Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Indie Theater Icon Doric Wilson: News and Accolades

One of the best things about my job is the fact that I have gotten to know some of the remarkable artists who helped make today's indie theater scene what it is. Playwright Doric Wilson is just such a person. He is one of the pioneers of gay theater (he was at the Stonewall Riots, and chronicled what happened in his play Street Theater).

So I am very excited to share some wonderful Good News about Doric today.

First, I am so pleased to announce that Doric is one of two persons to receive the 2009 Career Achievement in Professional Theatre Award from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. (The other winner is Judith Malina.) Doric is in excellent company (or should I say, the following noteworthy theatre artists are in excellent company now that Doric is a fellow honoree--past winners of this award include: Richard Schechner, Bill Irwin, Jon Jory, Edward Albee, Robert Brustein, Anne Bogart, Zelda Fichandler, Augusto Boal, Ellen Stewart, Jose Quintero, Kristen Linklater, Oscar Brockett, and Maria Irene Fornes). Congratulations, Doric, for this well-deserved honor!

Second, here's some info from Doric that I find compelling:

I don’t know if you were aware that my play A Perfect Relationship has been somewhat of a huge hit in New Delhi. It seems to be one of the first "gay plays" to be presented in India and is causing quite a ruckus. The production travels around to different locations in the city playing mainly to straights. To be out as gay in India risks a ten-year prison sentence.

I just received this email for Sameer Thakur, the director: "We now have performances scheduled at the American Center in Delhi on 12th and 13th June 2009. This is for the benefit of students who come to the library. Around 300 young people will get to see the play. It is part of our campaign against Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code, a draconian law that makes any sexual act against the order of nature liable for imprisonment up to 10 years. We want sexual rights to be in the order of fundamental human rights. Just the fact that we are being invited by the American embassy is a big deal here."

Talk about a Stonewall + 40 moment! They wanted to bring me over, but I declined, suggesting that they probably had more than enough scared white elephants. The theater company is Cathaayatra and you can contact Sameer Thakur at cathaayatra@gmail.com.

There is much more info at Doric's blog.

1 comment:

Robert Patrick said...

Yu may learn more about Doric and the theatre world he came from in my 60 Caffe Cino Picture Pages, starting at http://caffecino.wordpress.com/