Pink House. 130 North Street. Back In The Day.

Fellow residents from the 1991-94 years were Clint Curtis, Shyam Patel, Raj Krishnasami, Lydia Craft, Jess Deltac, Kyle York Spencer, Caroline Rivers Hall, Mel Lanham, Michelle Sinnott, Jay Murray, N'Gai Wright, Scott Bullock (who crashed on the couch for a year before finally moving in), Bryan Ellerson, Karen Hurka, Sally Stryker, Ryan Mathias, Charlie Speight, Chris Palmatier, Trent McDevitt, and Steve William.



Besides holdovers and returnees Jay, Scott, Mel (& Laverne!), Chris, and N'Gai, residents during 1995-97 included Allen Sellars (who, like Jay, lived at both the Pink House and 401 Pritchard), Ian Williams, Zak Bisacky, James Dasher, Linden Elstran, Jiffer Bourguignon, Grant Tennille (who first made the scene as a fixture in N'Gai's room circa summer '93), Zia Zareem, Ben Folds, Tom Holden, and Chris "Chip" Chapman.

- Erik Ose

Friday, April 12, 1991

The Making of the African Queen

"Play presents a view of homosexuality," Daily Tar Heel, 4/12/91

By MARA LEE
Staff Writer

Don't be fooled. "The Making of the African Queen," showing in the Union Cabaret Friday and Saturday, is not a documentary about Katharine Hepburn.

Senior Paul Dawson wrote, directed, and stars in this one-man show to give a personal account of "one gay's journey into light." "It's about growing up in a very repressive atmosphere coming to terms with homosexuality in Helmsville," he said. The play uses monologues, modern dance, classical music, pop music, and even disco to express Dawson's thoughts.

Killian Manning choreographed the show. "I had a lot of thoughts going through my head," Manning said. "I realized I had spent a lot of time looking for scripts these thoughts might apply to. I just bought a journal and started writing them down I just took it everywhere I went. "About a month and a half later, I decided this was my show."

Dawson said he had deliberately chosen to present "African Queen" in the Union. "I wanted this play to be in the Student Union rather than in the drama building because it deals so directly with the University in many cases. The audience is so important. Hopefully this play will be seen by some of the people that really need to see it and not (be) preaching to the converted."

Angela Crisp, producer of the play and representative of the Theater Arts Committee, said, "We support students to come up with incredible, creative pieces like this. We felt it was a subject that needed to be talked about." Clint Curtis, one of the dancers, said he had chosen to work on the show for several reasons. "I wanted to be a little more open-minded about the subject. I think in the beginning that was the biggest thing I had to set aside, being in this gay and lesbian piece not worrying if people thought I was homosexual. It really didn't matter."

The play speaks to several audiences, Dawson said. "Among other things, it will offer an identity for a group of people who don't often see things portrayed that they can relate to. And of course, I'm being vague and I don't need to. I'm speaking of gays. "It's a challenge to your tolerance. I hope it leads us to look at the tolerance we have and why we have certain fears and hatred, because sometimes I don't think we know."

Curtis said, "It's a very personal play just because it has a lot to do with this life we've all been closed off to." Crisp said the script was much more than just an informative piece. "Some monologues are very humorous. Some are bitter. Some are heartbreaking. It's powerful, startling, shocking, intense and ultimately positive. There are so many feelings running throughout He does this incredible Katharine Hepburn imitation." Dawson said, "I think it's a type of play that I've not seen around here. It draws on popular music, modern dance, a one-man show. "It's a very frank play, and this is a subject that is rarely expressed frankly. And that kind of visibility is what we need now."

"The Making of the African Queen; Or, One Gay's Journey Into Light" will be playing at 8 pm. April 12 and 13 in the Union Cabaret. Admission is free. A discussion will follow. It is sponsored by TAC of the Union Activities Board and the Carolina Gay and Lesbian Association.

(Note from 2014: This one-man show was a tour-de-force, mixing personal memoir with modern dance, and reaching a particularly emotional climax when Sylvester's You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) came booming at top volume through the Cabaret's sound system.

Besides being the most heartfelt testimony I've ever witnessed of what it meant to grow up black and gay in Jesse Halms' North Carolina, this night made me want to throw a disco party there, a dream we later realized in early 1997 with Pez on the wheels of steel. Why the Student Union eventually chose to destroy the Cabaret in the name of "renovations" is a shame and tragedy, because it was an amazing, versatile performance space.

Fifteen years later, Paul Dawson went on to appear in John Cameron Mitchell's infamous 2006 film Shortbus. As the above article makes clear, Clint was one of the dancers, Killian Manning did the choreography, and Angela Crisp produced the play. As I remember, I had a little thing for Angela around this time. Paul Ferguson was both assistant director and a script consultant.)

Thursday, April 4, 1991

Surrender scoundrel!

Daily Tar Heel, 4/4/91

Jess Deltac, a sophomore from Charlotte, playfully bashes Clint Curtis, a freshman from Iowa City, Iowa, with a Chinese yo-yo. waving a white flag. The students were encountered in the Pit Wednesday.

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