This isn’t your ordinary history project. In what has become an important piece of contemporary queer theatre, three of Canada’s most gifted performers—Damien Atkins, Paul Dunn, and Andrew Kushnir—go on a search way past Google in order to find the history of gay people.
The trio start their quest by looking back at their own lineages and move along to the library, the Yellow Brick Road, Ukraine, a game show, and a court. They discover handfuls of forgotten heroes and stories, but also visit some well-known names, compiling everything into one extraordinary history lesson that shines new light on contemporary gay culture.
Equal parts personal curiosity, answers to the past, and information for the future, The Gay Heritage Project is a hilarious, thought-provoking meta tale that inspires, comforts, challenges, and empowers.
Actor and playwright Damien Atkins was born in Australia and grew up in Edmonton. He is the author and performActor and playwright Damien Atkins was born in Australia and grew up in Edmonton. He is the author and performer of two solo shows: miss chatelaine and Real Live Girl, as well as the full-length plays Good Mother and Lucy. He has been playwright-in-residence at the Canadian Stage Company and at the University of British Columbia and is the recipient of a Dora Award nomination for Best New Play for Lucy, a Sterling Award for miss chatelaine, and two Dora Awards for Real Live Girl. Damien is a member of the Theatrefront Ensemble and a guest instructor at the National Theatre School. He makes his home in Toronto.er of two solo shows: miss chatelaine, and Real Live Girl, as well as the full-length plays Good Mother and Lucy. He has been playwright-in-residence at the Canadian Stage Company and at the University of British Columbia and is the recipient of a Dora Award nomination for Best New Play for Lucy, a Sterling Award for miss chatelaine, and two Dora Awards for Real Live Girl. Damien is a member of the Theatrefront Ensemble and a guest instructor at the National Theatre School. He makes his home in Toronto.
Paul Dunn is a playwright based in Stratford, Ontario. His plays have been produced by Theatre Direct (BOYS), the Stratford Festival (High-Gravel-Blind), Studio 180 Theatre (Offensive Shadows—Audience Choice Award, SummerWorks Festival), cart/horse theatre (Dalton and Company), and Roseneath Theatre (Outside—Dora Award Nomination, Outstanding New Play, TYA). He co-authored The Gay Heritage Project, which was produced by Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, toured nationally, and was nominated for a Dora Award for Outstanding New Play. His play Memorial received an honourable mention from the Herman Voaden National Playwriting Competition. He is also an actor and has worked in theatres across the country.
Andrew Kushnir is a playwright, actor, and director based in Toronto. He is the artistic director of Project: Humanity (
www.projecthumanity.ca), a leading developer of Verbatim Theatre. His produced plays include The Middle Place (Canadian national tour, Toronto Theatre Critics Award), Small Axe, Wormwood (as playwright-?in-?residence at Tarragon Theatre), and Freedom Singer (co-?created with Khari Wendell McClelland, two Canadian national tours). The Middle Place is published in
Ignite: Illuminating Theatre for Young People. His next new play is Towards Youth: A Play On Radical Hope, a co-?production between Project: Humanity and Crow’s Theatre. He is a four-?time Dora Mavor Moore Award nominee, a graduate of the University of Alberta, and a Loran Scholar.
“The Gay Heritage Project is funny, smart, and moving. Pretty much everything you could want in a show.” —Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight
“The Gay Heritage Project highlights many stories that need to be told.” —Erika Thorkelson, Vancouver Sun
“If only all learning was this much fun.” —The Globe and Mail
“I loved the feeling of being in the middle of a very interesting question being wrestled with in real time. Which, ultimately, is everything I think theatre should strive to be.” —S. Bear Bergman, Mooney on Theatre
“These talented actor/singers inspire and amuse, amaze with the connections they make and make us want to hear more of their tales.” —Jon Kaplan, NOW Magazine
“Never have I seen a performance piece essentially about information presented in such a gripping, entertaining and highly theatrical way. Much of this is due to the three immensely talented performers involved.“ —Christopher Hoile, Stage Door
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