Dr. John Fryer, a seminal but little-known LGBT civil rights pioneer, is the subject of a the play 217 Boxes of Dr. Henry Anonymous, by Ain Gordon, to be presented May 3-9 at the Jerome Robbins Theater at the Baryshnikov Arts Center (450 West 37th St.). Gordon, an Obie award winner, will also direct.
Before 1972, homosexuality was considered a mental illness in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). The classification was used by government to justify statutes and regulations that marginalized homosexuals. Fryer gave testimony at the 1972 APA annual meeting that led to homosexuality’s removal from the DSM.
Originally commissioned by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and underwritten by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the production is presented by Equality Forum, a national and international LGBT civil rights organization. For tickets ($40) and more information on Fryer, visit 217Boxes.com, or call Ovationtix at (866) 811-4111. All performances are at 7:30 p.m. and run for 70 minutes.