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category: Drama
published: Mar 2020
publisher: Talonbooks


Three Gender Plays: Nelly Boy, My Funny Valentine, and Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls

by Dave Deveau

tagged: gay & lesbian, gay, theater & musicals

Cissy is a collection of three plays on gender and young LGBTQ+ folk by the acclaimed playwright Dave Deveau. In Nelly Boy, an unknown man sits in a nondescript room trying to discover how Nelly came to be running naked along the side of a six-lane highway. Nelly’s world slowly unfolds; following Nelly’s epic journey through suburbia, we discover the inner workings of a brilliant teenage mind trying to grapple with the greater picture. Caught in the middle of opposing gender ideals, Nelly is forced to confront hatred and his/her own perceptions of the world in order to survive.

My Funny Valentine examines the 2008 murder of 14-year-old Lawrence Laetitia King who asked Brandon McInerney to be his valentine. The next day, during first period, McInerney took out a gun and shot King twice in the head. On February 13, King was declared brain-dead, but was left on life support so organs could be removed for donation. King passed away on February 14, 2008 – Valentine’s Day. My Funny Valentine enters the minds of people on the fringes of a murder that will forever affect them. It tackles the fracturing of opinion in the face of a horrendous act within a community and invites the audience to search for its own humanity amid the confusing and chaotic implications King’s death brings to the surface. In searching through this thick haze, it enables us to find our hearts.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls is the story of 9-year-old Fiona who comes out as a boy and wants to be called Fin. Fin has always had this feeling – knowing something is different but not knowing what it was or how to say it. As Fin cuts his hair short and changes his name, his family works to understand and adjust to Fin’s gender identity. Dad is accepting of the change right away, but Mom doesn’t quite get it at first. We see Fin’s family struggle with this change and through the course of the play ultimately begin to accept and embrace Fin for who he is. Three powerful, intensely relevant plays by “one of Vancouver’s finest playwrights and one of our country’s finest gay writers” (Mark Robins, Vancouver Presents).

About the Author
Dave Deveau investigates queer themes that speak to a broad audience. His work has been produced across North America and in Europe. He is the playwright-in-residence for Vancouver’s Zee Zee Theatre, who produced his plays Nelly Boy, Tiny Replicas, My Funny Valentine (winner of the Sydney J. Risk Prize for Outstanding Original Play by an Emerging Playwright, nominated for a Jessie Richardson Theatre Award and an Oscar Wilde Award), Lowest Common Denominator, Elbow Room Café: The Musical (with Anton Lipovetsky), and Dead People’s Things. His first three plays for young audiences were all commissioned and premiered with Green Thumb Theatre, and have subsequently continued into other productions: Out in the Open, tagged (Dora Mavor Moore Award nomination), and Celestial Being (Jessie Richardson Theatre Award nomination). He is devoted to developing intelligent, theatrical plays for young people that foster conversation. In total, his plays have been nominated for twenty-one Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards, four Ovation Awards, and four Dora Mavor Moore Awards. When not creating plays, he is performing for audiences of all ages and spectrums under the name Peach Cobblah, and raising his beautiful son with his husband Cameron.
Contributor Notes

Dave Deveau is an award-winning writer and performer from Vancouver, B.C. Dave grew up as a film and television actor before crossing over to writing in his teens. He went on to study theatre and playwriting at York University (BFA) and had his first professional play produced while still an undergrad. He subsequently received an MFA in Playwriting from UBC. His work has been produced across Canada and the U.S. as well as in Israel and Ireland. He is the Playwright in Residence for Zee Zee Theatre who commissioned and produced his plays Nelly Boy, Tiny Replicas, the critically acclaimed My Funny Valentine, Lowest Common Denominator, and Elbow Room Café: The Musical (with Anton Lipovetsky). His plays for young audiences were all commissioned and premiered by Green Thumb Theatre, and have subsequently continued into other productions: Out in the Open, Celestial Being (co-commissioned with Théâtre La Seizième), and tagged, which is currently touring Israel in Hebrew. Deveau is one of the Associates at Playwrights Theatre Centre where he is developing a number of projects including new commissions for Zee Zee Theatre.

Deveau's first feature-length screenplay Us in Nine Months, based on his play Tiny Replicas, just won the Harold Greenberg Award at the Canadian Film Festival and starts shooting in 2020. Dave was recently included in Xtra’s Top 30 under 30 and OUTtv’s Queers of the Year and is the 2014 recipient of the Pride Legacy Award for Art. He is currently working on new commissions for Green Thumb Theatre, Roseneath Theatre, and The Belfry. In total, his plays to date have been nominated for 20 Jessie Richardson Awards.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
15 to 18
10 to 12

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