Theater Before Stonewall
Robert Patrick was one of the first out gay playwrights and a a fixture at the legendary Caffe Cino, often considered the first off-off broadway theater. There’s an interesting interview with Robert over at broadwayworld.com.
Not only is it interesting to hear about the pre-Stonewall origins of out, gay theater, but it is also valuable to be reminded that off-off broadway started without uptown aspirations.
In the Theater2K.com review of the book Off Off Broadway Explosion they excerpt a quote from Sam Shepard:
“Off-Off-Broadway was just to see new work done: it wasn’t done as a showcase to move it somewhere else. That came later. It was all in cahoots with poetry and jazz and all that. And actors. It was kind of a phenomenon ’cause it happened right there, in that time, and took off like a shot.”
For those of us in the habit of making experimental or non-commercial work, it can be valuable to see the similarities and differences between then and now.