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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Video of the Day: The Rights Stuff

Posted By on Wed, Aug 29, 2012 at 8:30 AM

  • Lois Tema Photography

Rights of Passage, a world premiere, follows one man -- Wayan (Jomar Tagatac), a gay Balinese Hindu -- but its scope is LGBTs throughout the world. With the help of organizations like Amnesty International and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, playwrights Ed Decker and Robert Leone (who are married) interviewed LGBTs in America, Asia, Europe, and Africa; those interviews became characters who share with Wayan three rites of passage that structure the play: childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.

At what Decker calls "points of confusion or indecision," a member of the international medley (RJ Castaneda, Michaela Greeley, Dazié Rustin Grego, Christopher Morrell, Randall Nakano, Anthony Rollins-Mullens, Desiree Rogers) interrupts Wayan's coming-of-age story. "We might in that moment jump over to Africa and see the experience of a lesbian who's experienced collective rape," Decker says. "Or we might go over to Thailand and meet a transgender woman. Or we might go to the Deep South and meet a fierce black drag queen." Director Arturo Catricala accomplishes the transitions with everything from music to masks to puppetry -- through juxtaposition and solidarity, what Decker calls "the challenges and struggles of the LGBT" become "the triumph of the human spirit."

Watch playwright Ed Decker discuss the work below:

Rights of Passage starts at 8 p.m. (and continues through Sept. 16) at the New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness (at Market), S.F. Admission is $25-$45.

For more events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.
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