While it often is the focus of news reports and television talk shows, raising transgender children is rarely the subject of a play. Playwright Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder freely admitted “the stories I find the most compelling are often stories that force me to step out of my comfort zone and look at a subject through a new lens.” Her own background – growing up in the deep South with gay parents and a family friend who transitioned – gives her a unique perspective and insight into her writing of the emotionally evocative drama, Everything That’s Beautiful, getting its regional premiere at The Human Race Theatre Company, February 17 – March 6, 2022 in the intimate Loft Theatre.
When Luke and Jess decide to support their 10-year-old Morgan, who was assigned male at birth but identifies as female, they relocate in order to give the family a clean start. Luke takes a job at the local waterpark, where he meets Gaby, the girl in the mermaid tank. With money tight, Jess starts working at a local coffee shop where she meets Will. These new relationships provide an escape from an already complicated family life. But when an accident threatens to expose the truth about Morgan, tensions run high. Luke finally admits the real reason they moved, a confession that could potentially destroy their family. Faced with losing his child and his family, Luke must decide what’s worth fighting for.
This production also has personal significance to its Director, Kevin Moore, being the final play he will direct before retiring from the company that he helped found in 1986. “A dear friend and colleague sent me this script saying it was right up my alley,” said Moore. “And he was so right. I am always drawn to stories that allow us to gain a better understanding of marginalized communities. And I am a sucker for heartfelt, emotional stories. That has guided many of my decisions these past 35 years.”
The extraordinary cast that will bring this show to life includes both new and returning artists: Josh Aaron McCabe (Wright State acting faculty, Human Race Monday Night Playreading); Kelly Mengelkoch (Cincinnati Shakespeare, Shenandoah, Brother Wolf); Eric Deiboldt (Brighton Beach Memoirs); Teresa Langford (HRTC debut); Justin McCombs (Now And Then); and two local ten-year-olds will also make their HRTC debut and share the role of Morgan – Isabella Roberts and Jax Heritage.
Joining Director Kevin Moore on the Everything That’s Beautiful creative team is: Tamara L. Honesty, Scenic Designer; John Rensel, Lighting Designer; David M. Covach, Costume Designer; Jay Brunner, Composer; Alexander Koker, Sound Designer; Scott Stoney, Assistant Director; and Production Stage Manager, Jacquelyn Duncan.
Everything That’s Beautiful will play in the Loft Theatre in downtown Dayton, February 17 – March 6, 2022. Tickets are on sale through Dayton Live box office, 937-228-3630, or online at www.humanracetheatre.org All audiences are required to wear masks. More details about the show can be found on our website.
The Human Race acknowledges its gratitude for the public and private support which makes these productions possible: Loft Season support: The Jack W. and Sally D. Eichelberger Foundation of The Dayton Foundation; Additional Season support: Miriam Rosenthal Foundation for the Arts; Organizational support: Culture Works, Montgomery County, Ohio Arts Council, The Shubert Foundation, Erma R. Catterton Trust Fund, The Virginia W. Kettering Foundation; Sustainability support: Anne F. Johnson, Steve and Lou Mason and Morris Home. Production Sponsor: Equitas Health