Doin’ Time in Portland, Oregon

Since my flight from Hartford, CT to Portland was scheduled to depart at 6:00 AM today and I had to leave my house by 3:30 AM to take a taxi downtown to get the city bus to the airport, I decided to stay up all night and sleep on the plane. I used my time last night writing and typing (on my Royal Quiet De Luxe Manual Typing) post-holiday letters to family and friends.

Now I am settled into Portland sitting in a cyber cafe. After a week of successful rehearsals, workshops and re-writes, I feel REALLY GOOD about my new play, The Re-Education of George W. Bush (because no president should be left behind).

The play is much less about Dubya and much more about exposing the Inner Bush lurking in heart of nearly every US citizen. In my re-writes, at the last minute, I wove in a whole thread about my mom, her patriotism, her wisdom, her life and death.

Like my other plays I layer the content with multiple themes, images and motifs. I also draw on the Bible to underscore some of the main points in an effort to reclaim Biblical texts in the midst of a political discussion where many assume there is one way to use the Bible to frame discussion.

One theme that comes up throughout the play is that not everything is what it appears. Lots of surprises and some very silly stuff too (including a scandalous Russian folk-pop interpretive dance).

The cast includes some favorites from other shows–Chad, Vlad, Tex, & Rev Dr. Meadows each provide a lesson for Bush and Marvin Bloom serves as the host for the show introducing each guest presenter (while liberally adding his own commentary). Unlike my other shows, keeping with performance art tradition, I appear as myself at least three times, addressing the audience directly (which is so much harder for me than doing it in character.)

This weekend I will be on the Pacific Coast with the Anawim Community where I will facilitate their annual retreat. This is a group of gay men who have met regularly for nearly 10 years focusing on prayer, contemplation and community building.

So often our anti-gay opponents malign us as living an irresponsible gay lifestyle and refuse to acknowledge that we each represent many different lifestyles, including deeply spiritual ones. Also some anti-religious gay folks can paint gay Christians as repressed and self-hating misfits projecting an oxymoronic identity. But many of us have labored to unpack our faith, rebuild it and express it in authentically.

My on-line time will be limited the next couple days, but I will post updates (and check in on your blogs) whenever I get a chance. Now I have to get to my delicious looking vegan soup & salad that just arrived.

This post has 12 Comments

  1. Anna HP on January 19, 2007 at 5:47 am Reply

    I am sure that you will do just splendid as yourself on stage and I could do anything to be able to see that russian dance 🙂

  2. Willie Hewes on January 19, 2007 at 8:53 am Reply

    You weren’t joking about the interpretive dance? o.O

    Man, I gotta see this!

  3. Elliot on January 19, 2007 at 3:27 pm Reply

    I, too, was under the impression that the interpretive dance was just your creative humor. … I agree, Willie, I have to see it, too!

    Also, check out Boi the instant you have a chance to really sit and read something. I urge you to, because there’s a rather drawn-out question for you from me on there.

  4. Peterson Toscano on January 19, 2007 at 6:15 pm Reply

    Oh yes! or should I say DA! The Russian Folk-Pop Interpretive Dance is for real, the creation of a whole new genre of dance encoded with secret messages covert messages and insanely silly at the same time. Fortunately it is Vlad doing it and not me. Phew!

    elliot, I just woke up after 11 glorious and well needed hours of sleep, but will check out your question or as Quakers say, query, or as some gay Quakers way, queery, tee hee.

  5. Anna HP on January 19, 2007 at 6:25 pm Reply

    Oh, so it is Vlad doing it. Well, then you can always FOCUS on that 😉

  6. Elliot on January 19, 2007 at 6:56 pm Reply

    Queery… you are one witty fellow, you know that? Hehe… queery…

  7. Dharmashanti on January 19, 2007 at 8:08 pm Reply

    Sounds wonderful! I love combining humor with thought-provoking.

    Peace,
    Dharmashanti

  8. Peterson Toscano on January 19, 2007 at 8:19 pm Reply

    Yes, Anna HP, maybe I should call the dance, “The Focus Dance”

    Dharmashanti, humor is my favorite and the best arrow in my quiver.

    elliot, now you got me thinking. I should do a series of posts with “Queeries”.

    Queer #1: Was I a Christian struggling with homosexuality or a homosexual struggling with Christianity? Hmmmm.

    Okay I am off to the coast (the Pacific that is) for the three day retreat where I will have no cell phone or Internet access (ah…I can’t breath…) It will be fine. Deep breath. I can do it.

    🙂

  9. Elliot on January 20, 2007 at 3:00 am Reply

    Oh, I couldn’t survive very well (even if just for 3 days) without cell phone or Internet access. As sad as it might be, I think I’d go insane.

  10. Daniel C on January 21, 2007 at 11:44 pm Reply

    We love Vlad. All of us!
    We talked about him some in our theatergroup. Ofcourse everybody loves Chad. But Vlad is forgotten!

  11. Daniel C on January 21, 2007 at 11:52 pm Reply

    That was Swenglish. Let me try again.
    We all love Vlad in our theatergroup.
    Ofcourse everyone love chad, but we find that Vlad often is forgotten.
    Someone pointed out that he wasn’t in your homepage for the play.. Is that so?

  12. Peterson Toscano on January 23, 2007 at 6:10 am Reply

    daniel, yes, you love Vlad, yes, his photo is not posted yet. I am in the midst of changing over web masters. LOADS of updates are needed. Anyway, folks seem to adore Vlad and can’t get enough of him. Between Vlad and Marvin, I feel very small. But that is how I like to feel on stage.

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