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Robert Shackleton Playhouse
405 Lafayette Street
Cape May, NJ 08204

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Cape May, NJ 08204
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The Temperamentals - reading

The Temperamentals - reading
Set in the early 1950s, The Temperamentals is the true story of the founding of The Mattachine Society, one of the earliest gay activism groups in the United States. Created by Communist and social radical Harry Hay and famed fashion designer Rudi Gernreich, the underground organization came together secretly, building its membership through various forms of covert communication during a time when nearly all homosexuals were closeted. The play explores the trials of the society’s founding fathers as they risked their lives and livelihoods to gain equality. More than just a history play, the show is also a love story, detailing the romance of odd couple Hay and Gernreich as their passion for their cause and each other grew.

In order to celebrate LGBTQ+ month in June, Cape May Stage and East Lynne Theater Company are proud to announce they are joining forces with GABLES to present two powerful play readings about the founding of two integral gay rights organizations.  

Up first on Monday June 10th at 8:00 PM at Cape May Stage’s Robert Shackleton Playhouse is The Normal Heart. The Normal Heart is a powerful, stirring drama based on the harrowing true story of the beginning of the AIDS crisis in New York City, and the gay men who fought with an entire political system to take their plight seriously. Based on playwright Larry Kramer’s own experiences founding the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York in the 1980s, The Normal Heart follows Ned Weeks, a reluctant leader but furious activist, as he campaigns for awareness, and tends to his own friends and lovers who are dying all around him. A strong indictment against ignorance, and a heartfelt story of love and compassion, The Normal Heart is a passionate and searing portrayal of a population at war, and a plague that nips at its heels every step of the way.

Then, on Monday June 24th at 8:00 PM at East Lynne Theater Company’s First Presbyterian Church, join us for The Temperamentals. Set in the early 1950s, The Temperamentals is the true story of the founding of The Mattachine Society, one of the earliest gay activism groups in the United States. Created by Communist and social radical Harry Hay and famed fashion designer Rudi Gernreich, the underground organization came together secretly, building its membership through various forms of covert communication during a time when nearly all homosexuals were closeted. The play explores the trials of the society’s founding fathers as they risked their lives and livelihoods to gain equality. More than just a history play, the show is also a love story, detailing the romance of odd couple Hay and Gernreich as their passion for their cause and each other grew.

Following each reading will be a short talk-back with the cast and creative team in order to foster a discussion about the themes in the plays. Admission to both readings is donation based. 50% of collected donations will be shared between Cape May Stage & East Lynne Theater Company, while the other 50% will be donated to the Gay Men’s Health Crisis to support their on-going work. Donations can be made in advance by clicking on "Buy Tickets" or can be made at the door on the night of the reading.



Cast Bios:

Jon Marans (playwright) written a brand new book for the Lerner & Loewe musical Paint Your Wagon which premiered at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in Seattle in June 2016 and then transferred to the Ordway Theater in August 2016. The next production will be July 2019 at the MUNY Theatre in St. Louis. Other works include The Temperamentals, produced by Daryl Roth and Stacy Shane, which ran for over eight months Off-Broadway at the Barrow Group Theater and at New World Stages. The Temperamentals was nominated for the Lucille Lortel and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway play and Mr. Marans was nominated for the John Gassner Award. It was a 2012 American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book in Literature. The entire cast won the Drama Desk Award for Best Ensemble and Michael Urie won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lead Actor. Mr. Marans’ play Old Wicked Songs was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Drama, won the New York Drama League Award (including play and both actors). It was first presented by the Walnut Street Theatre, then in NYC by the Barrow Group, and then moving (produced by Daryl Roth and Jeffrey Ash) to the Promenade Theater where it ran for a season. In England, Old Wicked Songs started at the Bristol Old Vic, transferring to London's West End at the Gielgud Theater starring Bob Hoskins and James Callis. The play has been produced throughout the U.S. and has been translated and produced in over a dozen countries. Other produced shows include A Strange and Separate People at the Penguin Rep in Stony Point, NY and Studio Theater/Theater Row, NYC (2014 American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book in Literature), Jumping for Joy at the Laguna Playhouse and the International Adelaide Theater Festival, the musical Legacy at the San Jose Rep (book by Jon Marans, lyrics by Ronnie Gilbert, music Jeff Langley & Henry Mollicone based on Studs Terkel’s book “Coming of Age”), The Irrationals at the Village Theater and ATA, NYC (book & lyrics Jon Marans, music by Edward Thomas), A Raw Space at the Bristol Riverside Theatre and A Girl Scout World at the Bloomington Playwrights Project. In film, Jon Marans and Yuri Sivo were hired by Universal Pictures/Tribeca Productions to write a political/war screenplay based on Roy Rowan's acclaimed book Chasing the Dragon which takes place in 1947 China, in the middle of their civil war. In television, Mr. Marans was a writer for Cookin' in Brooklyn and a writer/lyricist for the 1991 New Carol Burnett Show. Mr. Marans is a graduate of Duke University in mathematics with a minor in music. His play The Temperamentals is currently in film development with Daryl Roth Productions and his play Old Wicked Songs in film development with Avi Levy. Mr. Marans is a recipient of a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship.



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