Cynthia Nixon will direct a groundbreaking lesbian play produced by Lily Tomlin and Ellen DeGeneres

Nixon will direct "Last Summer at Bluefish Cove" which was written by Jane Chambers in 1980 and although it was well received, never made it to Broadway.

Cynthia Nixon

Cynthia Nixon will direct a Broadway production of “Last Summer at Bluefish Cove”. The groundbreaking play by Jane Chambers debuted Off-Broadway in 1980.

With Nixon at the helm, the production is backed by Ellen DeGeneres and her wife Portia de Rossi, Lily Tomlin and her wife Jane Wagner and four-time Tony Award-winning Broadway producer Harriet Newman Leve.

The story follows a number of lesbian women who are enjoying their usual summer holiday in the fictional seaside town of Bluefish Cover. A straight woman joins the group unexpectedly after leaving her husband.

During its original run, the play was lauded by critics and audiences for its well-rounded representation of lesbian women at a time when they were invisible in mainstream theatre productions.

“None of the women in this play apologise for being lesbians,” Chambers said in an interview with The Times in 1981. “They accept it and go on to lead productive lives. I don’t know why that should be a threat to people.”

The play will open later this year. The cast, creative team and theatre have yet to be announced.

LGBT+ representation continues to rise in mainstream media. According to GLAAD’s the Where We Are On TV annual report, LGBT+ characters on the small screen made up 10.2% of series regulars on shows in the United States.

In spite of this, many LGBT+ theatre critics still feel there is a lack of lesbian representation on the stage.

In an article in The New York Times, Elisabeth Vincentelli wrote:

“The discrepancy between the visibility of gay men and the invisibility of gay women is frustrating, but sadly not all that surprising.

“To begin with, if female writers, composers and directors are underrepresented on the biggest American stages, then gay ones have their work cut out for them. It’s like being hit by theatrical double jeopardy.”

Let’s hope the arrival of “Last Summer at Bluefish Cove” to the Broadway stage marks a trend of more lesbian stories being told.

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