Girls talk: Laurinda D. Brown opens eyes to black lesbian relationships in her play ‘Walk Like a Man’

PASSION PLAY | Tensions rise in ‘Walk Like a Man’ as the play takes on hot topic issues like domestic violence, religion and even DADT but from an African-American lesbian perspective.

An all-female cast going on about romance, life’s dramas and sex isn’t something new — and definitely not new to LGBT audiences. Hello? Sex and the City, thank you very much.

But while SATC is famously about four straight white women who behave like gay men, Laurinda D. Brown saw life a whole lot differently.

With Walk Like a Man, Brown has adapted her 2006 Lambda Literary Award-winning book of short stories for the stage, describing the gamut of lesbian relationships, all from a black female perspective. The production gets a one-day, two-performance run this weekend in Garland.

Touted as steamy and lustful, the book version of Walk Like a Man was both erotic and enlightening. Brown brings the sexy stuff to the stage version as well, but she brings the heavy stuff, too. The play’s slogan — “It’s about life … not lifestyles” — touches on the comedy and tragedy of everyday lesbian life that includes topics such as “runaway youth, love and religious controversies, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, safe sex and affairs in the workplace,” according to the Positive Scribe Productions’ website. The site also mentions that Man is the first off-Broadway play written by a black lesbian. The cast is a variety of women of all ages and sizes, and it addresses bigger picture issues like labels and stereotypes.

The play, along with Brown’s other work, Bois Don’t Cry, was recently selected as part of the D.C. Black Theatre Festival held in June.

Brown may not be Langston Hughes or Tony Kushner — yet — but she’s definitely making her mark in the LGBT universe of playwrights and authors. And she’s capturing the attention of all the right people: Famed African-American author Zane is a fan and the Human Rights Campaign called the show a “must-see.”

Just know that Walk Like A Man is heavy in displaying adult situations, thus the play isn’t open to those underage. Makes sense.

— Rich Lopez

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Jan. 21, 2011.

—  John Wright

Best bets • 10.29.10

Saturday 10.30

Masking your feelings is just fine
We’ve been trying to figure what this year’s number one costume will be. Lady Gaga has provided much inspiration throughout the year, so expect a few meat dresses in the crowd. The Chilean miners were a hot topic and easy to pull off. And lest we forget a good ole Texas Rangers costume. You’ll likely see all three and a whole heckuva lot more at this year’s Oak Lawn Halloween street party.

DEETS:
3900 block of Cedar Springs. 7 p.m. Free.

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Saturday 10.30

Rugby tourney will drag you to hell
The Dallas Diablos are making a mark on the rugby tournament scene this weekend. The team holds their second Hellfest event, but this year it’s big time. Word of mouth grew on this and the Diablos are expecting to host 160 players repping eight teams from around the country. And that’s all in one day.

DEETS: Lake Highlands Park, 9500 E. Lake Highlands Drive. 9 a.m. Free. DallasDiablos.org.

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Wednesday 11.03

Don’t lose your head, lady
We all know what happened to Anne Boleyn and it wasn’t pretty. But we bet getting there should be lush and gorgeous in the Dallas Opera’s production of Anna Bolena. Gaetano Donizetti details the queen’s last days who went from beloved wife to second best thanks to that mistress Jane Seymour. Bitch.

DEETS: Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. 7:30 p.m. Through Nov. 14. $25–$215. ATTPAC.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 29, 2010

—  Kevin Thomas

Filmmaker Arthur Dong talks up gay documentaries at UNT

The University of North Texas gets in on the master class action. The college brings in gay filmmaker Arthur Dong to speak to five classes about working as a documentarian. He will also screen films during his stay.

His 1997 film License to Kill focused on anti-gay murders, which lends itself to the hot topic of bullying and its effects on the community. Dong questions mainstream media’s light approach to the resurging trend.

“I think reporters should be asking parents, administrators what their role was in shaping a particular bully,” he says. “It seems as though they are not being called to question their part. That shows mainstream media and society still has an acceptance of an anti-gay society.”

Dong will discuss his work with LGBT documentaries for the class “Lesbian, Gay and Queer Film,” taught by Dr. Harry M. Benshoff, who invited the filmmaker. Overall, his visit to the college will have him discussing techniques in creating documentaries to five classes in UNT’s Radio, Film and TV curriculum.

“I had a master class when I was in film class and it made me think ‘I could really do this,’” he says. “But I wasnt to talk to students about the production side and what to do when they get out of school. I want to express there should be a balance. Because there is no money in changing the world. You can get awards and pats on the back, but you also gotta feed yourself.”

He will screen four of his films over the two days including Forbidden City U.S.A., Hollywood Chinese, Coming Out Under Fire and Family Fundamentals.

— R.L.

Lyceum of UNT’s University Union, 1155 Union Circle, Denton. Oct. 18–19 at 7:30 p.m.  Free. 940-565-2537. UNT.edu.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 15, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas