SF honors LGBTQ+ theater
The cast and crew of a local LGBTQ+ themed play were recently honored when Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales officially proclaimed Sept. 18 to be “Almost Adults Theatre Day.”
“Almost Adults” is a collection of five short plays written and co-produced by Aaron Leventman. Each play revolves around “love, sex, and immaturity,” and deals with the intricacies of being gay in the modern age.
Assistant Director and SFUAD Theater major Triston Pullen said the proclamation meant the world to him.
“I was saved by theater and found a family there that was like no other. We were all weird and unique in our own way. To have a mayor have a proclamation for LGTBQ Theater is groundbreaking in my opinion,” he said. Pullen not only served as assistant director, but also directed the second play in the production, “Maturity,” about a pair of twins and their struggle with the separation that comes with growing up.
“What’s really incredible about being the mayor of Santa Fe are the people [who live] in it; the talented people who come together continuously to make sure that opportunities are given to the underserved or underrepresented people,” Mayor Gonzales said during the proclamation event. “Tonight it will be opportunities given to many of our youth to take part in plays that Aaron [Leventman] has developed.” He went on to say that he thinks “the best of our community are always shown on nights like this.” Gonzales is a large supporter of the arts as well as activism in the LGBTQ+ community. Just this summer, the mayor put into action an ordinance that requires businesses with single stall restrooms to make those facilities gender neutral, something of great use to the transgender community.
The production’s involvement with the mayor started several months ago when Leventman was acquiring funds for project.
“Because we have an openly gay mayor who’s a really big supporter of the arts, I thought it would be a good opportunity to have him support this particular production which is really unique in Santa Fe,” Leventman said regarding an initial meeting he had with Gonzales about potential government funding. When the mayor issued the proclamation, Leventman was touched. “It means a lot to me,” the playwright said.
Some of the topics “Almost Adults” deals with are very raw.
“I saw the casting call online and the part scared the crap out of me,” said actor Michaal Guajardo. “That’s how I knew I had to do it.” Guajardo plays the closeted young actor David in “Confessions of a Character Actor.” The play takes place in a 1968 Brooklyn apartment and details the dynamic between a mother (Danette Sills) and her son when he is cast as a gay character in an upcoming movie. This is his big break but it comes with potential backlash. Guajardo’s performance brilliantly depicts the heartache of being gay in the 1960’s.
Another noteworthy performance came from SFUAD Enrollment Advisor Malcom Morgan, who plays Brian in “The Second Year Itch,” detailing one couple’s decision to engage in a threesome with a young man they met online. Morgan brought stunning complexity to the part and had wonderful chemistry with Elias Gallegos who played Brian’s boyfriend Chet. From the same play came compelling performances from both David Daniel, who plays the naive, homeless youth Jamie, and Richard Park. who portrays Brian and Chet’s eccentric friend Jerry.
One other intriguing performance came from Gable Rak, who plays Ethan in “Under Age,” a play about a boy’s first, but fleeting, love with an older man just before his freshman year of college. The vulnerability Rak brought to the part made it easy for the audience to sympathize with him, while still understanding the naive nature that comes with being young and in love.
“Almost Adults” is being performed at Warehouse 21 until Sept. 27. Tickets are available online or by calling 1-800-838-3006. Tickets are also available at the door by cash or check only. Free parking is available behind Warehouse 21. For more information visit https://almostadultslgbtqtheater.wordpress.com/