Black Filipinx playwright and Kilroys List honoree Roger Q. Mason premieres their play Lavender Men with Skylight Theatre Company and Playwrights’ Arena in Los Angeles beginning August 6.
Directed by Lovell Holder, performances are scheduled through September 4 at the Skylight. The cast features playwright Mason as Taffeta, Alex Esola as Elmer Ellsworth, and Pete Ploszek as Abe Lincoln.
The genre-pushing play, which reimagines President Abraham Lincoln through a queer person of color’s storytelling lens, follows Taffeta, a self-proclaimed "fabulous queer creation of color," as she invades Lincoln's private world to confront issues of visibility, race, and LGBTQ+ inclusion.
The production also has scenic design by Stephen Gifford, lighting design by Dan Weingarten, costume design by Wendell Carmichael, sound design by Erin Bednarz, original music by David Gonzalez, choreography by Jobel Medina, intimacy direction by Ann James, and properties design by Michael O’Hara with casting by Raul Clayton Staggs and production management by Cedes Sifuentes.
“The myth of Abraham Lincoln is often perpetuated at the expense of people of color,” says Mason. “His self-made, rags-to-riches legend of ascent to leadership is an origin story for the contemporary, freedom-seeking white American man. But Lincoln’s life, and we, the people, are more complicated than the myth which emboldens our country’s power structure. Inspired by my Black queer experience, I dismantle this exclusivist tale from within and carve a new story of America for people who live and love like me.”
Lavender Men will also be accessible via streaming performances beginning August 20.