The Journey of a Gay Mormon Felon
Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone has secrets. While most of us withhold our life stories and guard our secrets to the grave, one unexpected playwright is sharing his secrets with the world. Spawned from a borrowed pencil and a piece of paper in a jail cell, Kimball Allen began to write what eventually became Secrets of a Gay Mormon Felon. After bouncing back from the proverbial rock bottom, Kimball has become an unlikely hero as the protagonist in his one man play. Recovering from a serious drug addiction, a felony for embezzlement, and a lifetime of mistreatment from his conservative Mormon roots, Kimball has emerged as a critically acclaimed, nationally touring playwright and actor. He has turned his double life into a new life, and now he hopes to inspire his audience members - both as a cautionary tale, and as an emblem of staying true to oneself.
As with most tragic stories, the roots of trauma begin early. The necessity of leading a double life was a skill Kimball learned at a young age. Growing up gay in a Mormon family of ten children in rural Idaho, Kimball was never under the illusion that being himself was acceptable behavior. As an adult, Kimball developed serious problems. He addresses these problems autobiographically in his play. Touching on themes like sexuality, family relationships, rape and suicide, he is clear in outlining the roots of his devastating apex.
Creating art is definitely cheaper than rehab, and in Kimball's case, he was able to journal his way out of one of the darkest periods of his life. These journals evolved into a full-fledged play. And now, Secrets of of a Gay Mormon Felon has traveled far beyond its jailhouse beginnings, with tentative dates in major cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, New Orleans and New York come next Spring.
Perhaps more impressive than his tumultuous roots, Kimball Allen has no formal training as a playwright or actor. "Besides my first grade Christmas pageant where I played a little Christmas tree, this is completely new territory to me." Kimball humorously recalls. "Not knowing rules or being formally trained actually worked to my advantage." His work keeps him emotionally afloat and has proved to be a benevolent substitute for his former vices.
Now that Kimball has a new lease on life he hopes to reach his audience not as a tragedy unfolded, but as an arbiter of hope and tolerance. "I want everyone to leave with a different perspective, but to understand that children are fragile, and when you raise a child there is a domino effect." With every childhood there is residue of both positive and negative events, and in this case he does believe there is an overall theme of resolve and acceptance.
Because of the controversial nature of Secrets of a Gay Mormon Felon, there are many places where the play will not be well-received. Many of Kimball's family and friends are still active members of the Mormon church, and they are not happy with many of the play's themes. Kimball plans to hit the road with his production again in the Spring of 2013, and he is fully anticipating mixed reviews, particularly from the audience in one of his final tour destinations, the highly conservative and Mormon Salt Lake City, Utah. Until then, this one man act will continue to shock, inspire and find congeniality with many onlooking crowds in the coming months.
For further information visit: www.KimballAllen.com
- Chris Caplan
Film & Video |
Food & Wine |
Health & Fitness
Money and Business |
Professional Services |
Style & Fashion
Travel & Leisure
Copyright © 1995 - 2013 inmag.com
inmag.com (on line) and in Magazine (in print)
are published by in! communications, Inc.
There is no shortage of theater in this town!