An inanimate child’s toy becomes the source of family crisis in the new gay-themed play “The Boy and the Pink Bear,” making its world premiere June 20 here in Atlanta.
The second play by local writer Ted Johnson turns on an innocent act: A five-year-old African-American boy starts playing with a beloved possession, a pink bear. His father, Jake, does not react well, projecting that this means that the kid will grow up to become gay.
What Jake doesn’t realize initially is that his brother Bill is dealing with his own household issues – his star football player son is involved with another man. The two brothers do not have a strong relationship and there’s an eventual tragedy before the entire family is able to come together and make some sort of peace.
“The Boy and the Pink Bear” is based on a real experience where Johnson’s own son — 16 months old at the time — started playing with a pink bear.