ACTING OUT Black, LGBT experiences centered in ‘The Dingalogues’
They may be distinct in their personalities, but the six characters in the new play “The Dingalogues” share the common characteristic of being both black and gay – and dealing with the struggles that presents. The stories of social activist Malik, self-tormenting pastor David, combat veteran Jonathan, butch queen Free, drag queen Melody Mirage and transgender man Parker come alive in the piece. We recently caught up with cast members and writers John Collins and Erik Dillard (who also directs) to tell us more about the new show, which Dillard laughingly calls “‘The Vagina Monologues’ after black gay men,” and the journey to bring it to stage.
Hi guys! Tell us a little about how “The Dingalogues” came about.
There was a poetry event in January and I saw John and Larry Walker and their pieces seemed kind of conversational. John and I talked after about doing something that was more LGBT-friendly and decided what lanes we wanted to go into, what walls we could break down in terms of taboo. We started then. The other writers are Larry, Rigardo Rush and Derrick Tinneal and we all play the characters we write about.
Did you bring a lot of yourselves to this? John:
It is fiction, but in each story we have brought a big chunk of ourselves.
Tell us about your individual characters. John: