TCR - In 1895, Oscar Wilde was sentenced to two years hard labor for the crime of "gross indecency." The trial, the events leading up to it, and the surrounding discourse about the place of morality in literature, is the topic of Moises Kaufman's play Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde.
TCR's production is timed to coincide with their production of The Importance of Being Earnest, Wilde's most famous play, which is taking place on the mainstage through February 18th. Gross Indecency will be in the more intimate Grandon Studio. It is directed by Jason Alberty and features Kevin Burford, Andrew Clancey, Bryant Duffy, Paul Freese, Matthew James, Keith Kenel, David Morton, Greg Smith and Mike Wilhelm.
The plot follows three separate trials, drawing heavily from the original court documents. In the first, Wilde sued the Marques of Queensbury for libel - Queensbury had depicted Wilde as a "posing sodomite." The defense, however, was suspicious of Wilde's relationship with Queensbury's son, as well as critical of Wilde's apparently immoral art. In a second trial, which resulted in a hung jury, Wilde was accused of "gross indecency" and spoke movingly in defense of "the love that dare not speak its name." In a third trial, Wilde was convicted and imprisoned, which was a serious blow to both his career and his health.
Moises Kaufman, using the style of documentary theatre made famous in The Laramie Project portrays these events within a historical perspective, examining the social and philosophical implications, but also with passion and a sense of tragedy.
Gross Indecency opens February 10th, in the Grandon Studio, and runs until March 3rd. Tickets can be purchased here.