Doric Wilson's The West Street Gang at the Eagle NYC
Monday August 1st
at 7:30 pm (Doors open at 7pm) Running time: 1 hour 45 minutes minutes (one intermission) *Please note: Audience members must be 21 years or older to attend
The Eagle Bar NYC
554 West 28th Street
(between 10th and 11th Avenues)
Ron Bopst, J.Stephen Brantley,
Paul Caiola, Marc Castle, Gail Dennison, Desmond Dutcher, Todd Flaherty, Rick Hinkson,
Josh Kenney, Jason Pintar, PatRick Porter,
Chris Weikel and James Whelan
Wilson's play, originally produced at The Spike, was written three years before the Ramrod leather bar massacre in November 1980, in which a man armed with a machine gun shot eight people, killing two. It is a dark, comic look at the bar's patrons and their attempts to defend it from both physical attacks as well as political attempts to close it.The reading will be an immersive experience: most of the audience will be standing and the actors will move among the audience, playing characters at a bar called The Chain Gang, ranging from leather daddies to drag queens to an anti-gay activist/singer suspiciously reminiscent of Anita Bryant. There will be limited seating available for our Audience members who are unable to stand for the evening. Please email email@example.com to arrange for a seat prior to the reading and we will take requests in the order they are received. Admission is free - donations will be gladly accepted. All proceeds from the reading will go to the OneOrlando Fund, set up by Mayor Buddy Dyer in response to the viscious attack on the patrons of Orlando's Pulse nightclub. OneOrlando is committed to giving 100% of the donations that are being received directly back to the victims' families and the survivors of this senseless act of hatred and homophobia. Please visit the OneOrlando website for more information.
(https://www.oneorlando.org). A participant in the Stonewall Uprising, Doric Wilson wrote Street Theater not so much as a history of the event but as a record of the people he knew and the incidents he was involved in on Christopher Street in the months, days and hours leading up to the night gays fought back. The play focuses on a panorama of drags, dykes, leathermen, flower children, vice cops and cruisers- the innocent and not-so-innocent bystanders who would turn June 28, 1969 into Stonewall-the D-day of gay history.
Frequently called the "father of modern queer theatre," Doric Wilson's 50 year dedication to queer culture was recognized with the first Robert Chesley Award for Lifetime Achievement in Gay Theatre; the 2007 IT Award for Artistic Achievement; in 2009, the ATHE (Association for Theatre in Higher Education) Career Achievement Award for Professional Theatre; and the 2010 PassionFruit Award for Enduring and Continuing Pioneer Work in LGBT Theater.In 1974, playwright and gay activist Doric Wilson founded the first professional gay theatre company. It was called The Other Side of Silence (TOSOS for short). In 2002, directors Mark Finley and Barry Childs and Wilson resurrected the company, rededicating it to an honest and open exploration of the life experience and cultural sensibility of the GLBT community and to preserving and promoting our theatrical past in a determined effort to keep an important literary heritage alive. TOSOS has presented a number of critically acclaimed plays by playwrights David Bell, Meryl Cohn, Linda Eisenstein, Mark Finley, Robert Patrick, Chris Weikel, The Five Lesbian Brothers, Lanford Wilson and Charles Busch. TOSOS also runs the highly successful Chesley/Chambers play reading series under the directorship of Kathleen Warnock. The program is a recipient of grants from The Dramatists Guild Fund. For more information about TOSOS visitwww.tososnyc.org.