Cal Yeomans




An award-winning trailblazer in post-Stonewall gay theater, Cal Yeomans had critically-acclaimed plays produced on both coasts and inChicago in the late 1970s and early 1980s. However, he explored sex and sexuality so directly that it made his work difficult to produce even in the gay community. Yeomans burst the boundaries of what was considered acceptable in legitimate theater. As he explained in an interview in The Advocate, "I'd like to demystify sex into freedom. I think we should have the freedom of pornography if we need it for artistic purposes. Why not."

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Cal's first major success was ''Richmond Jim''. It premiered in San Francisco at the newly formed Theatre Rhinoceros and was selected as the Best Gay Play of the Year (1979). It received the Cable Car Award for Outstanding Achievement in Drama when it was revived in 1980. It was also produced in Portland,Oregon, and was chosen to play at the First National Gay Arts Festival in New York City.

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"Schanke's book is a recovery project, a gesture that remains necessary for all the gay men of the theatre whose stories have yet to be unearthed and shared.

Yeomans's important life-story deserves to be told. Schanke does him justice, crafting a narrative that pulls you along from its hopeful beginning to its sad end, and giving the reader a vivid taste of the power of Yeomans's plays along the way." --Jill Dolan,Director, Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies,Princeton University.