Staff Writer/Copy Editor
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre brings the history of the queer community to life, in their world premiere of The Gay Heritage Project. This show takes its audience on an unforgettable journey and probes into the treatment of gay people throughout history.
Created and performed by Damien Atkins, Paul Dunn, and Andrew Kushnir, all of whom play themselves in the show, The Gay Heritage Project was first workshopped at the Rhubarb Festival in 2011, and was developed for three years at Buddies in Bad Times’ Art Residency Program.
This show is a take on the lives of these three homosexual men and will have you laughing, crying, and inspired by its heartfelt message — everyone deserves to be treated the same way, no matter what their sexual orientation may be.
Though the set, created by set designer Kimberly Purtell, is minimalistic, consisting of a few chairs and images being projected onto a cyclorama centre stage, it gives the performers the opportunity to truly shine, through their talented use of various accents and their ability to become multiple characters, all in the span of one act.
The Gay Heritage Project incorporates the singing abilities of Atkins, Dunn, and Kushnir, who successfully reproduce some of history’s most beloved songs, from Madonna and Abba, to Lady Gaga and Barbra Streisand. The actors use pop culture, including aspects of game shows, talent competitions and The Wizard of Oz, in an original attempt to further demonstrate how gay people were mistreated throughout history.
Through the use of historical events such as the church’s viewpoints on homosexuality, and the laws which deeply affected the gay community, this play covers gay history in an entertaining, creative manner. The cast re-enacts touching scenes about how they first came out to their parents in a raw and moving way that will make your heart throb. The Gay Heritage Project is honest, riveting and is unlike anything that has been seen before.
See The Gay Heritage Project at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander Street, November 17th to December 8th. Tickets are available by phone at 416-975-855. For more details visit http://buddiesinbadtimes.com/shows/the-gay-heritage-project/.