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Wilson, Doric (1939-2011)  
 
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Wilson's activist sensibility is equally obvious in Street Theater. Near the end of the play a closeted policeman, full of self-hate, exclaims, "You faggots are revolting!!!" Caught up in the exhilaration of Stonewall, a suddenly enlightened "dirty old man" responds, with joy and pride, "You bet your sweet ass we are!"

Wilson's most often performed plays were written in the late 1970s and early 1980s. They include Now She Dances! (1975, although an earlier version premiered in 1961), The West Street Gang (1977), A Perfect Relationship (1979), Forever After (1980), and Street Theater (1981).

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Wilson essentially ceased writing new plays after Street Theater. In the 1990s, Wilson concentrated more on revising his five core plays rather than creating new material. His plays are frequently produced around the world, often as part of gay theater festivals or Pride celebrations. Street Theater is available both in the JH Gay Play Series and in an acting version from United Stages, which also publishes Now She Dances!.

In 1994, Wilson received the Robert Chesley Award for Liftetime Achievement in Gay Theater.

Brandon Hayes

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   Related Entries
  
literature >> Overview:  Awards

The contemporary literary awards given specifically to honor glbtq books may be seen as an outgrowth of the modern American gay rights movement, so intertwined are they with the movement for equality.

literature >> Overview:  Comedy of Manners

The Comedy of Manners, which flourished on the Restoration stage, has been particularly amenable to twentieth-century gay male writers as a vehicle for social satire in both dramatic and nondramatic works.

literature >> Overview:  Contemporary Drama

Since Stonewall, gay and lesbian drama has flourished, especially in the United States.

social sciences >> Overview:  Gay and Lesbian Bars

The centrality of gay and lesbian bars to glbtq culture has been reduced in recent years, but they continue to fulfill important functions; and, in many areas, they remain the most visible manifestation of glbtq presence.

social sciences >> Overview:  Gaybashing

Violence perpetrated against people thought by their attackers to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered occurs with disturbing frequency in the United States and other countries.

literature >> Overview:  Humor

Like other minority groups, gay men and lesbians have had to develop both a particular sense of humor among themselves in order to make their marginal social status endurable and also a defensive awareness toward the rest of the world in order to disarm their adversaries with laughter.

literature >> Overview:  Journalism and Publishing

The gay and lesbian press is of prime importance in sustaining a frequently embattled minority and has been crucial in the development of a national mass movement for gay rights.

literature >> Overview:  Modern Drama

Before Stonewall, censorship of the theater caused authors to encode homosexual content in publicly-presented plays.

arts >> Overview:  Theater Companies

Gay and lesbian theater companies attempt to create their own communities, while also fostering a sense of solidarity with the glbtq community and educating the larger society.

arts >> Barr, Richard

Theatrical producer Richard Barr is most famous for producing the works of Edward Albee, introducing the European Absurdists to Broadway, and presenting the seminal gay drama, Mart Crowley's The Boys in the Band.

social sciences >> Bryant, Anita

Former beauty queen, popular singer, and orange juice pitchwoman, Anita Bryant became the poster-girl for homophobia in the late 1970s; her name continues to be a byword for bigotry.

literature >> Crowley, Mart

Playwright Mart Crowley deserves honor for having blazed the trail for gay-themed theater with his 1969 groundbreaking play The Boys in the Band.

literature >> Douglas, Alfred Bruce

Lord Alfred Douglas is remembered today for his tumultuous association with Oscar Wilde and as a minor poet.

social sciences >> Gay Activists Alliance

An important organization of the early post-Stonewall era, the Gay Activists Alliance, which flourished from 1969 to 1974, strove to give gay men and lesbians visibility in American politics.

arts >> Innaurato, Albert

Playwright Albert Innaurato's plays are as remarkable for the marginalizing ethnic identity, sexual orientation, and body image of their characters as they are for the author's refusal to adopt politically correct attitudes.

literature >> Patrick, Robert

Robert Patrick is a founding father of gay drama in America and an influence in the development of gay drama in England.

literature >> Picano, Felice

Prolific author Felice Picano, a founding member of the Violet Quill, is also a pioneer in gay publishing, having founded two publishing houses.

social sciences >> Stonewall Riots

The confrontations between police and demonstrators at the Stonewall Inn in New York City the weekend of June 27-29, 1969 mark the beginning of the modern glbtq movement for equal rights.

literature >> Wilde, Oscar

Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.

literature >> Wilson, Lanford

In his depictions of gay subjects, Lanford Wilson proved himself to be a powerful voice speaking of the lives of gay men.

arts >> Yeomans, Lee Calvin "Cal"

A trailblazer in post-Stonewall gay theater, Cal Yeomans explored sex and sexuality so directly in his critically-acclaimed plays that it made his work difficult to produce even in the gay community.


    Bibliography
   

Bottoms, Stephen J. Playing Underground: A Critical History of the 1960s Off-Off-Broadway Movement. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2004.

Boynton, Michael. "Doric Wilson Stays on Top of Gay Drama." The Villager (June 11, 2003).

Crespy, David A. Off-Off-Broadway Explosion: How Provocative Playwrights of the 1960's Ignited a New American Theater. New York: Back Stage Books, 2003.

Dace, Tish. "Wilson, Doric." Contemporary Dramatists. 4th ed. D. L. Kirkpatrick, ed. Chicago and London: St. James Press, 1988. 572-74.

Wilson, Doric. "Biography." www.doricwilson.com.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Hayes, Brandon  
    Entry Title: Wilson, Doric  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2005  
    Date Last Updated January 3, 2012  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/arts/wilson_d.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2005, glbtq, inc.  
 

 

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