About Standing On Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays

In 2011, NY state passed the same-sex marriage rights bill and then in 2015 the United States recognized same-sex marriage in all 50 states and even all these years later, this has further fueled the national debate over the subject of marriage equality. SAS Performing Arts Virtual Theater closes our season with a bold work of theatre by 8 of the nation's best playwrights. "Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays" is a series of short pieces which are a union of engagement and great theater, staged to promote gay marriage rights and explore our ever-evolving society. This highly entertaining collection of short works approaches its subject with a combination of heart and humor. The performance, as a whole, is unapologetically celebratory of gay marriage.  

The evening consists of works authored by such outstanding playwrights as Mo Gaffney, Jordan Harrison, Moisés Kaufman, Neil LaBute, Wendy MacLeod, José Rivera, Paul Rudnick, and Doug Wright.

There are many highlights, one of which is "The Gay Agenda," written by Rudnick and focuses on a conservative woman in Ohio who outlines her reasons why she is opposed to gay marriage. Rudnick is at his satirical best in the piece.

Moises Kaufman's monologue, "London Mosquitoes," proves to be the most moving segment of the evening, as well as the most complex. In it, a man eulogizes his recently deceased partner whom he did not marry, even though it was now legal for them to do so. Their decision not to wed was certainly not out of a lack of affection or commitment. Rather, they had already been together for decades, and if they got married, it seemed as if it would erase their history together, as they would have to start over in the counting of anniversaries.

Wendy MacLeod's piece is entitled "This Flight Tonight," in which a lesbian couple is getting ready to fly from California to Iowa to get married. One of them is getting cold feet just as their flight is boarding, prompting a brief yet poignant exploration of their relationship and how getting married might change things between the two women.

Neil LaBute's two character "Strange Fruit" relates the story of a gay couple from Chicago who, after many years together, decide to travel to San Diego during the narrow window of opportunity when same-sex couples in California were allowed to legally wed. The characters deliver their lines in overlapping monologues, and are able to convey the love their characters have for each other. As might be expected of LaBute, there's a twist to this particular story (albeit one that some audience members will likely find predictable).

Doug Wright's entry, "On Facebook," which purports to detail an actual Facebook exchange that took place following the state of Maine's 2009 referendum overturning of its gay marriage law.

Delightfully, the performance begins and ends with pieces focusing on the construction of wedding vows. Harrison's "The Revision," is a pointed critique of the inequities that gay couples wishing to formalize their commitment to one another face within states that, at the time, did not allow gay marriage. And in the final piece, Rivera's "Pablo & Andrew at the Altar of Words," a couple expressing in their own language the words that will cement their relationship.

All of the short works that make up this 90-minute performance have a inclination towards sentimentality. However, they're also a lot of fun to watch, as both playwrights and performers approach the subject of same-sex marriage with a combination of heart and humor.

SAS Performing Arts Company & Studios, Inc.

SAS Performing Arts Company, Inc. introduces the brilliant talents of emerging artists, together with active professionals, in a wide-ranging repertoire.  SAS Main-stage and virtual theater focuses its efforts to promote classic  
and contemporary plays, American musical theater works, and classical Music, by bringing them to audiences              that might not have the opportunity to attend and enjoy live theater, thus enriching the community's
cultural life. Our virtual theater makes these intricate art form more accessible to our audience. We hope the exhilarating connection generated between the music, text, and drama becomes more immediate in an intimate, up-close environment.
 We are a home for performances of acknowledged masterpieces as well as the rarely performed works that deserve a more extensive hearing.