Monday, April 22, 2019

Play a Day: Before Lesbians

Elana Gartner
For Monday I read Before Lesbians by Elana Gartner and available at New Play Exchange.

Today at lunch a co-worker, relatively new to the company, they asked if I have a background in history, I tell such great stories. I said no, I'm just an insufferable know-it-all.

My father had a great interest in history, that rubbed off on me. I much prefer reading non-fiction, or perhaps historical fiction. I have even written a couple plays of historical fiction, and I truly love seeing and reading plays inspired by actual history, especially American history.

A couple years ago I had the wonderful opportunity to see Good Men Wanted by Kevin Armento, based on the true stories of the over 400 women (that we know of) who passed as men to fight in the Civil War. It was like a Ken Burns special of unknown history, exciting, compelling narratives of women who fought on either side, their reasons, their passions, their great victories and even more devastating losses.

I was reminded of that Civil War play when reading Before Lesbians, the story of two women who meet the day each of their intendeds have rushed to wed them before heading off the fight for the Union. As fate has brought them together, so too does it work for them to find in each other their one true love.

The play might have been titled Inventing Lesbians, as our protagonists discover in themselves something they had never had reason to believe has ever existed before, and create without guidance a language for a desire, a passion, and a lasting devotion. It's a beautiful and heartbreaking love story.

Who should I read tomorrow?

No comments:

Post a Comment