Think back to your first introduction to the theoretical mechanics of sex. Whether the revelations came from your uncomfortable parents, your gleefully “well-informed” friend, or from some dog-eared magazine or well-placed pop-up, chances are you reacted with a mixture of pure disgust and nascent excitement.
Logan and I, a one-act play written by actor Michael McPhee, which debuts at this year’s Queer Acts Theatre Festival, explores this time in the life of one shy boy growing up in the 1980s. It’s told through the eyes of a gay man named Dezzy (played by McPhee), who is looking back from adulthood to his sexual awakening with a boy from the wrong side of the tracks named Logan (Glen Matthews).
“One of the things that I think is most intriguing about this play is that beyond exploring sexual curiosity, it starts a discussion about intimacy between men,” says Logan director Scott Burke. “I think we’re in agreement that Logan does identify as straight while Dezzy identifies as gay, but they are clearly looking for something from each other. It’s a murky area of sexuality.”
Logan and I is produced by The Doppler Effect, a new independent production company formed by McPhee and Annie Valentina. The name, which describes a scientific principle of how you perceive a soundwave based on your perspective, was chosen to reflect the same idea in theatre. “We’re highlighting the individual experience,” Valentina says. “It’s about acknowledging that there are many different ways to look at the same thing, and producing new work that explores that.”
Both McPhee and Valentina are huge advocates of Queer Acts, saying that the festival, which is in its second year, is the perfect place to put on envelope-pushing works without taking huge risks.
“There’s so much community support, both from the independent theatre and gay communities,” says McPhee. “And we’re really lucky to have a place like the Bus Stop that supports us in putting on these small-scale, edgy works.”
Queer Acts runs nightly from July 20-23 at the Bus Stop Theatre: Logan and I at 7pm; Berend McKenzie’s nggrfg, 8:30pm; The (sad) Ballad of Oliver Hugh & Company, written and performed by Steve Bourque and Steph McNair, 10pm. All tickets are $15/$10 for students, seniors and underwaged. Also, there’s a one-night performance of DaPoPo Theatre's DaPride Cafe, July 19, 8pm, at Menz Bar for $5. Festival passes are available for $30 at Venus Envy; advance tickets can be reserved at qareservations@gmail