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Beverly Playwright's 'All Mixed Up' Centers On Biracial Lesbian Pregnancy

By Howard Ludwig | October 14, 2016 12:48pm | Updated on October 17, 2016 6:09am
 Paige Taylor (left) plays Carrie and Taylor Mason X is Beth in John Enright's
Paige Taylor (left) plays Carrie and Taylor Mason X is Beth in John Enright's "All Mixed Up," which opened Friday at the Prop Thtr in Avondale.
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BEVERLY — Beverly playwright John Enright's latest work, "All Mixed Up," centers on a biracial lesbian couple expecting their first baby and in the midst of a serious rift.

The two-act play runs through Nov. 6 at the Prop Thtr in Avondale. Tickets to the 1½-hour show at 3502 N. Elston Ave. cost $15.

At the center of "All Mixed Up" are Beth and Carrie, a lesbian couple who have just had a fight. Beth, a black woman, is nine months pregnant and just walked out on Carrie, who is white.

The play is set in the lobby of a hotel where Beth, a hairdresser, has retreated. The pair have decided to have a mixed-race child — allowing both parents to be represented. But Beth secretly sought a black donor and has yet to tell Carrie, a lawyer.

"They are trying to see if they can patch it up or not," Enright said Wednesday.

The couple has put off their wedding until after the baby comes. And the father of the child — a sperm donor — is also on the scene and, "kind of likes the idea of being a proud papa," said Enright, adding that Beth ends up having contractions on the stage of the 50-seat theater.

Enright's most recent play follows "O'Brien & O'Brian," another romantic comedy. This show was performed last year as part of the New York International Fringe Festival after its 2013 Chicago debut at the Dream Theater Co. in Lincoln Square.

Enright, a graduate of St. Ignatius College Prep in University Village, wrote poetry and fiction for years before taking a 2001 course in playwriting with the Chicago Dramatists in West Town. He decided to make the switch after receiving praise for the dialog in his fictional stories and criticism for his descriptive paragraphs.

But in playwriting, the dialog is everything, and Enright prefers stories that make people laugh. His first play, "Collision Course" is a rhyming story about a woman who refuses to accept a kidney from her estranged sister because of their political differences.

Enright said the success of "O'Brien & O'Brian" gave him the confidence to pursue his latest work. And he is considering submitting "All Mixed Up" for other New York theater festivals as well as perhaps performing the show in Beverly.

The original version of "All Mixed Up" was a 10-minute play called "Just Testing" written for the Dream Theatre Company’s Theatre of Women 8 festival. And Enright is also considering expanding his latest 10-minute play into a full-length show.

"Kitties in Space" debuted in March at the Doing Drugs and Dying in Outer Space Short Play Festival. This short show was performed in the basement of the Iridium clothing store in Wicker Park.

It tells the story of a pair of intelligent cats high on catnip who are invaded in outer space by two cocaine-snorting mice. Both sides fight over a doomsday device.

"The audience loved it," he said.

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