ACT­ING OUT Black, LGBT ex­pe­ri­ences cen­tered in ‘The Din­ga­logues’

GA Voice - - LGBT Military -

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.

Erik:

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:

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