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The American theater community has always been a relatively welcoming environment for gay people. This is not the case in Uganda, where politicians continually try to criminalize homosexuality. When a character in Beau Hopkins’ play The River and the Mountain stated that he was gay, making him the first openly gay character to ever appear in a Ugandan play, the government responded aggressively, banning the play and eventually arresting its producer. Though the play is a work of fiction, its content still managed to upset lawmakers. Artisphere presents a staged reading of the play tonight, followed by a discussion with Hopkins, original cast member Okuyo Joel Atiku Prynce, and the reading’s director, Sarah Imes Borden. While bringing the play to American audiences might not greatly affect the situation in Uganda, it prompts a conversation about tolerance and censorship that must take place.
The reading begins at 7:30 p.m. at Artisphere, 1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Free. (703) 875-1100. artisphere.com.