"You have girl lips." That's the weighted observation made by one teenage boy to another at the beginning of A Queer Kiss, a half-teasing, half-flirtatious comment that catalyzes a whole lot of emotional turmoil.
Bret (Daniel Doyle) and Scott (Matthew Hager) are both drama students and seniors in high school. Like most teenagers, they grapple with issues of identity, independence and self-worth, and come into conflicts with their parents. When the two kiss backstage and like it, their sexualities and internalized homophobia come to a head.
A Queer Kiss, which made its world premiere in Chapel Hill last weekend, was developed in January as part of Deep Dish Theater's New Play Workshop. Playwright Joel Drake Johnson drew upon his own experiences as a high school drama teacher in Chicago, where he witnessed the harassment of a gay student. A Queer Kiss strives to show that this type of discrimination is still commonplace—and can have deadly consequences.
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