GayFest!, Quince Productions’ annual festival of LGBT theater productions and performances, continues to be the talk of the town as it brings intriguing stories to the stage through Aug. 22.
Rounding out this year’s productions are the light-hearted comedy “Mother Tongue” and the dramatic “From White Plains,” both directed by Quince artistic director Rich Rubin.
Rubin said these shows are in tune with the style of plays people have come to expect from the festival.
“They’re a little more of the type of ‘regular’ play that people are used to seeing,” he said. “’Mother Tongue’ and ‘From White Plains’ are just regular plays with actors and interesting characters in them. The other plays have them too but these have a more traditional framework.”
“From White Plains” follows an award-winning filmmaker who is compelled to engage in a social-media battle with the man who bullied his friend in high school, leading to the friend’s suicide.
“He feels that he needs to confront him and he can’t stop this drive to keep confronting him,” Rubin said about the play’s lead character. “He ultimately wants to be able to let go of the whole thing, but whether that is possible for him to do is another question. I wouldn’t say it’s a play about bullying, but more about how bullying can affect a person for the rest of his life — both the bully and the bullied person. Ultimately, it’s a play about forgiveness and how to forgive actions that seem to be unforgivable.”
Letting go and moving on is also a theme in the comedy “Mother Tongue,” which follows the young lead character, Matt, who is trying to form a relationship with 40-something Cale.
His mom, a stand-up comic with issues of her own, doesn’t help the situation much.
“It’s pretty much a comedy,” Rubin said. “Obviously, it has its tender moments but it’s a sexy, light comedy. Matt’s conflict is not unlike the conflict in ‘White Plains,’ which is the attempt to let go and move on in life. He’s got this guy he’s trying to get involved with who has something that had gone on in his past that is still affecting his present and their ability to form a relationship. You have his mother, who is a stand-up comic who can’t let go of the anger at her late ex-husband, Matt’s father, and that’s what drives her comedy routine. What Matt discovers is maybe he’s got a few things from his past he’s got to let go of.”
Rubin said that GayFest!, now in its fifth year, has become an annual success as something the community eagerly awaits, both for the quality and quantity of the productions.
“There are fewer people these days saying ‘Gayfest? What’s that?’” Rubin said. “And there seems to be an anticipation of it each year. So we’re in our fifth anniversary this year and I think it’s become less of an experiment and more of a tradition.
Quince Productions presents GayFest! through Aug. 22. For a complete list of shows, performances and venues, visit www.quinceproductions.com.