Anthony Green’s ‘GAY Love Jones’ to celebrate queer love, DC, and poetry

'There can never be enough queer romance in this world,' says the playwright, 'because the people deserve it.'

GAY Love Jones opening on August 25 is the latest play from Cagedbirds Productions, a DC-based film/theater company that affirms the Black queer lived experience on screen and onstage. Writer and director Anthony Green is most known for his hit play When Boys Exhale, which was a tribute to the legendary film Waiting to Exhale (1995). Green’s version centered the lives of Black gay men and featured such themes as HIV, mental health, and friendship. When Boys Exhale has toured from DC to Nashville, Atlanta, and Houston.

Like Green’s previous play, GAY Love Jones takes a beloved film from Black culture and adds a uniquely LGBT perspective. The beauty of this show is not that it remakes Love Jones (1997). It tells its own story but in a way that captures the spirit of the original with Easter eggs and clever references. Says Green: “The key was not to replicate the movie but to understand how and why the movie works to create something new that only operates in the same way.”

‘GAY Love Jones’ show art courtesy of Cagedbird Productions.

Ranked as one of Lambda Literacy’s top emerging playwrights, Green has a talent for tackling tough subjects that are humorous but also thought-provoking. “I wanted to do something that celebrates queer love, DC, and poetry!” says Green. “There can never be enough queer romance in this world because the people deserve it. Also, DC truly loves poetry. This play is a love letter to the city, and poetry is the best language to do that in.”

The plot of GAY Love Jones follows the staff of the fictional poetry spot The Sanctuary as they find heartbreak, chosen family, and love in many forms. Enjoy unforgettable spoken word performances that explore the many facets of Black LGBTQIA+ life through characters so real that they feel familiar. Will The Sanctuary become just another safe space taken from the District too soon or will this time be different?

This production partners with organizations such as Us Helping Us, Capital Pride, ViiV Healthcare, DC Arts and Humanities, and Speak Out to make this event possible. There will also be local Black queer artists with vending tables at the performance. This is a moment to bring the community together to showcase the talents of the community.

GAY Love Jones plays August 25 and 26, 2023, presented by Cagedbirds Productions performing at THEARC Theater, 1901 Mississippi Ave SE Washington, DC. Purchase tickets ($25–$50) online.

Anthony Green’s entertaining and moving ‘When Boys Exhale’ returns to DC
(review by Gregory Ford, July 25, 2022)
What it means ‘When Boys Exhale’: A Q&A with Anthony Green (interview by John Stoltenberg, June 24, 2022)


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