Tracing the Directions of Gay Theater

Probably the main reason theaters exist to do plays in which lesbian and gay characters are central is that theaters such as the Mark Taper Forum do not do such plays.

While the Taper touts its commitment to social issues such as prejudice, it has consistently chosen to present only plays in which homosexual characters are marginal, when they appear at all.

Significant plays in which the issue of homosexuality is central--such as "As Is," "The Normal Heart," "Last Summer at Bluefish Cove," "Torch Song Trilogy," "Bent" and "Kingfish"--all managed to escape the Taper's notice. Even South Coast Repertory produced "Breaking the Code" and "Cloud Nine," despite the severe homophobia which infects Orange County.

This contrasts with the Taper's record, in which only plays such as "Fifth of July" and "The Colored Museum" included gay characters.

DAVID LINK, Los Angeles

A third Taper play that included a gay character was the three-character "Burn This."

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