OuterStage presents OUT-Words: Following the Fresh Fruit Festival’s 15th Anniversary featuring Doug DeVita

Louis Lopardi has spent a decade and a half bringing high-quality work to one of the better off-off Broadway houses. He, along with All Out Arts, celebrate – through the lively arts – what it means to be LGBTQ in NYC! 

This year, the chorus of brilliance is well-worth discussion. OuterStage will speak with some of the featured authors at this year’s festival. All performances take place at the air-conditioned Wild Project, 195 E. 3rd St. (btwn Avenues A & B) in the East Village. Tickets to all productions are $18 at web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/527.


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Opening night: Wednesday July 19 at 6:30; Saturday July 22 at 4:30;
Sunday July 23 at 3:30, performing at The Wild Project

IMG_0854“In the canon of works that include The Boys in the Band, Torch Song Trilogy, and Falsettos, DeVita’s play, The Phillie Trilogy, will stand proud… and equal”  columnist and reviewer, Bob Green, about Doug DeVita‘s play, which receives its first full production at the Fresh Fruit Festival this summer.

downloadWinner of Scrap Mettle Arts Emerging Playwrights competition, The Phillie Trilogy looks at homophobia through the eyes of its title character, Philip “Phillie” McDougal, over the course of more than 40 years. It played to a standing room only crowd for the inaugural performance of David Beck’s Finding the Queer Voice at 13th Street Repertory Theater.


Growing up gay in the “fabulous” 70s was no picnic for the precocious Phillie McDougal. Through nuns, priests, bullying classmates, parents and – years later – the realization his best friend may not be the person he thought she was – he lived to tell the tales, with results no one bargained for… including him.

image1 (2)This first fully-staged and designed production features in the cast Carole Monferdini, winner of an Obie Award for The Club, directed by Tommy Tune, stood by for Diana Rigg in The Misanthrope on Broadway, and appeared in Charles Busch‘s Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, off-Broadway (to name a few); with Terri Kelsey who won a Fresh Fruit Award of Distinction for her performance in Doug DeVita‘s play, The Fierce Urgency of NOW at last year’s Fresh Fruit Festival and celebrated cabaret artist, Karen Irwin. The youngsters of the cast are equally prominent: Bonale Fambrini, was one of the Royal Children in the recent Lincoln Center revival of The King and I; Maeve Press appeared in Before Your Very Eyes at The Public Theater in New York; and featured is film actor, Daniel G. Cunningham.

David-SabellaDavid Sabella, who originated the role of Mary Sunshine in the smash-hit revival of Chicago (currently running at the Ambassador Theatre), will head the cast. Sabella will play both the grown up Phillie, and his father, Pete McDougal. While best known for Chicago, David Sabella also appeared off-Broadway in Jules, Kiss and Make Up, Hexed, So Long 174th Street, Foxy, and Watch Your Step. A winner of the Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition, his opera work includes productions Die Fledermaus at Lincoln Center, Giulio Cesare, and L’ incoronazione di Poppe. He is currently on the Voice Faculty at Montclair State University, Fordham University, and the Open Jar Institute. He also offers private instruction at Sabella Voice Studio (www.sabellavoice.com).

Directed by Dennis Corsi (winner of a Fresh Fruit Award of Distinction for his production of The Fierce Urgency Of Now, as well as a Best Director Award for …Nell Dash…)

iconsquare4D4D21AC-A379-C1F5-4E84B93FB6D8C665But the biggest star in a DeVita work is the tart and tangy wit that his soaring dialogue features atop deeply moving and personal stories.

Fierce-1His play,  The Fierce Of Now, won a Fresh Fruit Award of Distinction for Outstanding Play last year.

Other moments in the sun for DeVita include an O’Neill semi-finalist for Just A Rumor (co-written with Gary Lyons).His comedy The Gruesomely Merry Adventures of NELL DASH, An Irrepressibly Sensible Capitalist With A Vengeance recently ran at the Hudson Guild Theatre as part of Winterfest ’17.

CusXmFSVMAAZQhbLet Me Entertain You Again, the cabaret show he wrote for Lane Bradbury (the original Dainty June in Gypsy), is enjoying a highly successful engagement at Don’t Tell Mama, where it will return in the fall.

The Fresh Fruit Festival is presented by All Out Arts to celebrate the LGBTQ community’s unique perspective, creativity & diversity, and to build links between the LGBTQ artistic communities, be they local or international. Running July 10 – 23, this year’s festival features an exhilarating mix of full-length plays, musicals, short works, and cabaret.



The DeVita camp has a fundraising campaign going full -swing. If you liked the fact that Disney and Spiderman are on Broadway, keep walkin’

If you want to see the tide change to memorable and masterful works… GIVE.



This guy doesn’t us to praise him… that’s going on all over New York. but I wanted to meet him and get a few of those witty words for my column, so…

For all great playwrights out there, what inspires you as an artist?

I watch people, in all their hilarious, appalling, touching, and infuriating glory, and they inspire me to filter what I see through the lens of my own hilarious, appalling, touching, and infuriating memories and experiences.

How do you feel about the commercial world as opposed to independent theater?

It’s the only game in town unless you’re extraordinarily rich and/or well connected. I don’t mean that to be as snarky as it probably sounds; independent theater is one of the few places left where one can carve a niche for themselves in today’s star-driven, theater-as-theme park environment. It’s a place to take risks, where you can see your work come to life in conditions that, while sometimes less than optimal, nonetheless allow you to see what you’ve got without the high-stakes, one-shot, do or die pressure of a commercial production, and you can either run with it or go back and fix it. And that’s a gift.

How has the landscape of indie theater changed over the years/decades? And has it changed for any group more than another (Broadway World pointed out a increase in older women playwrights and producers in OOB, as an example) 

The talent pool has increased tremendously over the last few years; more and more Equity actors, many with substantial Broadway, TV and Film credits, are willing to work at this level because not only do they want to work, they also seem to relish the challenges of working on roles they would otherwise not have the opportunity to play, in scripts that would probably never see the light of day otherwise, and with young, creative, hungry directors – many of whom have the talent and potential to be the leading directors of the future.

Guess it looks like indie theater is winning. Well, with quality artists and quality playwrights… 

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