educator, writer, director, performer No Such Thing © 2008 by Douglas Hill Click here for a PDF file of the complete script. CAUTION:  Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that No Such Thing is subject to a royalty. It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, and of all countries covered by the International Copyright Union (including the Dominion of Canada and the rest of the British Commonwealth), and of all countries covered by the Pan-American Copyright convention and the Universal Copyright Convention, and of all countries with which the United States has reciprocal copyright relations. All rights, including professional and amateur stage performing, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, video or sound taping, all other forms of mechanical or electronic reproduction, such as information storage and retrieval systems and photocopying, and the rights of translation into foreign languages, are strictly reserved. Inquiries concerning all rights should be addressed to the author at Douglas@dhdrama.com There were three of us standing together when the conversation occurred.  I actually had nothing of value to contribute, so I kept my mouth shut and listened.  The discussion was sympathetic and compassionate, but it was also intense with a palpable undercurrent of emotion.  A closeted gay professor at a religious-affiliated college was seriously concerned about losing his job because of some writing that he had done as a private individual.  Standing there listening, I thought to myself, “this is wonderfully potent material for drama.” The event occurred during the time when Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter were suddenly exploding into the popular culture; and the Patriot Act had America discussing personal privacy issues.  On the one hand, people were freely posting their private lives online, but on the other hand they worried that the government might become privy to too much information.  In addition, the Gay Rights Movement had made steps forward toward marriage equality in a couple of states, but the popular vote in the remaining states (in a post “Will and Grace” culture, I might add) seemed to suggest that America was decidedly against same-sex marriage.  There seemed to be no clear majority of thought on how our society should behave when it came to issues of privacy and issues of sexual orientation.  This was what was in my head when I finally sat down to write “No Such Thing”. What I like about Steven’s character in this play is that he seems to be opposed to the popular notion of what a gay man is supposed to be in the new millennium.  He doesn’t stand as a stereotypical representative of all gay men everywhere – he represents a very real subset of the gay community that doesn’t have as much publicity.  As a matter of personal taste, I’m drawn to stories that help to point out the limits of characters stereotypes (which may explain why I’ve worked so much in senior adult theatre: trying to show the full range and potential of what it means to be an older adult).  Steven’s character reminds us that not every gay man is drawn to the parade. However, Alan’s character won’t let us forget the moral obligation that all of us have to our society.  Putting aside Alan’s sexual orientation for the moment, what he champions, I think, are extremely noble values like promoting articulate leaders and establishing role models.  He has the potential of being a bit aggressive in his behavior, but in any conflict don’t we want somebody who is deeply devoted to supporting their cause?     Although some people see the show as being anti-religious, I didn’t intend to write a criticism of any organized religion.  I wanted to capture the conflict that I saw between political, personal, and religious faiths as accurately as I could.  In fact, although the details of No Such Thing are completely fabricated, I did steal some of the sentences from the original conversation almost word for word.  I don’t fault any of the characters, including Dean Burton, for their convictions.  But I also don’t see how this conflict could have been peacefully resolved given the climate of the early 2000s.  The script was developed with the help of my good friend, Michael Tylo.