass all at the same time. I met David in Provincetown two years ago and it continues to be a very special day for me. Sometimes I think he saved my life.
When I was 32, I read The Temperamentals and all the memories above came rushing back to me immediately.
There is nothing more powerful than the moments when you realize you are not alone.

If the Mattachine Society did nothing else in those formative years of the gay rights movement it reached out with welcoming arms and embraced hundreds of men and women who up until that point had lived their lives alone and in the dark. What is even more incredible to me is that they did this during the early 1950s, a period in American history marked by extreme paranoia, rigidity and an almost inflexible adherence to a moral standard that we look back on today as largely a fantasy of politicians and advertising.
One of the fascinating and frustrating things about being gay is that we are all largely “self-taught” especially when it comes to our place in history. Black families and Jewish families pass down the words, ideas and customs of their culture and occasionally schools will fill in some of the gaps. 
Will Roscoe says in Radically Gay, a book on the writings of Harry Hay, “There is no mechanism, except by the initiative of the individual, for Lesbians and Gay men to learn their own history. And this is a very serious problem when one realizes the role that the construction of the past plays in any social movement.”
I’m embarrassed to admit that up until a year ago, I was among the many who thought the movement for our rights began on a hot night in June at the Stonewall Inn. I read earlier this year of 20-year old gay men leaving the recent revival of The Normal Heart, looking at their friends in their 40s and 50s with a mixture of horror and awe, saying “I had no idea that’s what you went through.” We have a history and it’s an important one. It’s an American one and it matters. It matters to the 15-year old that always felt a little bit different who comes to see this show. This play is for them.

Lights Out

A. Nora Long, producing associate

On Tuesday night , The Temperamentals  began its first rehearsal with the traditional Lyric “Meet and Greet.” Members of the company staff, design team, cast and crew gathered to introduce themselves, and learn a little more about the show and the theatre. And, of course, eat food.

Cast and crew listen to director Jeremy Johnson discuss the play, pre-blackout.

The designer and director presentations were wonderful and informative, and we will put together some of the audio, video and photos from the day to share with you all. Of course, there was another much less fun event happening just up the street. As you have probably heard (and possibly experienced), a transformer fire in an NSTAR substation blacked out most of the city, including the Lyric right in the middle of the first read-through! A dramatic event to be sure. More news to come from rehearsals now that the lights are on shortly.

Lights Out

A. Nora Long, producing associate

On Tuesday night , The Temperamentals  began its first rehearsal with the traditional Lyric “Meet and Greet.” Members of the company staff, design team, cast and crew gathered to introduce themselves, and learn a little more about the show and the theatre. And, of course, eat food.


Cast and crew listen to director Jeremy Johnson discuss the play, pre-blackout.

The designer and director presentations were wonderful and informative, and we will put together some of the audio, video and photos from the day to share with you all. Of course, there was another much less fun event happening just up the street. As you have probably heard (and possibly experienced), a transformer fire in an NSTAR substation blacked out most of the city, including the Lyric right in the middle of the first read-through! A dramatic event to be sure. More news to come from rehearsals now that the lights are on shortly.