I recently sat down to interview Eddie Korbich, currently starring in the play, Tru, at Pittsburgh Public Theater. Within moments of meeting Eddie, it was clear: TRU is a show not to miss. His expressive face and story-telling ability made interviewing him a joy.

Truman Capote may be the very first unapologetically out queen, who lived in a time when gay people in general, lived quiet closeted lives. Tru is the story of a specific few days in the life of Truman Capote, perhaps America’s first openly gay celebrity. Truman Capote is, a part of a history every queer person ought to know, and yet this story– his story as portrayed in the play, is a universal one, and will resonate with anyone.

I went into our interview wondering– is Truman Capote someone that today’s audiences will know, and what will they know of him, past, the ability to name a few of his novels?  For too many, the notion of “gay” begins at Stonewall. Queer people didn’t just materialize in 1969. Rather they existed outside of what we would call a gay community, and the richness of their experiences is both interesting and telling.

But this isn’t a story about gay people or even a history of gay people. It is a poignant story about a few days in the life of a brilliant genius, displaying his highs and lows and all the beauty and nightmare that is his raw self. In this regard, his sexuality is possibly the least interesting aspect of him. For most everyone, Tru will strike a note on some level or another.

I asked Eddie, what drew him to this role, and when did he know that he had to do this show? And unlike some actors, who make it out like playing this one role is all they ever dreamed of, he was honest and described how he came to embrace the role the more he read, and how he loved the beauty of the play’s writing which mixes the playwrights words with Capote’s own. I can think of plays I’ve seen that were written, and then those which were really well written. I get the difference and as he described how the writing drew him, it drew me in as well.

I wonder if Truman Capote is someone that today’s audiences will know. When Tru was first performed, audiences would still have been aware of Capote, but what about now, in 2016?

Seems to me they will fall in love with the raw human-ness of this person regardless of what they already know or not.

But here I’m writing a queer blog. So I wonder how his outness, his sexuality, and his celebrity affected his writing. How much of his genius grew from this, and what allowed this amazing man to find his voice so clearly that he produced such a large collection of masterfully written material? Certainly his celebrity status was in a large part connected to his– what RuPaul would call creativity, uniqueness, nerve, and talent. Capote was it, long before anyone deemed anyone a fierce queen.

Go for the history lesson. Go to see a wonderful actor bring this amazing character to life. Go to eavesdrop on Capote’s ups and downs. Just make sure you go.

Tru is currently running at Pittsburgh Public Theater.

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