Dont ask, dont tell. Its a modern-day policy (albeit rescinded) that fits the modern-day acknowledgment that queer people do, in fact, serve in the military. For decades it was flat-out denied and punishable by immediate discharge but only hardcore ideologues and those whod never been near a serviceman or -woman really believed it. About a decade ago John Fisher wrote and directed a play set in World War II called Combat! about same-sex relationships in the U.S. Marine Corps. It was hysterical (Fishers character, a fierce drill sergeant who turns out to be gay, was among the best) as well as historical. It offered a fascinating take on how those people recognized each other, developed relationships, and learned to live within a system that wholeheartedly rejected them. Sean Dorsey broadens this exploration in The Secret History of Love: Part I. In a two-year research project, Dorsey is conducting interviews with people who lived openly as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender decades ago. He is also consulting archival materials supplied by the GLBT Historical Society. Through dance, storytelling, and theater, his characters find each other and develop clandestine relationships from the 1920s Jazz Age up to the current information age. Tonights performance is composed of sections that will appear in a full production in 2012. There is an urgency to undertaking this project now: We are rapidly losing our communitys stories, says Dorsey, himself transgender. In the 1980s, we lost part of an entire generation of queer and transpeople to AIDS. Every year we lose more and more of our communitys elders as they pass on.
Fridays-Sundays, 8 p.m. Starts: April 29. Continues through May 1, 2011