open heart is an ethnodrama that illuminates and explores the experiences of gay male couples living in non-monogamous or “open” relationships. Thirteen couples and a therapist/researcher were interviewed, the audio recordings were coded and transcribed, and a verbatim interview theatre script emerged offering thoughts and opinions on the following questions:  How do gay couples define open relationships?  How do gay men in open relationships define the word “monogamy?” Why do gay couples choose to live in open relationships?  What are the advantages and disadvantages of an open relationship arrangement? 

The play enjoyed a sold out run at La MaMa as part of the 2010 New York International Fringe Festival and is excerpted in Johnny Saldaña's book, Ethnotheatre: Research from Page to Stage (Left Coast Press).  The full performance text is available through the digital theatre library, Indie Theater Now.

 
 
 
 
One doesn’t often think of the stage as a medium that lends itself to the documentary. To see perhaps the best possible example of one onstage, get a ticket to ‘open heart’ before they sell out (which should be soon, judging by the size and enthusiasm of the opening night crowd). It’s hard to imagine anyone else pulling this off as well as ‘open heart.’
— Danny Bowes
 
 

C R E D I T S:

Sharon Counts (assistant director), Robert Keith (stage manager), Emily Stork (lighting), Blake McCarty (sound & projections), Márion Talán (costumes), and Allyn Bard Rathus (company manager). Performers: Chris Bresky, Stephen Donovan, Daryl Embry, Nick Lewis, and Karl O’Brian Williams. Photography by Andrew Adolphus