play's form is story theatre: 13 barefoot male actors perform a play within
a play, starting with the birth of Joshua/Jesus in a Texas motel. Soon
evils emerge, such as wife-beating, loveless sex, gay-bashing and clerical
humiliations. The playwright uses this parallel story of Christ to tell
a contemporary, colloquial tale of the fight against cruelty, division,
hatred and, above all, hypocrisy. Love and acceptance are the antidotes.
The dramatic early attempts to prevent the play from being produced raised a flood of controversy on both sides - freedom of speech versus religious censorship. The New York Times, in an article headlined "Censoring Terrence McNally," wrote, "What we are witnessing, once again, is the peculiar combat between freedoms that is repeatedly staged in America. The practitioners and beneficiaries of religious freedom attack the practitioners of artistic freedom - freedom of speech - without seeing that the freedoms they enjoy cannot be defended separately."
The play is directed by Don Nguyen. The cast includes Nick Zadina, Michal Simpson, Mitch Fuller, Tom Lowe, Ed Baye, Jerry Evert, Michael Taylor Stewart, Damion Potter, Matt Yohe, Jeremy Earl, Tony Schik, Daniel Saucedo, and Rick Gobble.
The PlaywrightOne of the best and most prolific playwrights of contemporary
postmodern theatre, McNally has won numerous awards and is one of the
most recognized current writers in American theatre. He has received Tony
Awards, Drama Desk Awards and Outer Critics Circle Awards, along with
a New York Drama Critic's Circle Award and an Emmy Award. He has received
two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller Grant, a Lucille Lortel Award
and a citation from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His past
works have included "Master Class," "Love! Valour! Compassion!"
"Frankie and Johnnie in Clair de Lune," and books for the musicals
"Ragtime," and "Kiss of the Spider Woman."