After a two-year hiatus, the Rainbow column has returned. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance (GALA), without an active board to keep it running, had gone into a one-year dormancy period; however, GALA is once again an active group and has some interesting projects underway.
By the time this column goes to print, the GALA AGM will have taken place. I will write about this meeting, and what is slated for the organization, in a subsequent column.
I spoke with Stephen Dunbar-Edge recently and he told me about his work on getting The Laramie Project play produced as a joint project by GALA and the Guild Theatre in Whitehorse.
For those unfamiliar with the play, it came about after Matthew Shepherd, a young openly gay university student, was beaten and left to die, tied to a fence in the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming.
A month after the murder, the members of Tectonic Theater Project travelled to Laramie and conducted interviews with the people of the town. From these interviews, they wrote The Laramie Project.
The play looks at the impact this murder had on the town of Laramie and how this is a reflection of the values and mores of American society as a whole.
Dunbar-Edge stated that the play is still as relevant today as it was in 1998 when it was first produced. It is relevant even to the Yukon because homophobia is still a reality and bullying still exists.
Auditions are underway to find actors, and the director has already been hired. Dunbar-Edge said he actively pursued the director, Clinton Walker, who comes from Toronto. He has had a three-decade career as actor, director, dramaturge and producer with various theatres and groups in Montrèal, Toronto and New York. The play will run from Feb. 11 to 27.
I am looking forward to writing this column once again. I would love input on some ideas I am considering: one is an article on closeted people who choose to stay closeted. I can be reached by e-mail, and people can remain completely anonymous. I encourage people to contact me if they have ideas for future columns.