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Religion, Homosexuality Takes Stage in 'The Contract' This Weekend

By Roderick Smith
On February 1, 2012

The Essential Theatre presents "The Contract," a play that wrestles with homosexuality, an issue that is usually swept under the rug in the black church.

"At many churches when this issue arises it's kept a secret," said James Walker, a fourth year criminal justice student, from Fort. Lauderdale.

Playwright and FAMU alum James Webb searches for the correlation between "Gay and God."

The lead character is a married pastor with homosexual desires he secretly dates men hired by his wife who refuses to lose her congregation and image to her husband's wants and habits.

The pastor proclaims his right to the practice of homosexuality at his Birmingham church.

"In my three years at FAMU, I haven't heard of a play that touches on a diverse topic of this sort until now, I think it is going to be interesting and relevant to what is going on today in churches, and is going to raise a lot of questions," said John Mason, a third-year engineering student from Jacksonville, Fla.

A forum is scheduled immediately following the 2 p.m. matinee performance on, Feb. 4. The topic is "Homosexuality and the Black Church" led by FAMU religion program faculty members Velma Love, A. Nevell Owens and Webb.

"The Contract" will feature James Webb, Kiahran Adams and Marci Duncan.

General admission is $12 for adults, $9 for senior citizens, $7 for students and $5 for FAMU students with valid ID, according to the FAMU website.

"Instead of going to the RedBox this weekend I'm going to go check out the play," said Alexis Sangria, a second-year nursing student from Miami.

The box office is located on the first floor of Tucker Hall and will be open only the days of performance.

The Ronald O. Davis Acting Studio is in an intimate space. Arriving 30 minutes prior to curtain is recommended for seating. For more information, call (850) 561-2425.

Show runs tonight, Thu., Fri. at 8 p.m., Sat. 2-8 p.m., Sun. at 3 p.m.

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