Moises Kaufman, revered for bringing audiences shows like “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” has another work that delves into the life of famed LGBTQ poet and playwright Oscar Wilde: “Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde.” Now playing at Ferndale’s Slipstream Theatre Initiative, the show will run through June 30.
“Wilde’s tumultuous relationship with the young ‘Bosie’ Douglas sparked speculation and gossip about the flamboyant playwright. But it was the young man’s father, the Marquess of Quensberry, who finally brought about Wilde’s downfall,” wrote event organizers. “Filled with rumor, whispers and deceit, the play showcases the three growingly disastrous trials of Oscar Wilde – illuminating his journey to prison and eventual death. The play makes it clear that the ‘gross indecency’ of the title happened to Wilde rather than by him, but it also shows us, with brutal honesty, how his arrogance and belief that he was untouchable sealed his fate.”
This show is an intentional seasonal pick, too, as it is Slipstream’s way of celebrating 50 years since the Stonewall Riots.
“Slipstream is reflecting on those that paved the way. Oscar Wilde was the personification of an artist, in all his debonair nonchalance. And though society has come a long way since the days of punishing homosexuality with prison, we’re never as far along as we thought. We are reminded to keep our minds and hearts open to all people, perhaps more now than ever before,” organizers wrote. “Join Slipstream this June, to witness the wit, the passion and the tragedy of the man who believed in the pursuit of beauty, at all costs.”
Playing Wilde is Slipstream founding company member Richard Payton, company Technical Director Jackson Abohasira plays Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas and Patrick O’Lear plays the Marquess of Queensberry.
Learn more online at slipstreamti.com.
Shows will run Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 and available via slipstreamti.com or by emailing InsideTheSlipstream@gmail.com. Slipstream Theatre Initiative is located at 460 Hilton in Ferndale.