Local Theaters Celebrate Pride Month with Thought-Provoking Plays

Laura Turnbull stars as a housewife who must make sense of her gender fluid daughter in “The Pink Unicorn” at Empire Stage. Credit: Michael B. Lloyd.

In observance of Pride month, two local theater companies are offering thought-provoking plays that answer important questions in the lives of contemporary LGBTQ people:


“The Pink Unicorn” – Primal Forces Theatre at Empire Stage

“How on God’s green earth can you be both a boy and a girl?”

That’s the question Trisha Lee, a widowed Texan housewife, must sort out when her child makes a startling confession in Elise Forier Edie’s “The Pink Unicorn,” the latest Primal Forces Theatre production opening June 13 at Empire Stage in Fort Lauderdale.

Trisha’s mundane small town life is thrown into turmoil when her teenage daughter announces she is gender queer and starting a Gay/Straight Alliance at her high school. After the school principal rejects the application for recognition as a school club, Trisha must choose sides in her rapidly dividing town.

“I was totally captivated by the script and its truthfulness, humanity, humor and transformative message,” said director Genie Croft, the mother of two gay children. “The importance of ‘The Pink Unicorn’ is rooted in its insightful, clever writing and the exciting challenge of bringing Trish's deepest thoughts to life on stage, as she wrestles with her socially conservative background and the profound love she has for her daughter. Trish's journey is laden with hilarious moments, the fight to give her daughter human dignity and the right to be her true self.”

Croft turned to award-winning South Florida actress Laura Turnbull to star in this one-woman show with a wide range of characters.

“Laura is such a multidimensional actress. She can play all the comedy, all the drama and all the humanity,” Croft said.

Primal Forces Theatre presents “The Pink Unicorn” June 13 through July 8, at Empire Stage, 1140 N. Flagler Dr. in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets are $30 at PrimalForces.com.


“Mr. Parker” – Island City Stage

“As a writer, I wondered what would happen if I found myself in my fifties and started dating again,” explained playwright and star Michael McKeever.

Happily married to his longtime partner, award-winning director and playwright Stuart Meltzer, McKeever conjured up such a situation in which a middle-aged man who has just lost his own longtime partner wakes up in bed next to a much younger man.

“I’ve always marveled at how quickly the world has changed for the gay community and the whole concept of dating has evolved and is so far removed from where it was when I was single in my thirties,” explained McKeever, citing the influence and popularity of apps like Grindr and Tinder. “I’m all married and settled down. I could never do that.”

McKeever started with the premise of the “fish out of water scenario, but that quickly gave way to something much more moving, an intimate portrayal of that concept. What happens when you lose someone who has been a part of your life for so long and the world is so different? How do you cope with the utter terror of stepping foot into this strange new world?”

The world premiere of Michael McKeever’s “Mr. Parker” will be presented June 14 through July 15 at Island City Stage, 2304 N. Dixie Hwy. in Wilton Manors. Tickets are $35 at IslandCityStage.org.

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