At First Sight: Uncle Play

By Jayne Deely

Directed by Andrew Borthwick-Leslie

Now in its tenth year, At First Sight will feature two new plays by M.F.A. playwrights Jayne Deely and Visiting Assistant Professor of playwriting, Diana Grisanti. In the Festival’s culminating weekend it includes scenes by undergraduate writers and a staged reading of a new play by our first-year M.F.A. playwright. Students are joined by the Katy Bigge Kestner Festival Guest Artists, industry professionals who provide their insight and expertise throughout the weekend.

Jayne Deely’s Uncle Play, which serves as their thesis, is a vaudevillian journey of love, grief, and community through time. A titanic debate of queerness within multiple generations of the same family that asks ‘how do we both honor the work of those on whose shoulders we stand while also taking ownership of our moment?’ Witness Uncle and Niece, desperate to make the time they have left matter, ask the big questions that the language of theatre was made to answer. 

Running Time: One hour and thirty-five minutes with no intermission

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Welcome to the Uncle Play webpage

Thanks for attending our production of the world premiere of Uncle Play. On this page, we've assembled some items to extend the play's conversation. Additionally, visit our Mezzanine Art Gallery to see some of the work of our At First Sight designers!

First, if you haven't already had a chance, please read the production program. The program has information about the cast, crew, and designers as well as notes from the playwright, director, and dramaturg. 

PROSCENIUM.jpg  Read more about the Uncle Play team

"In every play I write, there is a character who is me. Uncle Play is just one end of the spectrum. All writers are, in some way, writing their experience . . . it just shows up really differently." - Jayne Deely


Listen to these interviews about working on Uncle Play:

  Explore some queer history

"As a theatermaker, when you're writing about a marginalized community (even if it's one you belong to), one of the best questions you can ask your sources is, "what does most history get wrong about this?" Or "is there any framing or stereotypes I should be sure to avoid?" 

  Find out more about gendered language

"If you do not have the way to express yourself in the way you see yourself, it can lead to really deep psychological and mental consequences . . . This is why language matters so much." 

  Find out more about queer issues

"It was like the lightbulbs went on, the choir of angels was singing, and the light was shining down on me. And that was really the first inkling that I had of the gender spectrum, that you didn't have to be one or the other. You can be both or neither." 

  Read more about AA's process

"There is at least one in every family—a relative who has a not-too-subtle problem with alcohol. Maybe they're always making a fool of themselves at family gatherings, maybe they just can't seem to keep a job, or maybe they're always getting into one legal scrape or another, all because of drinking."