PSR Former Student Creates Musical about New Orleans Tragedy
UPDATED - In 1973, 32 people died in an act of arson in a gay bar in New Orleans. Wayne Self, Pacific School of Religion former student and playwright/composer created Upstairs-The Musical about this little-known tragedy. He has this to say about the event: "People should know about the love story for the ages that played out as the bar began to burn. People should know that a woman and her two sons perished in the fire. In a gay bar.
People should know that the victims came from all walks of life: preachers, hustlers, soldiers, musicians, parents, professionals, and more. People should know that, while no one was ever arrested for the fire, there was a primary suspect whose motives and rationales may have been far more complex than the typical ‘hate crime’ narrative."
Wayne Self is an activist composer and playwright whose musicals explore the spiritual lives of people who live outside society’s prescribed gender behaviors.