Well, my new adventure began on Sunday. This time the show is Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde by Moisés Kaufman. It is, oddly enough, about the three gross indecency trials of Oscar Wilde at the end of the 19th century.

If that doesn’t ring a bell, Oscar Wilde, the great English author and playwright (The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest) was put on trial in the 1890s for being what they called a sodomite. He was homosexual before that word was even coined. And it was illegal.

Anyway, this play is about those trials. It’s very talky and intellectual and kind of a tough show to do right.

The idea is to use about nine male actors to present about forty different characters, including women. It’s a tough task. I know. I’ve done it with The Laramie Project.

That’s why I’m pretty excited about the show. Because it’s tough to do it right.

The role of Oscar Wilde is, naturally, an important one. But some of the utility actors (people who must play multiple roles) have to be really good.

The problem isn’t just multiple roles, it’s multiple British accents, too. Good, believable British accents are not really that easy to do.

For an American audience, Kaufman has really set up for community theatre what could become a campy Monty Pythonesque British send-up. But this play is a serious, often uncomfortable drama where actors must change from gruff English ruffian into Queen Victoria within a page. That’s tough to pull off without it being funny.

That challenge excites me.

So tonight is the second night of auditions. Tomorrow will be callbacks. The play will be cast Wednesday morning and our first read-thru that night.

I love starting a new show!