Marriage equality stands strong in Adams State production

(09-29-2015)

Review by Linda Relyea

Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays, directed by Dr. John Taylor, professor of theatre, opened on Friday night to a very appreciative sold-out audience and two protesters, whose signs read "marriage is between one man and one woman."

Before the curtain, I wondered what must be like, to truly love someone with all your heart and being and be told that your love was "illegal;" to attend movies, read books, sit in live theatre without ever having your story, or one like it, told; to identify with the character on the periphery, a supporting side-kick with little dimension and a stereotyped personality. I can only image how lonely and isolated that might feel.

That your love, your lifestyle could be a reason for someone to stand outside a theatre and protest your rights. It truly brings sadness to my heart that many continue to judge, so harshly, against others who deserve the freedom to be themselves and to share the same rights as others. As one character in the production said, "Why reduce the amount of love in the world?"

Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays, a series of one-acts, mostly comedies with a couple dramas, are brief vignettes which glimpse into the joys, challenges, and sorrows shared between same-sex couples. The scripts are clever and move along quickly. They are diverse enough to present different ideas while staying true to a common thread.

The two monologues, one funny by Jordan Hannebaum and the other serious by Jim Willis, impressed me. Hannebaum shines in The Gay Agenda; really you will laugh out loud throughout her speech. Her expression and delivery are right on-time. It was a treat to see Willis on stage, in London Mosquitoes, delivering his character's story with dignity and purpose.

The beginning of one act has mildly shocking language, nothing that an HBO original series doesn't have – in fact I know Sex in the City Samantha Jones said those exact same words in more than one episode. Otherwise the plays are very prime-time sitcom scripting and staging.

We have no control over who attracts us; mine was rock-n-roll musicians – married one. If we did – who would "choose" to be straight, to commit yourself to a total opposite, someone who leaves the toilet seat in the wrong position. A marriage strengthens bonds and unites couples like no other act or ceremony. It enables couples the right to share benefits, stay by each other's side in times of great distress or emergency, and plan a future of hope and commitment..."Why reduce the amount of love in the world?"

Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays continues at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, October 1, 2, and 3, on the Main Stage. Tickets can be reserved by calling the Theatre Box Office at 719-587-8499.