This Week at GayFest!: America’s First Gay Play Gets the Philly Treatment

Philly’s only LGBT theater festival, GayFest!, kicks off tomorrow (August 5th.) Now in its fourth year, Quince Productions founder and GayFest! producer Rich Rubin says the theme of the season is new meets old.

There are a handful of Philadelphia premieres—Next Fall, Some Are People, and You Know My Name—playing alongside old-school favorites. The Haunted Host, for instance, celebrates 50 years on the stage. “It is considered by many to be America’s first full-length gay play,” says Rubin. “I’m excited about combining the new and cutting-edge work with historic work. More than ever, there’s a real range of tone and style in the festival.”

So get out there and support our city’s sole LGBT film festival. Here’s a preview of what’s happening this week during the festival:

Head Over Heels GayFest

Photo by Yi-Chun Wu

Head Over Heels
“After their triumphant appearance in Misters and Sisters in GayFest! 2012, this internationally renowned dance troupe returns to Philadelphia to open GayFest! 2014 with their new show Head Over Heels. In typical Bang Group fashion, there is an amalgam of influences from gay culture and street dance to MGM musicals.” Wednesday, August 5th (with reception following the show) and Thursday, August 6th, Skinner Studio, Plays and Players, 1714 Delancey Street.

Alexander Kacala in Kathleen Warnock's "Some Are People." Photo by John Donges.

Alexander Kacala in Kathleen Warnock’s “Some Are People.” Photo by John Donges.

Some Are People
“Provincetown in the summer is a special place, inhabited by a unique set of regulars and “summer people.” Tommy (G Philly contributor Alexander Kacala) and his lesbian landlady/friend Anna (Amber Orion) are year-rounders into whose lives drifts a young woman named Lydia (Danielle Solomon), with some secrets of her own. Is this the Provincetown summer when everyone’s lives change?” Josh Hitchens directs. August 7-23, Skinner Studio, Plays and Players, 1714 Delancey Street.

Chris Melohn and Kryger. Photo by John Donges.

Chris Melohn and Alex Kryger. Photo by John Donges.

The Haunted Host
“It’s 1964, Greenwich Village. Jay (Chris Melohn) struggles to put his ghosts to rest as the living image of his main “ghost”—a handsome young man named Frank (Alex Kryger)—appears at the door, sent by a friend. Laughs galore in [playwright Robert] Patrick’s signature style of hilarity.” Sarah J Gafgen directs. August 8-22, Skinner Studio, Plays and Players, 1714 Delancey Street. 

standing on ceremony gayfest

Jasmine Hammond, John Hodges, and Geoff Bruen are among the actors taking part in “Standing On Ceremony.”

Standing On Ceremony
“A one-night presentation of the hot property ‘Standing on Ceremony,’ a collection of plays about gay marriage by renowned playwrights Paul Rudnick, Neil LaBute, Moisés Kaufman, José Rivera, Mo Gaffney, Wendy MacLeod, Jordan Harrison, and Doug Wright (conceived by Brian Shnipper). Funny, moving, and occasionally shocking, ‘Standing on Ceremony’ presents some of America’s most famous playwrights covering this important subject in a variety of ways.” Proceeds benefit GayFest! and Equality Pennsylvania. Sunday, August, 10th, 7 p.m., Skybox, The Adrienne, 2030 Sansom Street. 

GayFest! runs August 5th through August 23rd. You can buy tickets to individual shows—or festival passes—here