Orlando Lopez, BFA (film studies) 13, is the social media collaborator for the oldest English-language theatre company in Montreal, Centaur Theatre Company, as well the social media director for Brave New Productions. Both companies have presented many queer-themed productions in recent years and Lopez has been there on the ground, helping promote the shows to both queer and straight audiences.
What are you doing now?
Orlando López: “I am preparing for the upcoming new season at Centaur, notably Choir Boy, which opens on October 9. It was written by openly gay playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney. He also co-scripted the 2016 Oscar-winning film Moonlight, which was based on his own play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue.
I am very proud to be working on this show, as I was to work on Michel Tremblay’s queer-themed Hosanna, remounted by Montreal’s Tableau D’Hôte Theatre last season. Then during Montreal Pride this summer, I worked on the Canadian premiere of Tony-nominated playwright Martin Sherman’s 2017 off-Broadway show Gently Down the Stream, which was produced by Brave New Productions.
These plays show how far we have come as a community.”
What does being part of the LGBTQ community mean to you and how does it play into your work?
OL: “We all need to see our lives reflected on the stage. As an out and proud gay man, I feel privileged to work on these gay-themed productions because representation matters.”
What was your Concordia experience like?
OL: “School can be tough but my Concordia experience was excellent. I met teachers and friends who really shaped my life. I joined the Concordia Out Collective, where I eventually became co-president. We renamed it the Concordia Queer Union and reinvigorated that safe space. I learned a lot, in class and about queer activism.
One year, I hoped to see a person of colour on the cover of The Link newspaper’s queer issue. So I successfully pitched the idea to have two guys kissing on the cover. My friend Colin and I necked for a 20-minute photo shoot — and that made the cover. That was a win. That made me happy.”