Beyond Stonewall: Why We March
Beyond Stonewall: Why We March was inspired by actual online reader comments posted in response to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch story published in Spring of 2009. The article was about the new face of gay activism among St. Louis professionals. The online link of the newspaper’s story drew over 300 negative attacks on the locals featured in the story, as well as LGBT issues. The play follows a newscaster who tries to do a story about an out-of-the-closet, white, gay prominent banker when his interview on the street is highjacked by the ghosts of Stonewall, bloggers, two college students and an African-American lesbian activist. It uses actual comments from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch website. Both funny and informative, the 30-minute play presents multi-generational perspectives and differences
of opinion in the LGBT community, and explores gay marriage; the Employee Non Discrimination Act; Don't Ask, Don't Tell; and gay bashing, among other issues. Ultimately, it suggests that LGBT rights are human rights and should be of concern to all people, regardless of sexual orientation.
Playwright and director Joan Lipkin was launched into national prominence twenty years ago with the production of her play, "Some of My Best Friends Are . . ." which was the first piece of LGBT theatre to be produced in St. Louis. The play was a runaway hit, and Lipkin, Artistic Director of That Uppity Theatre Company, used the occasion of the play to call attention to Missouri’s Sexual Misconduct Law.
Since then, Lipkin received the James F. Hornback Ethical Humanist of the Year Award, among other honors, and, in October will receive the National Conference for Community and Justice Award. She has
been produced internationally and created numerous other projects including the groundbreaking DisAbility Project.
"With Beyond Stonewall, I have come full circle to where I began twenty years ago. Only this time, we have the benefit of social networking technologies to get the work out," said Lipkin, who is releasing the play for free on the Internet. "We are doing this as a gift and a message in a bottle to say that LGBT rights are human rights.” Sharon Bandy’s full-length play EXIT 136, written shortly after she moved from California to Tennessee, examines homophobia in the south. The play was presented at the Barter Theatre in Virginia as part of its Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights, and has received readings across the country. One of the gay St. Louisans included in the Post-Dispatch article is the former CEO of Pulaski Bank, Bill Donius. "Joan and Sharon’s play addresses timely topics within the LGBT community involving our struggle to obtain the elusive equality we have sought in the four decades since Stonewall,” shares Donius.