I love great theater, which is a shame because I live in Los Angeles. Once in a while, though, there is an exception to the dreadful scene. Black Sheep Entertainment and Firefly Theater and Films, recently teamed up to produce Unscreened, four short plays at The Zephyr Theatre in Hollywood. The Zephyr is an inconspicuous space with unfortunate bathrooms, that consistently puts up great work. All of the writers involved in this production were women, all with plenty of pre-existing fabulousness under their belts.
The fourth play, Life Partners, centers on the relationship between two best friends, one straight, one gay. In the opening scene the two are at a pride parade, where Paige (not a lesbian) drunkenly declares that she will not get married until Sasha can too. This is all hypothetical of course, as neither woman is in a relationship.
Years pass and Paige falls in love with a man. When he pops the question she says “yes,” and then remembers her pledge. When she told her fiance they will have to wait for Prop 8 to be overturned before they can wed, the whole audience laughed, possibly not for the same reasons. So they wait. And wait. Sound familiar? Finally the man can wait no more and Paige is forced to tell Sasha it’s go time. Instead of apologizing, she rationalizes the decision, saying her marriage has no effect on Sasha’s rights, or lack thereof.
Amanda Walsh and Shannon Woodward
Shannon Woodward (Raising Hope, The Riches) played Sasha and Amanda Walsh (These Girls) was Paige. Both women gave multi-layered, funny, and touching performances. They both rocked skinny jeans and black Chuck Taylors, perhaps the wardrobe that unites us all. Paige was originally played by Rachael Taylor, but she had to leave the show to work on the new Charlie’s Angels television show. Excuses, excuses.
Life Partners was written and directed by Susanna Fogel and Joni Lefkowitz, who also brought us the WB webseries Joni and Susanna. Together with producer Jordana Mollick they are developing a feature film version of Life Partners. I caught up with Joni after one of the shows and discussed the inspiration behind the play and the plan to make it into a movie.
AfterEllen.com: What inspired you to write Life Partners?
AE: What are you hoping the audience will take away from it?
Shannon Woodward, Amanda Walsh and Will Greenberg
AE: What made you decide to make Life Partners into a feature length film?
AE: Do you and Susanna Fogel have any other projects in the works?
Please chime in below with thoughts on straight friends getting married when they know you can’t!