Multi-tal­ented ac­tress Jane Lynch

Les­bian per­former goes cabaret in 'See Jane Sing'

GA Voice - - Front Page -

Since 2011, the At­lanta Fringe Fes­ti­val has brought ad­ven­tur­ous fare that may not other­wise get pro­duced to the area. One of the high­lights of this year’s just-opened event is Will Nolan’s comedic “Deeper into Lady Land! (or The Gospel Ac­cord­ing to Kelly Clark­son).” Ge­or­gia Voice spoke re­cently to the gay play­wright about his cre­ation.

You were born in At­lanta, cor­rect?

I lived here un­til I went to col­lege in North Carolina and then I moved to New York.

How long have you been per­form­ing?

I did sketch com­edy with a friend of mine from At­lanta. We were called Naked Dog Walk­ing. We per­formed for six years and Le­ola, the star of that, was born. Then I moved to New Jer­sey with my hus­band and we adopted our son who is now nine. When I was turn­ing 40, I had not done any­thing cre­ative in a while and I wanted to jump back in. It was time for a one-woman show. I did (the char­ac­ter) as part of the first Fringe Fes­ti­val. This is the se­quel.

Was there any in­spi­ra­tion for Le­ola?

I came out later in life, 23 or 24, but I had a great un­cle, a re­tired priest who came out much later. I was fas­ci­nated by that idea and some­how the com­bi­na­tion of that idea mixed with all the great South­ern women in my life, mainly my mom, made this char­ac­ter. The crux of Le­ola is that she is 72, came out of the closet at 60 and still lives with her hus­band, her best friend. They live in Way­cross and shop at the Pig­gly Wig­gly. It took her so long to be who she is that she wants to en­cour­age ev­ery­one to (do like­wise) now. Be your­self, and proud of who you are.

‘Sig­nif­i­cant Other’

Clos­ing out its run soon is Ac­tor’s Ex­press’ gay themed “Sig­nif­i­cant Other,” writ­ten by Joshua Har­mon, whose “Bad Jews” was a com­mer­cial hit there. This one ex­plores Jor­dan, a 29-year-old gay man in New York whose best fe­male friends are mar­ry­ing off, one by one. We caught up with Har­mon to find out the play’s ori­gin.

How did this come about?

I started work­ing on the play five years ago at a writ­ers’ work­shop. We were given an as­sign­ment to write nine short scenes that could be per­formed in any or­der. I wrote th­ese scenes about Jor­dan and his ther­a­pist talk­ing about this guy from work he wanted to go on a date with. I got ex­cited and de­cided to keep writ­ing. From there it blew up into a long, epic 176-page draft. That’s not how long it is now. Af­ter a few years of read­ing and work­shops it was ready to go out into the world.

Tell us about Jor­dan.

He is a gay Jew in New York with a lot of close girl­friends. The idea was to take what we of­ten see as the gay side­kick char­ac­ter and take the cam­era and put him at the cen­ter of the lens, and tell it from his point of view.

Is this au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal?

I am some­body who wrote this while I was in my 20s in New York, go­ing to a lot of wed­dings, but the play made its own de­mands that be­came known as I worked on it. It’s ul­ti­mately a work of fic­tion, as it has to be to stand on its own.

Gay ac­tor Will Nolan stars in ‘Deeper into Lady Land’ through June 12 at the At­lanta Fringe Fes­ti­val. (Cour­tesy photo)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.