GayFest! Kicks Off This Week

Here’s our list of must-see shows.

GayFest! returns August 12-27, 2016.

GayFest! returns August 12-27, 2016.

Starting Friday, Quince Productions will be putting on the sixth-annual GayFest!, a festival of LGBTQ theater, at Studio X and the Louis Bluver Theatre at the Drake. This year, the event will showcase four Philadelphia premieres as main-stage productions and include the New York-based dance company the Bang Group as a returning favorite. But beyond a growing lineup of 30 scheduled performances, the subject matter is evolving too.

“I think sometimes people think ‘Well, you got marriage, you’re home free,’” says Rich Rubin, Quince’s producing artistic director. “I think they forget there are still challenges facing the community, so it’s important not only for people like that young man to see his life on stage, but for the non-LGBT community — and we get quite a few at GayFest — to see some of the questions and challenges and dilemmas still faced.”

Some of the cast members shared a similar sentiment. “As an actor, I constantly have to play non-LGBTQ roles, because of societal norms,” says local black gay actor Terrell Green. Green, who is starring in one of the final productions of the festival, MMF, finds it “refreshing to be able to tell stories of people from one of the communities I represent. I can’t wait to how it grows in the future and include stories of even more communities within the LGBTQ community.”

The festival will run from August 12th through 27th. Here’s the G Philly list of must-see shows:

My Favorite Husbands, by Andrew Marvel, at Studio X. A political tale of Republican gay love gone shady. Directed by Rich Rubin.

Harbor, by Tony Award–nominee Chad Beguelin, at Studio X. A comedy about what family looks like, post-gay-marriage equality. Directed by Rich Rubin.

The Bang Group in “Stuck on You,” Louis Bluver Theatre. A slapstick show filled with music, jokes and GayFest! appearances from Misters and Sisters and Head Over Heels. Two nights only.

MMF, by David L. Kimple, at the Bluver. This dramatic comedy puts a whole new meaning on what defines a love triangle. Directed by Shamus Hunter McCarty.

Wolves, by Steve Yockey, at the Bluver. A drama of epic proportions surrounding a one-night stand with consequences that extend far beyond it. Directed by Michael Osinski.