Standing On Ceremony: 9 Plays. 1 Special Event

You would almost think the team at Brave New Productions have connections with the United States Supreme Court. The fact that yesterday’s landmark rulings dismissing Prop 8 and striking down DOMA happened just two days before the opening of the Montreal premiere of “Standing On Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays” is just a testament to the relevancy and importance of the subject matter.


Standing On Ceremony is an extremely unique experience, in fact I would almost call it an event rather than a traditional piece of theatre. Taking place this Friday and Saturday, it consists of 9 short plays, directed by 9 different directors. From comedy to tragedy, the show is a thought-provoking journey and a celebration of this unique moment in history.Brave New Productions co-founder Marc Roth says, “Standing On Ceremony follows the theme of addressing current social issues that have had an important place in Brave New Productions’ narrative to date. Allowing an audience to be entertained, and then leave the theatre with perspectives on an issue that they might not have had before.”

Returning to Montreal for the first time in three years, Roth directs Neil LaBute’s Strange Fruit, one of the stories that makes up the evening. “As a director, I came into the project with an overall vision for the script and how best to translate the text into an entertaining piece of theatre for the audience. Casting a piece is by far one of the most important tools a director has to make that initial vision a reality.” The impressive 21 person cast is diverse and for the most part, not gay – not a concern as they’ve dived head first into bringing honest, emotional portrayals to life. Reaching out to the acting community beyond their company members, the show features many fresh faces and stand-out performances.

The evening touches upon every voice, every opinion, even the most unexpected. “On Facebook” directed by Kenny Wong is an actual Facebook thread that’s been turned into a piece of theatre. In describing the play, Wong says “it’s about a confrontation between a conservative woman and a gay couple (alongside a few others) as they try to defend their opinions and rights about gay marriage. My goal is that people come away not hating Beverly, the conservative woman, that they see her heart and feel a bit of sympathy. It would be easy to make everyone hate her based on what she says and does throughout the play, hating and bashing on gay marriage, but there’s a lot more to her. She is one against five and we see that she becomes almost overpowered and the role of ‘bullying’ sort of becomes reversed.”

Standing-on-CeremonyThe short plays consist of an A-list lineup of writers with 2 Pulitzer Prizes, 4 Obies, 1 Emmy and 3 Tony nominations and include Mo Gaffney, Moises Kaufman, Paul Raudnick, Neil LaBute and more. Witty, warm and occasionally wacky, these plays are vows to the blessings of equality, the universal challenges of relationships and the often hilarious power of love.
“Standing On Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays” opens Friday, June 28th with 3 performances.
June 28th, 8PM
June 29th, 2PM
June 29th, 8PM

Location: Theatre Ste Catherine (264 St Catherine Street East)
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About Author /

Donald Rees is a Montreal based performer and co-founder of Brave New Productions and Brave New Comedy.

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