Jeffrey Wright & John Wolbers in
With all the big news about marriage equality lately, it was a canny choice by That Uppity Theatre Company and the Vital Voice to stage their third annual Briefs short play festival at La Perla, a private event space in a former bank. With its enormous arched doorways and windows, wraparound balcony and grand ballroom space (including a hardwood floor, perfect for first dances), it has become one of St. Louis’ most popular wedding spots. And love, relationships, and things of the heart definitely figure into this year’s lineup of 10-minute plays. Plots revolve around topics such as liberal-conservative dating dynamics, domestic violence within same-sex couples, and LGBTQ parenting. There are also some curveballs, including a what-if that sets the social network Grindr in the Victorian era and a performance by Ricky Phoenix and Michelle Mynx of burlesque troupe Gravity Plays Favorites.
The organizers—among them Uppity’s Joan Lipkin and associate producer and director Michael Perkins—received nearly 100 scripts from across the country this year. The seven plays they chose to stage will be directed by some of St. Louis’ brightest theatrical talents, including Joan Lipkin, Ryan Foizey, Michael Perkins, Chris Limber, Bonnie Taylor, Theresa Masters and Lee Anne Mathews. Though the show’s for adult audiences (adult drinks are part of the deal!) and the plays tell the stories of the LGBTQ community, anyone who has fallen in or out of love—or enjoys well-paced, kaleidoscopic night of short theater—will find much to connect with.
BRIEFS: A Festival of Short LGBTQ Plays, March 21, 22 & 23, $15, $20 at the door, 8 p.m. Fri, 4 & 8 p.m. Sat, 2 p.m. Sun. La Perla, 312 N. Eighth, 314-534-1454, brownpapertickets.com.