published Friday, October 7th, 2011

Finding identity subject of ETC's 'I Can't Think Straight'

IF YOU GO

What: "I Can't Think Straight."

When: 7:30 p.m. today, Oct. 14, Oct. 21; 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, Oct. 22; 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16 and Oct. 23.

Where: St. Andrews Center, 1918 Union Ave.

Admission: $10 adults, $8 students.

Phone: 987-5141.

Website: www.ensembletheatreofchattanooga.com.

Coming to terms with your identity can take many forms, according to Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga managing producer Garry Lee Posey.

One of those, he said, is sexual orientation.

With that in mind, and with the theater's "Enriching the Community" theme for the year, ETC will premiere its original production of "I Can't Think Straight" today at St. Andrews Center.

The production, he said, contains monologues, fictional pieces, scenes, sketches or playlettes that focus on the humor or hope "with identifying or accepting who they are," said Posey, who is also the show's director.

Coming to terms with your sexual orientation "is a very similar experience to coming to terms about whoever, whatever you are," he said.

About three-fourths of the pieces have never been seen before, Posey said, and half of them were written specifically for ETC.

The playwrights include Martin Blank, J. Stephen Brantley, Rex Knowles, Derek Van Barham, Ron Burch, J. Clark, Amanda L. Cothron, Allison Fradkin, Babs Lindsay and Posey.

The actors are John Thomas Cecil, Kyle Dagnan, Casey Keelen, Kelly Lapczynski, Ryan Laskowski, Ellen Poole, Krysten Pound and Haden York.

Among those in the "mixed bag" of presentations, according to Posey, are two pieces on people who aren't gay, one on the son of two gay fathers who is "coming out as straight," one on a man whose parents think he's gay but who won't admit his orientation one way or the other, and two on how the world around a person decides to accept the person.

"We're not trying to rabble-rouse," he said. "These scripts are humorous or insightful coming-out-of-the-closet stories. We wanted to have fun with the whole theme, the whole concept."

Posey said ETC chose October for the time to present the production because it works with the nonprofit Tennessee Valley Pride and the attendant Pride Festival.

"I Can't Think Straight" is appropriate for audiences ages 13 and up, he said.

about Clint Cooper...

Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...

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