In honor of our 20th anniversary, we are reflecting on some of our most popular and pivotal shows from the last two decades. This week, we discussed the magic of WE 3 LIZAS with its director AFT Artistic Associate, Scott Ferguson. Read on to learn more and stay tuned as we share AFT history every week throughout our 20th Anniversary campaign!
Help us reach our goal of raising $25,000 by August 31st in support of our 20th season!
In 2012, Bonnie Metzgar approached playwright and AFT Artistic Associates Scott Bradley and Ferguson with an artistic challenge: to create a queer Christmas show…in only a few months. For many artists, this would be laughably insurmountable, but Metzgar knew who she was talking to. That was how WE 3 LIZAS came to be.
Ferguson, Bradley and the incredibly talented composer Alan Schmuckler took a seed of an idea in August and grew it into a full-fledged, wacky, fun show by December. Ferguson reflects on the artistic process of LIZAS saying, “When you’re creating a new play, the final product always feels like you’re having a baby. Opening night comes and it’s painful and then it’s there out in the world and everyone can see it…and it was a pretty baby.” Ferguson goes on to recall that more than any other show in his memory, people who came to see it would reach out to him to say how much they loved it, throughout the run…throughout both runs actually.
“The magic holiday spirit that is created in that show was so unconventional. People came to the theatre not knowing what to expect and would leave kind of with their brain exploded…’I can’t believe how crazy, kooky, fun and weird and beautiful that story was.’”
For all its wonderful zaniness, LIZAS also possessed a tremendous amount of heart. It was fun, but also moving, and it wasn’t the same old holiday show by any stretch. It was uniquely AFT and a show for anyone in the queer community that maybe never really felt fully a part of holiday celebrations. It created a place to call home for a couple of hours, and that in and of itself is one of the reasons why we still celebrate it now.