Monday, May 24, 2010

Review of CHAINED TO FREEDOM - Mentions discrimination at Orlando Health

Here is a review of CHAINED TO FREEDOM that is currently playing at the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival...

Fringe review: ‘Chained to Freedom,’ Open Door Productions, New York, NY

By Elizabeth Maupin

Alan Bounville is a man with a mission. Bounville wants to change the laws that deny gays and lesbians the same civil rights enjoyed by heterosexuals. Chained to Freedom is the story of his fight.

It’s not an especially unusual story, although it turns out that Bounville slightly knew Ryan Skipper, the gay man who was beaten and stabbed to death in rural Polk County in 2007 and has become known as Central Florida’s Matthew Shepard.

But it wasn’t Skipper’s murder that galvanized Bounville: It was the refusal of his own employer, Orlando Health, to grant domestic-partner benefits. Bounville quit his job, picketed at a corporate-sponsored event and then moved to New York to fight the fight ion a national scale.

Good activists aren’t always practiced actors, and Bounville could work on speaking up and on not making his material sound so melodramatic. (In drama, less is often more.) Still, a little agitprop theater is nearly always a good thing. I only wish Bounville weren’t preaching to the choir.

Remaining shows: 8:35 p.m. Tuesday 5/25, 10:10 p.m. Wednesday 5/26, 5:10 p.m. Friday 5/28. Yellow venue.

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