Immediate Family

Acclaimed playwright Terry Baum has revived her one-woman play, Immediate Family, and will be performing it through this fall as a fundraiser for the No on Proposition 8 (the CA marriage ban) campaign. She’ll be performing it this Sunday, August 24 at 2pm, at her San Francisco home. Find out where by sending an RSVP to her directly.

Here’s a synopsis:

Virginia, a middle-aged postal worker, visits her comatose lover, Rose, in the hospital.  The tender and often hilarious one-sided conversation reveals the women’s long-term intimacy, their lives outside “normal” society, and the legal barriers which deny Virginia status as a member of Rose’s “immediate family.”  

Immediate Family opened in 1983 to critical acclaim at the National Women’s Theater Festival, and has since been performed in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Israel, Australia, and New Zealand. It has been translated into French, Dutch, and Hebrew.

Immediate Family may remind some ol’ timers of the case of Sharon Kowalski. I sure as hell will never forget it: just as I was coming out, Sharon Kowalski’s case introduced me to the sobering fact that homophobic laws, in the hands of homophobic people, were the very worst threat to me as a lesbian.  (Remember what I said, a coupla months back, about how hard it was to consider that the law might actually protect us, rather than keep us from each other?  This is what I’m talking about.)  Sharon and her partner Karen Thompson had exchanged commitment rings and named one another as insurance policy beneficiaries (about the most you could do back in the early ’80s.)  In November of 1983, Sharon’s car was hit by a drunk driver; she suffered severe brain injuries and her niece, who was in the car with her, was killed. But when Sharon’s family learned of their relationship, they cut off Karen’s visitation access to Sharon, thus launching Karen’s eight year-long battle to win first visitation rights, and ultimately custody. The words “Bring Sharon home” mean something to a lot of us still.

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