One-Night-Only Reading Spotlights Gay Rodeo in ‘That Damn Horse’
March 25, 2021
MOSCOW, Idaho — March 25, 2021 — The University of Idaho Department of Theatre Arts, Department of History and the LGBTQA Office present a one-night-only livestream reading of “That Damn Horse: Stories of the Gay Rodeo” at 6 p.m. Pacific time Saturday, April 10.
Following the reading is a conversation with the creative team and members of the International Gay Rodeo Association.
Written by U of I professors Rebecca Scofield and Robert Caisley and Master of Fine Arts candidates Court Fund and Kendra Phillips, the material is crafted from gay rodeo participants using a theatre-making technique called “verbatim” or “documentary” theatre in which dialogue is attained from interviews, archives and news articles.
The interviews were collected by Scofield’s Gay Rodeo Oral History Project created in 2016. The project has partnered with the International Gay Rodeo Association, the Whiting Foundation and U of I’s Center for Digital Inquiry and Learning, to collect, preserve and retell these vital stories.
Anew play, “That Damn Horse” aims to advance the cause of tolerance and understanding and restore the rightful place of individuals silenced or altogether absent from the traditional narrative of the American West. The reading will be directed by guest artist Gregory Hinton, an author, playwright, filmmaker and lecturer.
“It has been such an honor hearing these stories,” said Scofield, assistant professor of history. “Like so many of our students, many gay rodeoers came from rural places and had to fight to have existence and their history recognized. I hope that telling their stories helps a younger generation of LGBTQ+ people in Idaho and the rest of the rural West understand their own valuable place in our communities.”
Caisley, chair of Theatre Arts, said educators have a moral obligation to address issues of intolerance.
“Theatre is particularly well-positioned to present difficult issues because it quite naturally takes the form of dialectic,” he said. “In a two-hour theatre performance, we can lay out before an audience the subtleties and intricacies carefully distilled from the thousands of hours of testimony archived in the Gay Rodeo Oral History Project. The act of portrayal itself — one individual inhabiting the life of another — honors, validates and affirms the life in question.”
The project is funded by President Scott Green’s Diversity Initiative, the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences and the Department of History.
Admission is free, but donations are encouraged. To register, visit uidaho.edu/thatdamnhorse.
Media Relations, Department of Theatre Arts
University of Idaho
About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at uidaho.edu