In the opening moments of Richard Greenberg’s 2002 play ‘Take Me Out’, the main character, Darren Lemming, a star center fielder for the fictional New York Empires baseball club, makes the matter of fact announcement that he is gay. This revelation provides the basis for the play’s dramatic action, as Greenberg uses this scenario to delve into the multiple meanings of baseball, identity, and sexual orientation. The play, which won several major awards (including a 2003 Tony), remains popular among regional and university theatres; it presents a “safe” image of homosexuality to its heteronormative audience through the nostalgic lens of baseball. In this paper I will examine how Greenberg plays with the narrative and cultural tropes of baseball while simultaneously undercutting his original premise and reinforcing both gay stereotypes and heterosexual fears of gays in sport.
|Keywords:||Theatre, Baseball, Homosexuality, Nationalism|
Assistant Professor of Theatre, Theatre Department, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, USA