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The Gay Heritage Project

The Gay Heritage Project
Your Price: $22.95 CDN
Author: Damien Atkins, Paul Dunn, and Andrew Kushnir
Publisher: Playwrights Canada Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 167
Pub. Date: 2018
ISBN-10: 1770917985
ISBN-13: 9781770917989
Cast Size: 3 male

About the Play:

The Gay Heritage Project is a full-length three man show written and performed by Damien Atkins, Paul Dunn, and Andrew Kushnir. Three Canadian performers set out to answer one question: is there such a thing as 'gay heritage'? Equal parts personal curiosity, answers to the past, and information for the future, The Gay Heritage Project is a hilarious, thought-provoking meta tale that inspires, comforts, challenges, and empowers.

The Gay Heritage Project isn't your ordinary history project. Using their personal histories and individual cultural heritages as jumping-off points, each of the three creators behind the production set out to discover their connections to queer people and events in the past. Working closely with historian J. Paul Halferty, they spent hours researching the ancient anecdotes, secret correspondences, and overlooked footnotes that currently comprise queer history. What they discovered was an array of heroes and stories that inspire, comfort, challenge, and empower. Damien Atkins, Paul Dunn, and Andrew Kushnir bring these people and stories to life on stage in rapid-fire succession using a highly physical, comedic, and fast-paced performance style. They offer an eclectic mix of historical characters and reenactments that shed light on the forgotten champions and occurrences that created the queer community. After centuries of queer history being hidden in the closet and the loss of almost an entire generation to HIV/AIDS pandemic, The Gay Heritage Project is an important step in the excavation, preservation, and promotion of a community's cultural history.

The Gay Heritage Project premiered in 2013 at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in Toronto and was named best show of the year by NOW Magazine, and was nominated for the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play. It returned for a second run in 2016 before a tour to cities across western Canada.

Cast: 3 male

What people say:

"The Gay Heritage Project is funny, smart, and moving. Pretty much everything you could want in a show." — The Georgia Straight

"The Gay Heritage Project highlights many stories that need to be told." — Vancouver Sun

"Funny, imaginative, thought-provoking ... a wide-ranging and wildly entertaining inquiry into what it means to be gay ... If only all learning was this much fun." — The Globe and Mail

"I loved the feeling of being in the middle of a very interesting question being wrestled with in real time. Which, ultimately, is everything I think theatre should strive to be." — Mooney on Theatre

"These talented actor/singers inspire and amuse, amaze with the connections they make and make us want to hear more of their tales." — NOW Magazine

"Never have I seen a performance piece essentially about information presented in such a gripping, entertaining and highly theatrical way. Much of this is due to the three immensely talented performers involved." — Stage Door

About the Playwright:

Damien Atkins is a Canadian actor and playwright. Born in Australia and raised in Edmonton, he lives in Toronto. He is the youngest playwright to ever have a new play staged at the Stratford festival.

Paul Dunn is a Canadian playwright and actor based in Stratford, Ontario. He is also an actor and has worked in theatres across the country.

Andrew Kushnir is a Canadian playwright, actor, and director who lives in Toronto. He is most noted as co-writer with Damien Atkins and Paul Dunn of the excellent collective creation The Gay Heritage Project, a theatrical show dramatizing aspects of LGBT history.