Thursday, May 25, 2017

“Love Is Love Is Love”: From Buffy to Battle Lines

By Natalie Lifson

       As Lin Manuel Miranda accepted his 2016 Tony for Best Score for Hamilton, he famously recited an original poem in honor of the recent Orlando Pulse shooting. "Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love” he emotionally stated, "cannot be killed or swept aside.” Lin’s words, however, are not only relevant in the realm of life, but in how we represent queer characters in the media.

In order to establish a world in which love is indeed treated as love regardless of who is doing the loving, we must first normalize non­ heterosexual relationships. Often, queer characters will be written only by queer people, and when they are written by straight people they are two dimensional characters who exist as a plot device for the purpose of their sexuality rather than as a whole person. It is time we started writing rounded characters who happen to be queer­ traditional love stories that revolve around love regardless of sexual orientation, not love stories that revolve around sexual orientation.

 The first well­ known example of a non­-sensationalized lesbian relationship on television was Willow and Tara on Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Willow had been a main character on Buffy for multiple seasons by the time she came out as a lesbian and embarked on a relationship with Tara. Willow and Tara were both whole, well­ developed characters; their love story was not treated any differently than straight love stories had been. While that does not sound as remarkable as it is, Willow and Tara’s romance was introduced to the show in 1999 and a relationship of that nature was unprecedented on television. Not only this, but Willow and Tara shared the first ever televised lesbian kiss.

          While representation has greatly improved since 1999, the media still struggles with writing well­ rounded queer characters who are not defined by their sexual orientations. However, Battle Lines, a new play by Steven Meeker Jr. that will appear in the Strawberry One-Act Theatre Festival on 7/13, 7/16, 7/19, and 7/22, does an excellent job of contributing to the positive representation and normalization of queer relationships. Meeker beautifully manages to write lesbian characters without writing a story about what it means to be lesbian. Rather, these two woman engage within their relationship just like everyone else. After all, as Lin said, “love is love is love.”


BATTLE LINES By Steven Meeker, Jr.

The honeymoon phase of Stacy and Mia’s relationship has officially passed after two weeks. What really crosses the line?

Thursday, July 13th at 7pm
Sunday, July 16th at 3pm
Wednesday, July 19th at 7pm
Saturday, July 22nd at 5pm

Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 7pm
  • BATTLE LINES by Steven Meeker, Jr.
  • THE WAITING ROOM by Jack Pepper
  • LITTLE INVISIBLE BACKPACKS by Magdalena Cychowski
  • BANGING ON THE KEYBOARD by Crystal Cabrae
Sunday, July 16, 2017 at 3pm
  • BATTLE LINES by Steven Meeker, Jr.
  • A PLAY ON WORDS by Albert Repicci
  • BISCUITS by Sacha Elie
  • EXTRA ORDINARY by Melissa Myers
Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 7pm
  • BATTLE LINES by Steven Meeker, Jr.
  • VAGINA RIGHTS by Shaneisha Dodson
  • TREFFPUNKT by Natalie Lifson
  • A NIGHT AT STONEWALL by Anthony Fusco
Saturday, July 22, 2017 at 5pm
  • BATTLE LINES by Steven Meeker, Jr.
  • VAGINA RIGHTS by Shaneisha Dodson 
  • TREFFPUNKT by Natalie Lifson
  • EXTRA ORDINARY by Melissa Myers

Tickets: $25 Online, $27 at the Box Office
(Cash Only at the Box Office)
Premium Seats: $30 Online, $35 at the Box Office
For tickets click here.   Box Office: 646-623-3488

At the Theatre at St. Clement's
423 West 46th Street, NYC
Between 9th & 10th Avenue

Writer, Natalie Lifson


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