It had its premiere in New York over 10 years ago. Technically it’s an opera, in that it’s 95 percent songs. But it’s not a traditional opera in that there is pop music, rock music and some gospel. It was off-Broadway for a while and there was talk of going to Broadway but it didn’t happen. The creators went back and looked at it and they made it more into a musical, so there was more spoken dialogue. That was off-Broadway less than five years and people didn’t connect as well. The opera is the version that can be licensed and produced.
What are the main characters facing?
They are trying to make their lives work in this modern world but their religion hasn’t prepared them to deal with some issues. The main characters are two young men in love and have been in this relationship for five or six years and they are faced with what is going to happen in the future. They are about to graduate and go off to college. There is also teen pregnancy, drug use, a whole lot they are facing.
Tell us about your theater background.
I’ve been in Atlanta five and a half years. I used to be the artistic director of Newnan Theatre Company. I was the general manager at Serenbe Playhouse for a while and also worked for the Alliance Theatre for a Auren Arevalo and Jacob Demlow star in ‘bare: A Pop Opera,’ which includes the story about two gay Catholic schoolboys in love. (Courtesy photo)
‘bare: A Pop Opera’
little bit. I’ve worked with companies and schools around town. I am from Boston— I grew up in Quincy—and went to school in New York (Long Island University) and went back to Boston and directed for seven years after. I came down here in 2009.
What makes this controversial?
The themes. It’s when adults don’t want to think about what kids are dealing with. I was a teacher for seven years. I taught high school and parents have this ‘Let’s don’t talk about it and it doesn’t exist’ mentality. That’s when you have these problems of not talking to kids about issues, and then they’re using drugs, getting pregnant, not having protected sex. They are not getting guidance they need—and that is a huge theme of the show, because three of the characters are adults. You can see they are not connecting to the kids like they should be.