Syd

Two Acts (~ 120 mins). On the evening of Sunday, June 24th, 1973, thirty-two men perished in a fire at The Upstairs Lounge, a sanctuary bar for working-class homosexual men in New Orleans. On that same evening, several blocks north, nearly a dozen women, including a gifted young nursing student, Sydney (Syd) Trahan, were taken into custody and charged with lewd and lascivious conduct for dancing together at...
Two Acts (~ 120 mins). On the evening of Sunday, June 24th, 1973, thirty-two men perished in a fire at The Upstairs Lounge, a sanctuary bar for working-class homosexual men in New Orleans. On that same evening, several blocks north, nearly a dozen women, including a gifted young nursing student, Sydney (Syd) Trahan, were taken into custody and charged with lewd and lascivious conduct for dancing together at Brady’s, a notorious lesbian bar in the French Quarter. Hopeful that the deadly fire and the controversy surrounding its multiple victims might overshadow Syd’s arrest, Bud, a reputable blacksmith, and Helen, a God-fearing woman, do everything in their power to curtail the impact of their daughter’s transgression on their seemingly near perfect lives.
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Syd

Recommended by

  • Vince Gatton:
    25 Oct. 2021
    Until the Pulse nightclub massacre, the 1973 Upstairs Lounge fire in New Orleans was the worst single incident of mass murder of gay people ever recorded. In SYD, Craig Houk builds a compelling family drama on the periphery of that horror, as two families struggle through the uncharted waters of having gay adult children when such a thing could barely be mentioned. The Trahans and Larsens are written with humor, salt, specificity, and empathy, people doing their best, even when their best is not good enough -- or is actually, in fact, the worst. A compassionate and thoughtful work.
  • Ross Tedford Kendall:
    21 Oct. 2021
    This play renders vividly portrays a real, horrific incident while still contrasting it with a touching family drama. What I particularly like is the playwright's ability to convey the events that happen offstage without resorting to tired exposition. Instead, these are rendered immediate and emotional through the characters. The characters themselves are well drawn and I truly lost myself in their story.
  • DC Cathro:
    20 Oct. 2021
    Based on actual events, Houk spins this family tale about being in the closet with a flair for drama and dialogue. It’s a powerful tale of tragedy that sometimes rolls along at a leisurely Southern pace, only to turn in unexpected directions. Intricate relationships unfold and shift and will draw you in. Great stuff.

Awards

Honorable Mention
,
Dominion Stage Playwriting Completion
,
Dominion Stage of Arlington County
,
2021