QUESTIONS OF THE HEART: GAY MORMONS AND THE SEARCH FOR IDENTITY presented by Ben Abbott as part of the 2013 Cincinnati Fringe Festival. You can read the show description here.
The debate over gay rights, particularly gay marriage, continues to headline the news. Many religious organizations condemn homosexuality as a sin, forcing gay and lesbian church members to face the decision of faith versus sexual identity.
In his one-man show, straight Mormon Ben Abbott tries to define for himself where homosexuality fits into his religious beliefs. Originally produced as his honors thesis in 2011, this re-written work shares portions of interviews Abbott had with gay Mormons, and how they faced their crisis of faith.
Opening night, the solo performance was a bit rough around the edges, due in part to the pressure of opening, and the lack of experience in performing the piece. I’m sure much of this will resolve with more performances under his belt.
As you continue to present this play, I would offer a few suggestions to bear in mind when rehearsing. Bring your energy level up and a bit more of your personality to the stage. I felt a much better sense of you in your one-minute preview Monday night. Also you might want to better define differences in both vocal quality and physicality when portraying the interviewees. You obviously have a passion for both your religion and your subject matter, you’ve connected intellectually, now let’s see you connect more to the work emotionally.
Overall, a strong personal story that needs a bit more refinement in its delivery.
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