Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-08-26
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

AIDS Scott McPherson: Life Catches Up to Art
by Owen Keehnen
2011-09-21

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Scott McPherson was born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1959. He began acting in high school and went to Ohio University, where he majored in theater and dance. It was there that he first had a play produced, a one-act version of his slapstick farce 'Til the Fat Lady Sings. Since his death, Ohio University has named a theater space in McPherson's honor.

Moving to Chicago in 1981, McPherson wrote for local television and acted with four theater companies, performing in productions such as Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart, The Shrew, and The House of Blue Leaves. A new version of his earlier play, 'Til the Fat Lady Sings, was produced in Chicago by Lifeline Theatre.

McPherson wrote Marvin's Room when he was first diagnosed as HIV-positive but was still healthy. He wrote it on the back of commission reports at his day job. Marvin's Room is a unique blend of absurd humor and powerful emotion centering on the plight of Bessie, a woman diagnosed with leukemia after having spent much of her adult life caring for her sick father, Marvin, and her dotty aunt, Ruth. It is about a caregiver suddenly finding herself in need of care. The dark comedy resonated deeply in the era of AIDS without ever mentioning the disease. It was produced in Chicago at the Goodman and Victory Gardens theaters, both of which have since established playwriting awards in McPherson's name. Marvin's Room was then performed at Hartford Stage in Connecticut before moving to New York City, where it was produced at Playwrights Horizons and eventually the Minetta Lane Theatre.

Frank Rich of The New York Times called it "one of the funniest plays of this year as well as one of the wisest and most moving." Marvin's Room received numerous accolades including the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play, the Outer Critics Circle's John Gassner Playwriting Award, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play, the Dramatists Guild of America's Hull-Warriner Award, and even Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Obie awards to Laura Esterman for her performance in the play.

McPherson was living every writer's dream, and by this time he was also living with AIDS. Oddly, Marvin's Room had become almost a foreshadowing of his own life as McPherson began caring for his ailing lover, the activist and political cartoonist Daniel Sotomayor, while dealing with his own AIDS diagnosis and failing health. "It was like my life was catching up to the play," he said. Yet despite his illness and despite the eventual death of his partner, McPherson never became bitter. Instead, he struggled through his illness with a strength, humility and humor reflective of his work.

After the success of Marvin's Room, McPherson was contracted by Norman Lear's Act III Broadcasting for a script, the screwball farce Legal Briefs. Before his death, McPherson also finished a draft of the Marvin's Room screenplay for Robert De Niro's Tribeca Productions. The film was released in 1996 and starred Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, and De Niro.

When McPherson died from AIDS-related complications on Nov. 7, 1992, at the age of 33, the theater was robbed of an extremely talented and vital young playwright.

From the book Out and Proud in Chicago: An Overview of the City's Gay Community, edited by Tracy Baim ( Agate/Surrey, 2008 ) .


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Homeland Security raids Rentboy.com offices in New York 2015-08-26
NIH: Research at crucial point in AIDS pandemic 2015-08-20
Conference to look at HIV and the trans community 2015-08-19
AIDS Legal Council holds annual summer benefit 2015-08-18
Proud to Run presents $40,000 to community beneficiaries 2015-08-12
Sports briefs: Kickball registration; AIDS Run & Walk; Rodeo 2015-08-12
Conference to look at HIV and the trans community 2015-08-10
Peller, Rice-Minoso honorary grand marshals 2015-08-09
Survey to assess needs, realities of transgender people with HIV/AIDS 2015-08-06
Chicago groups get $3.8M CDC grant for HIV targeted testing program 2015-08-05
SPORTS AIDS Run & Walk; XS Tennis, Lacoste partner 2015-08-05
Webinar discusses latest issues involving women and PrEP 2015-08-04
New amfAR report lists state priorities for national HIV/AIDS goals 2015-08-02
White House updates federal HIV/AIDS strategies 2015-07-30
New AFC initiative focuses on women of color 2015-07-29
CDC awards $3.8 mill to local agencies for 5 year HIV prevention partnership 2015-07-24
Protestors decry HIV/AIDS cuts 2015-07-22
amfAR launches comprehensive database of planned HIV/AIDS funding 2015-07-22
Upcoming: Sports hall of fame; Auction of Jenner torch; AIDS Run & Walk 2015-07-22
Chicago House awarded comprehensive federal HIV grant 2015-07-17
Man gets 30 years for HIV exposure 2015-07-17
AIDS Run & Walk Chicago to support 36 HIV/AIDS groups 2015-07-17
Man gets 30 years for HIV exposure 2015-07-14
HIV doctors, lawyers, community call for reform of Missouri HIV law 2015-07-13
Ride For AIDS Chicago raises $600,000 2015-07-13
Smithsonian adds AIDS research pioneer Krim's portrait 2015-07-10
Participants prepare for Ride for AIDS Chicago 2015-07-07
PrEP advocates respond to AHF ads 2015-06-21
Zachary Quinto Joins Foundation for a National AIDS Monument Board 2015-06-12
Free HIV testing June 14 2015-06-12
Open Door to hold Grand Opening of Elgin Health Center 2015-06-04
Study to look at quality of life for older, rural HIV-positive adults 2015-06-04
Chicago House, Center on Halsted deny merger talks 2015-06-03
Harmony, AFC bring awareness to testing, treatment, holistic health needs 2015-06-03
Daylong summit to focus on long-term HIV/AIDS survivors 2015-05-31
Missouri HIV case gets national attention 2015-05-20
Gay HIV-positive singer lives life out loud 2015-05-20
AFC marks thirty years of action 2015-05-17
Black gay man found guilty by Missouri jury of "recklessly infecting" 2015-05-15
Health news: HIV/AIDS column; HIV/AIDS Response Act; HBHC seeks boardmembers 2015-05-13
 



Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.