Del Shores is tackling a new feat: the one-man-show. The celebrated playwright will perform his newest production Six Characters in Search of a Play at Birmingham’s Terrific New Theatre from May 17-18.

The Alabama stop is a promising one for the 60-year-old. Originally scheduled to do one performance, the show quickly sold-out. For Shores, it’s the fastest city on the tour to do so.

Most might recognize Shores for his fourth stage play Sordid Lives, a semi-autobiographical production that follows a Texas family after the death of their matriarch. The play has since become a cult classic in the LBGTQ community, spawning two films and a short-lived television series on Logo TV.

The winner of 14 Drama-Logue Theatre Awards, Sordid Lives made its Los Angeles debut in 1996. With seven award-winning productions to his name, you’d think that lauded playwright would be tired of being recognized for one body of work. For Shores, that’s far from the truth.

“I don’t mind that ‘he’s the guy that wrote Sordid Lives’”, Shores joked in a phone interview. “It’s ok that’s the first thing that people will remember me by, but I’ve written a lot of other material but I’m happy when there’s something successful and a part of gay culture and the life and are quoted.”

He teased incorporating bits from the infamous play into the 90-minute-production. So, why a one-man show? Despite his extensive catalogue of work, the one-man-show format is something foreign to the screenwriter whose writing credits include “Queer as Folk”, “Dharma & Greg”, and “Touched by an Angel”. Inspired by a unique encounter, Shores remembered telling a friend that he had to find a way to incorporate them into his big project.  A play seemed befitting.  A solo performance was a challenge.

“I thought instead of doing another stand-up tour, I would really love to return to the theatre and write and perform a one man play,” Shores explained “It sounded so easy at the time…it was a lot of work to memorize it because I’m just used to holding a mic and talking shit. I had to memorize. I had to honor the playwright.”

However, the title might be a little misleading. Directed by Emmerson Collins, a mainstay of Shores, the production boasts 20 crazy personalities, each with their own unique quirks and mannerisms.  The execution was far from effortless.

“When your performing and it’s just you and you’re literally having a conversation,” Shores said. “You’re playing two people having a conversation with each other, it’s not the easiest thing. Placing them on stage and the direction…I know which cigarette hand they use.”

Shores, who is openly gay, isn’t shy when it comes topics regarding sexuality and religion, especially since he uses the Bible belt as the backdrop to his plays. The son of a preacher, he joked that he often performs better in red states, rather the blue ones. Six Characters is no different. The show might rattle a few bones, but Shores knows how to make the crowd laugh.

Characters range from “Aunt Bobby Sue”, the racist Republican, to “Yvonne”, the anti-vegetarian waitress from Dallas. It’s a crazy ensemble, but their stories are often untold. A critic once wrote that Shores’ work speaks on the “Forgotten people”, something that the playwright initially detested. However, in hindsight, that was exactly what he was doing.

“There are so many people in the hinterlands, whether they be gay, straight, or whatever, you know,” Shores said. “They’re just living simple, beautiful lives that every now and then someone needs to shine a light on them. I feel like I get to do that.”

Six Characters in Search of an Play will run at Terrific New Theatre, located 2821 2nd Ave S St A at 8 P.M. Tickets can be purchased at




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