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Midland Center for the Arts presents Human Rights Activist & Playwright, Ricardo Perez GonzalezIn an ever-changing climate burdened by injustice, inequity and news headlines that make our society feel so divided, Midland Center for the Arts is dedicated to engaging the community and shifting perspectives on different backgrounds and issues impacting the world we live in today. The Center is dedicated to offering diverse programming that caters to every interest and age group, and events that promote diversity, equity, inclusion and access in the Great Lakes Bay region.
While the performances on our stages are mesmerizing and draw us in from the moment the lights dim, it’s the masterminds behind these creative pieces who inspire us to keep learning and evolving, such as Ricardo Perez Gonzales.
In his own words, Perez Gonzales calls himself a “Puerto Rican writer, activist, wannabe woodland creature, and sex positive Queer Gurl of Color.” His Instagram is filled with posts supporting the LGBTQIA+ community, rainbow flags, and organizations like The Trevor Project. His creative work reflects his passion for activism and breaking the status quo.
His play, “On the Grounds of Belonging” was inspired by a conversation between him and two black men named Michael and Stanley. They told him about their experiences at two racially segregated gay bars in Houston in the 1960s and he used their stories and his additional research as the foundation for this groundbreaking play.
In a piece he wrote for Long Wharf Theatre, Perez Gonzales described the message in this play as “urgent.”
“The importance of queer love in times of resistance and the ongoing threat to Black bodies feels more urgent today than I wish it did,” Perez Gonzales said. “Stories like this belong in our larger cultural narrative. Now is the time to reaffirm that U.S. history is queer history.”
An advocate for human rights on and off stage, Perez Gonzales is making an impact by writing about influential topics, his works include: “Inside Out” which raised awareness about anti-bullying, “La casa de Ocaso” about a transgender family and “Losses and Gains” about gay male body image.
The award-winning writer’s next project is an exclusive virtual event with Midland Center for the Arts on October 28 as part of the Virtual Pass. During the one-night event, attendees will be able to watch the playwright give craft suggestions to a local playwright as part of the Center’s Masters Series. Single Event Tickets are available online at midlandcenter.org or by calling the Box Office at 989.631.5930, or you can subscribe for the Virtual Pass for just $9.99/month.