Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Planet Connections Interview - Glory Bown of The Picture of Dorian Gray

By Byrne Harrison

Name: Glory Bowen
Play: The Picture of Dorian Gray
Relationship to production: Director and Adaptation

How did you first get involved in theatre?

My mom was an actress and I used to go around on tour with her as a child.

Who are your biggest influences?

That can change from month to month but right now....Oscar Wilde (of course), Tim Burton, Chopin, Satie, Bjork, Fiona Apple and Hillary Clinton.

What is your show about?

Love - and all of its beauty and tragic delusions. But, it's also about the value society places on youth and appearance.

What inspired you to create it?

Well - many people really, but its rather personal and they probably wouldn't appreciate me going into it publicly.

What made you want to perform in an eco-friendly theatre festival like Planet Connections?

Because Planet Connections is the best theater festival EVER! But I might be a little biased.

All kidding aside - the environment and how we as artists can become more aware of our contribution to the betterment of our planet - is a cause that all of us should strive to be more aware of.

Planet Connections is fairly unique in that a portion of the box office for each show is donated to a charity. What charity have you chosen and why?

Glory Bowen, author of a new adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray, endorses the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation: Oscar Wilde, who wrote the novel "The Picture of Dorian Gray," was arrested, tried, and convicted for his sexual preference; he was a homosexual. Besides being one of history’s great playwrights, he was also one of the first activists who made achievements for the homosexual community – even though those achievements took a toll on his personal life and on his art. In his honor, we have selected an organization that continues the fight that Mr. Wilde began.

At his trial, under cross examination Wilde was at first hesitant, then spoke eloquently:

Charles Gill (prosecuting): What is “the love that dare not speak its name?”

Wilde: “The love that dare not speak its name” in this century is such a great affection of an elder for a younger man as there was between David and Jonathan, such as Plato made the very basis of his philosophy, and such as you find in the sonnets of Michelangelo and Shakespeare. It is that deep spiritual affection that is as pure as it is perfect. It dictates and pervades great works of art, like those of Shakespeare and Michelangelo, and those two letters of mine, such as they are. It is in this century misunderstood, so much misunderstood that it may be described as “the love that dare not speak its name,” and on that account of it I am placed where I am now. It is beautiful, it is fine, it is the noblest form of affection. There is nothing unnatural about it. It is intellectual, and it repeatedly exists between an older and a younger man, when the older man has intellect, and the younger man has all the joy, hope, and glamour of life before him. That it should be so, the world does not understand. The world mocks at it, and sometimes puts one in the pillory for it.”

We hope you will join us for the LGBT night of Planet Connections Theatre Festivity which will be held at the Bleecker Street Theater in honor of Oscar Wilde, benefiting GLAAD.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) amplifies the voice of the LGBT community by empowering real people to share their stories, holding the media accountable for the words and images they present, and helping grassroots organizations communicate effectively. By ensuring that the stories of LGBT people are heard through the media, GLAAD promotes understanding, increases acceptance, and advances equality.

What's next for you after Planet Connections?

Ibsen's Ghosts - maybe. We'll see.

And finally, if you could go back in time and meet yourself as a kid, what advice would you give your younger self?

It's never to late to have a happy childhood.

The Picture of Dorian Gray
Written by Oscar Wilde
Adapted for the Stage and Directed by Glory Bowen

Running time: 2 hours, no intermission

Venue: The Robert Moss Theater, 440 Lafayette Street, 3rd floor

Performance dates:
Sat 6/5 @ 11am
Sun 6/6 @ 3pm
Tues 6/8 @ 6pm
Thurs 6/10 @ 6:30pm
Sat 6/ 12 @ 8:30pm
Tues 6/15 @ 8:30pm
Fri 6/18 @ 6:30pm
Mon 6/21 @ 6:30pm

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