DRAMA QUEERS by Frank Anthony Polito

In his debut novel, Band Fags!, award-winning playwright, Frank Anthony Polito, introduced readers to Brad Dayton, the foul-mouthed best friend of goody-two-shoes, Jack Paterno. 
After meeting in 7th grade Varsity Band, Jack and Brad became fast friends thanks to their mutual appreciation of New Wave music, Days of our Lives, and TV mega-hunk, Jon-Erik Hexum.  Together, they went through thick and thin navigating the halls of Webb Junior High as “Band Fags” in the Detroit suburb of “Hazeltucky” during the mid-1980s.  But once the boys got to “Hillbilly High,” they discovered that the label held a truth for them both—more so than the average marching band member. 
Through sophomore and junior years, Brad did his best to convince Jack to be proud of being gay.  But Jack wanted no part of chasing cute boys and hitting the gay bars on Friday nights after football games.  Instead, he pursued a life of popularity, giving up his position as 1st chair trumpet-player during senior year—and as Brad’s best friend—leaving Brad to all but disappear from Band Fags!

Now with DRAMA QUEERS!, Polito shows readers exactly how Brad spent the nine months from September 1987-May 1988 when he and Jack were estranged. 
“A lot of readers contacted me,” says Polito, “expressing an interest in seeing more of Brad Dayton.”  While a sequel to Band Fags! was one way of telling Brad’s story, Polito decided to go back and fill in the blanks.  “I wanted to show Brad going it alone during senior year, finding his way without his best friend at his side.  Just because Jack was no longer there, Brad wasn’t about to lay down and die—not with the world of the Theatre calling!”
An actor himself for many years, Polito earned his B.F.A. in Acting from Wayne State University in Detroit before moving to New York City to pursue a career as a professional.  He has since appeared off-Broadway, and on both TV and in Film, including the soap One Life to Live and the film One True Thing with Meryl Streep and Renee Zellweger.  

In the fall of 2008, Polito landed a featured role in the comedy One Angry Man, starring the legendary Jackie Mason.  Based on the classic drama Twelve Angry Men, Polito played “Iris,” a transsexual juror trying to keep her true identity a secret.  “I’d never done drag before,” Polito admits, “but the experience was a great challenge, and I had a total blast!”  
In DRAMA QUEERS! Polito also revisits key scenes between Brad and Jack from Band Fags!—this time told from Brad’s point of view.  “When you write in the first person narrative, you can only show one character’s side of the story,” says Polito. “I thought it would be fun for readers to go back and see what Brad was thinking and feeling during those important moments.” 
There are also events in Band Fags! pertaining to Brad’s life that readers only get to hear about: his role as “Doody” in the Drama Club production of Grease, his trip to New York City to audition for the Juilliard School of Drama, his time spent working at a local gay bar.  “Now, in Drama Queers!, readers will actually get to see Brad doing these things, and with whom!”  
Part of the reason for fleshing out Brad’s story stems from Polito’s desire to one day see his tale of two friends told onscreen.  Polito received his M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from the prestigious Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in 2006.  The following year, his stage play Another Day on Willow St was named “Outstanding New Play” by Talkin’ Broadway after premiering at the New York International Fringe Festival. 

“Fingers crossed,” says Polito, “the story of Jack Paterno and Brad Dayton will soon be coming to a big (or small) screen near you!”

Find out more at  Frank Anthony Polito

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