We did not want to escalate this into a major conflict as this seems to happen far too often in the gay community. However, we feel it is our duty to respond to the disparaging and completely false accusations made by Kim Ehly about her 10-minute play that we chose to drop from Shorts Gone Wild 2.

Ms. Ehly has chosen to represent herself as a victim of some heterosexual attack on the Lesbian community. She would have her readers believe that Island City Stage and City Theatre censored her play because it was somehow too edgy and controversial for us to produce and that two straight actors refused to perform in it because of this purported edginess. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The truth is that whether intended or not, Ms. Ehly wrote a play that strongly mirrored well known local events and contained several characters that could easily have been recognized by members of our own small and tightly knit theatrical community. After first reading of the play, multiple members of the company’s producers, directors, writers, and actors expressed immediate concern as to the play's seeming locally “inspired” characters.

In that local context, the plays “truth” and valid universal message (the elements of the work that we praised Ms. Ehly for writing) were immediately transformed into a seemingly bitter and mean-spirited attack on several people’s character and even sexual orientation. On it's own merits it's a good 10-minute play, and should have a life in other communities. However, the Producers of the show believed that piece was not in the interest of inclusion that Shorts Gone Wild was created to foster and chose to remove the well written, but deeply questionable, play after more than two weeks serious and respectful contemplation of Ms. Ehly’s work.

It is a shame Ms. Ehly wants to further divide the LGBT community by implying that we somehow are censoring a lesbian voice. Shorts Gone Wild 2 includes lesbian, gay, transgender, bi-sexual and straight characters and themes as well as a diverse cast of straight, gay, lesbian, African American and Hispanic cast members, directors, playwrights and designers. Those who are familiar with our work will recognize that we strive to present plays that speak to our diverse community and that we have never shied away from controversial subject matter or sexual content.

Sincerely,
Andy Rogow, Artistic Director
Island City Stage
and
John Manzelli, Artistic Director
City Theatre

Editor’s Note: Andy Rogow did speak to SFGN before the original story went to print and at that time he told the reporter: “We can be accused of a lot of things, but it came down to a choice between a play or two actors. Both sides were right, but they couldn’t be reconciled.”