SourceWorks Theatre, led by artistic director Mark Cannistraro, is unveiling the East Coast premiere of a play about homophobia called The Other Side of the Closet. After a brief public engagement at midtown's Chashama Theater, the show will be toured to high schools all over New York as the first production of SourceWorks' YouthReach project, designed to wrap young minds around "relevant social issues."
Closet was authored by Canadian playwright Edward Roy, artistic director of Toronto's Topological Theater. It has previously been presented for students in Toronto and San Francisco. The play is about a gay high school student named Carl who, after being outed, faces a variety of traumas including panicked parents and violence at the hands of one of his best friends. According to Cannistraro (whose credits include The Velocity of Gary and Homosexual Acts), Closet isn't about homosexuality; it's about homophobia and its attendant dangers.
YouthReach, a brand new program initiated by the nine-year-old SourceWorks, is "a theater-in-education project that seeks to develop and tour health and social issue plays for youth in a proactive effort to educate young people about the ever-changing world around them."