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Confessions of a Mormon Boy gone Gay

“We have a right to sit at the table or in the pews just like anyone else.”

Confessions of a Mormon Boy, which just finished its run as part of the National Arts Festival in Makhanda, is heading to Cape Town’s Alexander Bar and theatre for a string of shows for the next two weeks. 

This highly acclaimed, mostly autobiographical play, is not the first do deal with repressed Mormon homosexuals. Angels in America most famously leaps to mind. Confessions of a Mormon Boy examines with humour and pathos how an exiled sixth-generation Latter Gay Saint reclaims his kids and Donny Osmond smile, after failed conversion therapy, excommunication, divorce, prostitution, and drugs. In this story of extremes from perfect Utah Mormon Boy to perfect New York Rent Boy, internationally acclaimed storyteller Steven Fales takes his audience to places they did not know they wanted to go! Told with humour, song, and The Book of Mormon, this is a tale of how one troubled young dad first learned to wake up and grow up and then kept learning. 

Oxy-Mormon storyteller Steven Fales discovers an imperfect middle ground in this reclamation saga about what it means to finally come home, if only in your heart. This is what he has to say about Confessions of a Mormon Boy

“It isn’t about Mormons or cults. It’s not about escorts, human trafficking, sex, or drugs. It’s not about excommunication and spiritual abuse or religious violence. It’s not about conversion therapy. It’s not about my famous feminist mother-in-law or my cowboy bishop dad or my kids and their beautiful mother. It’s not about gay dads at all… or even gays. Heck, it’s not even about the new Trump joke or any of the comedy or storytelling craft or even the story. Confessions of a Mormon Boy is an experience of personal transformation. You have to see it to believe it. I was on a path to suicide. I never attempted it, but I was living a slow, steady suicide before my life got turned around. Telling my story has been a way to write my life. Finding the humour in everything was critical. We have to laugh at it all ultimately. That’s when we know we are on the path to healing. Don’t lose your humour. So that’s another thing that didn’t really happen. I didn’t think getting excommunicated and losing everything and descending into a world of chem-sex and sex work was very funny at the time. I was just trying to survive.”

Confessions of a Mormon Boy first premiered Off-Broadway over twelve years ago and is the cornerstone of Fales’s ‘Mormon Boy Experience’ and Part One of his Mormon Boy Trilogy. He has been performing it ever since at venues ranging from church sanctuaries to comedy clubs; fringe festivals to old historic movie houses; coffee shops to cabaret rooms; gay resorts to regional theatres; concert halls to the Mitzi Newhouse Theatre at Lincoln Centre. Fales received the Oscar Wilde Award for Outstanding New Writing for the Theatre at the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival. His first book, Confessions of a Mormon Boy: Behind the Scenes of the Off Broadway Hit, was a Lambda Literary Award Finalist. He is currently expanding his Mormon Boy Trilogy into a book called Oxy-Mormon Memoirs. In addition to his solo work, he has several plays and musicals in various stages of development.

Cape Town audiences will have a chance to see Confessions of a Mormon Boy from 10th to 20th July at Alexander Bar and Theatre at 70 Strand St. Tickets are R120 to R140 and can be booked online at https://alexanderbar.co.za/show/Mormon_Boy/