The Man With The Floppy Ears - October 22

True Colors Project

 End Notes 

Notes From The Playwrights


The Man with The Floppy Ears was conceived from the passing of the Wales-Padlock Act of 1927 and the Hays Film Production code of 1930 that were both repealed in the late 1960’s but still effect the present day. These two laws banished interracial and LGBTQ+ stories from being produced on stage and in film for forty years.


Without this literary and visual context in our universal collective, it has left young generations of the LGBTQ+ community and large segments of the general populace believing that the Stonewall Riots were some sort of ‘big bang’ giving birth to Queer Culture. The LGBTQ+ community may be more well organized and prevalent than ever before, but the community and its variations of culture has always existed.


During Prohibition, all strata of social classes and segments got to know one another when they were forced to go to speakeasies and other illegal outlets for the same thing; libations of the day. The LGBTQ+ community was particularly strong in the 1920’s not only in New York City but in other large metropolis around the country and in Europe.


With the end of Prohibition and in the absence of bootleggers, the State Liquor Authority (SLA) began a campaign against the LGBTQ+ community and establishments that served them. Needing to justify its existence, the SLA together with the New York Police Department targeted the few places where LGBTQ+ people could gather. This effort is the genesis of police harassment which eventually led to the Stonewall Rebellion in 1969.


The Man with The Floppy Ears is a small contribution to fill the void of LGBTQ+ stories of the 1920’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. In writing The Man With The Floppy Ears, we wanted to tell a story that could not be told at the time. The Man With The Floppy Ears is set against this background, amid the Depression and the threat of a second World War.


It is historical fiction. It speaks of a global pandemic (Spanish flu), police brutality, the Depression and authoritarianism. All of which is eerily relevant to current events happening right now in the United States. It also is a witty play with music, an LGBTQ+ story of love, politics, and survival in Post-Prohibition New York City during the Depression.


As a side note. The character of Miss Esther is modeled after The Lady Chablis, also known as The Grand Empress, who was an actress, author, and transgender club performer. She became one of the first trans performers to be introduced to a wide audience through her exposure in the 1997 film adaptation of the bestselling nonfiction book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.



~Elwhy Jones and Philip Reissman

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