BOYSTOWN — When the Winter Olympics in Sochi kick off Friday, at least one group in Chicago will be watching closely for how gay athletes manage the notoriously anti-gay policies of Russia.
Local writing company Pride Films and Plays will be presenting three plays after the Olympics that highlight the issues that gay athletes must deal with, and all the writers plan to update their screenplays with current events that happen during Sochi, said David Zak, executive producer of the group.
Gay equality may be moving forward in the United States with policies like gay marriage, but in the rest of the world, "it's terrible," Zak said.
"People are really curious to see what happens," Zak said of the Olympics. "This situation in Russia has alerted people with a magnifying glass that gay equality in the world is not as good as it is here."
Already, gay rights protests are breaking out over homophobic violence and anti-gay laws in Russia. This week, AT&T became the first major corporation with ties to the Olympics to speak out against the discrimination.
The event on Monday, Feb. 24, "SOCHI: Three Plays About Gay Athletes and The Olympics," will include a discussion on what happened over the course of the Olympics.
Three plays will be read at the Center on Halsted's Hoover-Leppen Theater, 3656 N. Halsted St.
"Olympic Fever" is about a figure-skating champion named Roberto who, "in a moment of terror," debates whether or not to get on the plane to Russia because of anti-gay violence.
"Commemorative Edition" features a boy who comes of age during the Olympics and realizes sports are the only way to communicate with his father.
And "Hoya Saxa" follows two athletes in a locker room as one of them recovers from an injury.
"The writers are poised on the edge of their seats, saying 'If something happens, let's incorporate it in the show,'" Zak said. "The joy of theater is that it can happen in very quick response time to events in the world."
Tickets cost $10, $5 for students or seniors.