Finding your “Gay Card” at the College: The World Premiere

The Black Box Theater walls are covered in posters like these in preparation for the show.

The Black Box Theater walls were covered in posters like these in preparation for the show. (Photo by Sydney Moreano)

Rainbow posters advertising the world premiere were seen across campus for weeks. The name on the poster itself was enough of a spectacle to lure students in, as “Gay Card” prints confidently and boldly with nothing to hide.

Finally, it was showtime. Students filed into the Blackbox Theater April 6-10 to see the show, but instead of tickets, attendees were handed rainbow gay cards asking two simple questions: “name” and “type of gay.” 

The gay card represented more than just a clever title; it represented the protagonist Logan, played by senior Mark Baldino, and his quest to find his own identity both at college and within the gay community. Logan’s identity crisis is also mirrored in the characters around him, who could not be more different and are brought together through their choice of college housing: Diversity House.

“It transcends its name with it not just being about LGBT issues,” senior Director Clyde Moser said. “It’s about just how we figure out where do we fit in this world and do we need to label it? Or do we need to accept our own identity as who we are and just start to love ourselves before we try to make everyone else love us.”

The show is an epic collection of firsts. It is the character’s first time in college. It is the first time the musical has been performed. And, for Moser and his junior assistant director Addison Brown, it is the first show they have directed. Despite their rookie status as directors, three years spent acting in new works together through Center Stage has given them the experience to take on the directing role. And, based on the laughter throughout the performances and the standing ovation, even at 2 a.m. after the late Friday night show, it’s safe to say they were properly prepared.

“It’s really a blessing to be able to do this just because we’ve been a part of the process so long, and now we get to actually facilitate the process and have fun and make our mark,” Moser said. “And also the fact that we get to do it together is really awesome, because our theater experience has been together, working on new projects.”

Assistant director Addison Brown, writer Jonathan Keebler, director Clyde Moser and writer Ryan Korell pose at the premiere (Photo Courtesy of Clyde Moser).

Assistant director Addison Brown, writer Jonathan Keebler, director Clyde Moser and writer Ryan Korell pose at the premiere. (Photo courtesy of Clyde Moser)

The two were given the script by former theater director Allen Lyndrup. Moser was immediately hooked. Writers Jonathan Keebler and Ryan Korell have worked closely with Moser and Brown since the fall, editing the script after readings and coming down from New York to work on the piece. Their masterpiece breathes issues that resonate well with all college students, and is especially fitting for its liberal arts audience here at the College.

“Honestly, I really do think it’s going to get picked up soon on a lot of college campuses,” Brown said. “…It’s super relevant to what so many college students are going through – not even about if you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, just in general like finding who you are…College is the place to do that.”

The play features memorable characters such as Corey, played by sophomore Maxwell Nosbsisch, who is notorious throughout for grinding on the audience, hitting on all the characters and dressing absolutely outlandishly. The writers’ ability to successfully blend such a character with someone such as braniac Melanie, played by senior Madeline Shelton, was memorable in itself.

And the memorability is paying off. “Gay Card” has been picked up for a 14 day run in the Spoleto Festival, with performances from May 27 until June 11. Moser and Brown will stay on to direct the next run, and are ready to make the show even better for its showcase at Spoleto. The two are confident in its future, and in Logan’s ability to connect to the crowd. 

“No matter who you are you will relate to Logan,” Moser said. “We were all Logan at one point.”

To finish the interview, Brown and Mosser confirm their confidence with an honest, giggle-inducing statement.

“I think I might still be Logan,” Brown added.

“Me too.”

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Sydney Moreano is a Feature Writer for CisternYard News. She is a double major in International Studies and English. The freshman hails from Lawrence, Kansas and is in the Honors College, William Aiken Fellows Society, International Scholars Program. Outside of CisternYard, she is a member of the Charleston 40 and Alpha Delta Pi Sorority. She spends her free time running, reading, spending too much money and taste tasting all the restaurants that Charleston has to offer.

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