Legendary Playwright and NYC Gay Activist Doric Wilson Dies At Age 72

Legendary gay playwright and LGBT activist Doric Wilson, (pictured left) an early figure in New York’s Off-Off-Broadway scene died on  May 7, according to friends. He was 72 years old.

Wilson was one of the first resident playwrights at the legendary Caffe Cino in Greenwich Village, where in 1961 Wilson opened his comedy And He Made A Her, followed by three more hits including Pretty People, Babel Babel Little Tower and Now She Dances!— which dealt head on with the trail of Oscar Wilde—helped establish Joe Cino’s hole-in-the-wall as an offbeat theatre mecca. Later in the 1960s, Mr. Wilson was one of the first playwrights invited to join the Barr/Wilder/Albee Playwright’s Unit and, with fellow Cino alum Lanford Wilson, Circle Repertory Theatre. His other plays included In Absence, Turnabout, The West Street Gang, A Perfect Relationship and Forever After.

Wilson was present on June 28, 1969, the night when the famous Stonewall Riots broke out but at that time was already an active participant in the anti-war and civil rights movements.. Following the riot, he became active in Gay Activist Alliance and, as a “star” bartender, helped open post-Stonewall gay bars like The Spike, TY’s and Brothers & Sisters Cabaret.

In 1974, Doric Wilson, along with Billy Blackwell, Peter del Valle and John McSpadden, formed TOSOS (The Other Side of Silence), the first professional theatre company to deal openly and honestly with the gay experience. “I was involved with Circle Rep at the time,when it suddenly occurred to me that I could use the Cino experience to combine my talents with my politics. I could focus my life and abilities to promote a theatre dedicated ‘to an honest and open exploration of the GLBT life experience and cultural sensibility.‘”

In 2004 Doric Wilson was honored to be one of the Grand Marshals of the 35th Anniversary Pride Day Parade in New York City. He is featured in the documentary film “Stonewall Uprising” (2010).

Doric Wilson is and always should  be remembered a one of the original activists and fighters for LGBT Equality.

Rest In Peace Doric and Thank You.  –  via:  Playbill.com

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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