Southern Baptist Sissies

Ken AshfordLocal Interest, TheatreLeave a Comment

Hey, there’s a play going on right now here in Winston-Salem that is really important, and really well-done.

It’s called "Southern Baptist Sissies" and it’s running for one more weekend.  Info here.

It tells the story of four young men coming to terms (or, for some, not coming to terms) with their homosexuality in the Baptist bible belt.  Each one confronts the conflict between their religion and their orientation, and each one charts a different path.  While one character might embrace his orientation with flamboyance, another lives in denial.  Another lives in fear.  Mark Lee Fuller, the main character, played wonderfully by Bryan Daniel, wrestles through the conflict, and in the end finds the happy medium between his orientation and his God (which is not necessarily the church’s).  (Don’t worry — I’m not giving anything away; how he gets there, and the unfolding of the events that bring him there, are where the meat of the play are at).

For audience members who are gay and raised in the South, the play has spoken powerfully to them.  But for those like me who are neither, you might find yourself like I did — identifying with the grander theme of finding acceptance while being true to yourself.  There are pearls in there for everyone.

Not a downer by any means, this play.  Lots of comic relief.  But a great message, and excellent performances.  You’ll find yourself thinking and talking about this play long after you leave the theatre.