April 27, 2022

“Perfect Arrangement” on Stage at Heritage Center

OUT OF THE CLOSET: The cast of “Perfect Arrangement,” about gay couples in the 1950s, which is on stage at Heritage Center in Morrisville, Pa., through May 8.

The Philadelphia-area premiere of screenwriter and playwright Topher Payne’s comic drama Perfect Arrangement brings a coming-out tale to the Heritage Center stage in Morrisville, Pa., presented weekends through May 8 by the nonprofit ActorsNET theater company.

Communists weren’t the only ones hunted during the “Red Scare” of the 1950s. Gays and lesbians were also targeted as threats to the U.S. as part of the “Lavender Scare.” “Coming out of the closet” was almost unheard-of, as it could easily end a career or even a life. And no one even considered the possibility of gay marriage.

“Topher Payne’s script is a romp,” said ActorsNET Artistic Director Cheryl Doyle. “In it, two U.S. State Department employees, Bob and Norma, are assigned the task of ferreting out ‘sexual deviants’ within their department. Unbeknownst to their boss, they are both gay. To keep their personal lives private, they marry each other’s partners and live in two adjacent apartments that conveniently share a closet. This allows them to appear to be ‘traditional couples’ to the outside world by simply switching places through the closet — that is until their pompous boss and his ditzy wife come to visit.”

Dinner with the boss leads to a series of complications that interweave sitcom-style comedy and challenging drama, as the couples come to realize they can’t rely on their closet forever.

The Heritage Center Theater is located at 635 N. Delmorr Avenue in Morrisville, Pa. The show runs through May 8 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Ticket reservations, including seat selection, are available at actorsnetbucks.org.