American family dynamics shown in play ‘Iron Kisses’


    Becoming your parents is a nightmare scenario for a lot of people, a nightmare which playwright James Still brings to life with his one-act-play “Iron Kisses.”

    Laura Saladino, a senior theatre acting emphasis major and director of “Iron Kisses,” said what she loves about the play is how Still effectively incorporates numerous themes that many audience members will relate to.

    “Love: difficult, hard like iron,” Saladino said.

    “Iron Kisses” is a four-character play performed by Andrew McGlothen, a senior musical theatre emphasis major, and Storey Hinojosa, a junior musical theatre emphasis major.

    The play tells the story of an American family with a gay son who tries to compensate for his sexual orientation by being perfect, a daughter who relates to her own child in the same way her mother treated her, a mother who struggles to love both her children in the same way and a father who did not played a limited role in his gay son’s life.

    Still structures the play so that the audience can see the children ultimately become their parents, Saladino said. No two siblings view their parents the same way, and this is emphasized in how both actors perform the parental roles,

    “I imagine that people will want to see this play,” Saladino said. “’Iron Kisses’ is so easy to relate to. The themes of love, regret, loneliness and hope are all things that every human being has an understanding of.”

    Senior theatre acting major Scott Moffitt said one interesting aspect of “Iron Kisses” is that the actors performing not only play siblings, but both parental roles in turn. This is an acting mechanism that makes “Iron Kisses” stand apart from other plays, he said.

    “There is more to ‘Iron Kisses’ than an average American family’s internal isolation,” Harriet Power, the associate artistic director at Act II Playhouse, said. “Billy’s sexuality is merely one component to the play. Barbara’s story is just as compelling as Billy’s is.”

    “Still is a splendid human being, full of generosity, curiosity, and compassion,” Power said. “For me, ‘Iron Kisses’ has an autobiography feel to it because Still proudly identifies himself as a gay man, and if I understand it correctly, some of the family dynamics in the play are familiar, perhaps even personal, to him. Yet the play leaps considerably beyond autobiography or simple realism.”

    “Iron Kisses” opens Oct. 20. For more information, visit TCU Theatre’s website.

    Iron Kisses
    Where: Studio Theatre
    TCU Walsh Center.
    When: Oct. 20 – 21 at 5:30 p.m.
          Oct. 23 at 2:30 & 7:30 p.m.
          (no performance on Oct. 22)

    Tickets are on sale now.