GA Voice - - Arts Re­views Lgbt At­lanta En­ter­tain­ment -

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.

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