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Stop Kiss

By Kaitlin Rodriguez

Matthew Burns (Peter) and Mary Rohne (Sara) running a scene from Stop Kiss

Waldorf Theatre’s first black box production of the semester is Stop Kiss, written by Diana Son. The director, Abbie Wells, is the Graduate Assistant for the theatre department. Wells is currently in her last semester before trying her hand as an actor, director, or playwright in the Vancouver/Portland, Oregon area.

In Wells’ own words, “Stop Kiss is the story about two women in New York City that, through their friendship, realize they have feelings for eachother. When they share their first kiss, a hate crime is committed against them. The story jumps between before and after the hate crime, and [shows] how it affects both them and their [identities.]”

She believes that this play definitely relates to society nowadays. “Although we may not be in a huge city like New York City—where people are beat up on the streets because they are gay—there are a lot of different sexual identities and sexualities. Even in small town Iowa…you feel like you have to keep quiet [about your sexuality]…to be safe.”

When choosing a play to direct for her last semester here, Wells looked for a script that had strong female leads. She knew the theatre department had strong female leads who were not in the mainstage show (Picasso at the Lapin Agile), and then narrowed her search to shows that have LGBTQ+ themes since they “have more passion, and [Wells] has more of a [connection] with them.”

“It’s not your average fun loving comedy play,” Wells said. “There are funny parts and we have fun as a cast, but it’s a serious message and it does get across a deeper meaning than your average comedy. I want people to listen…and try to put [themselves] in those characters’ shoes, even if you’re not in the LGBTQ+ community.”

Stop Kiss runs Feb. 22 and 23 at 7:30pm in the black box. Admission is $1.