When Matty Met Terrance

When Matt May first interviewed his friend, Terrance Olear, for an assignment in an undergraduate journalism class, Olear was overweight. Olear’s family was Catholic and he was gay and in the closet. His mother had died of cancer one year before. His brother had more recently died of AIDS. Olear’s story got May an A. It was many years later when May stumbled across the assignment by chance; when he did, he reconnected with his old friend. The two soon began shaping Olear’s life stories into a play, which, for Olear, was difficult. “I knew I had things buried and I did not want to dig them up,” he says.

Even now Olear still hasn’t told some of his family members that he’s gay, and in his play, Still Untitled, the main character, played by Olear himself, struggles with that and other gay issues. While putting his life into a play hasn’t solved all his problems, the project has afforded Olear some opportunity for reflection. “Working on this… I think I am starting to come to terms with the things that happen every day,” says Olear. “Life happens to all of us. How we deal with it is another story.”

Check out Olear’s story at Rising Action Theatre, located at 840 Oakland Park Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. Show times are Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m., with afternoon matinees Saturday at 2 and Sunday at 3. Tickets cost $30, and can be purchased at vervecentralproductions.com.
July 23-25, 8 p.m.; Sat., July 25, 2 p.m.; Sun., July 26, 3 p.m., 2009

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Mickie Centrone