project image
Scott Hug

first performed on May 29, 2019
The Stud, San Francisco, CA
performed once in 2019


Cliff Hengst, Laurie Reid, Diana Cage, Ari Banias, Trisha Low, Dia Felix, Hope Mohr, Randall Mann, Margit Galanter, Mara Poliak, Claudia La Rocco, Anne Walsh

Oakland, CA / San Francisco, CA


“Box of Rain” centers on a fax machine that turns out to be a portal to hell. As he tells it, the play was commissioned for a gallery show called “Fax.” The women and gays of his San Francisco art gallery flit about in their own minor dramas (e.g. are Jason and Ryan lovers, or father and son?) until they realize they can communicate with their dearly departed—including Pablo Picasso and Thomas Kincaid—through the magic of faxing.

Our performance functioned as the kick-off for my poets theater series at The Stud and as a release party for Stage Fright, the long-awaited collection of Kevin’s plays. It was a dream to direct one of his plays, and he eagerly volunteered to act, to help cast, everything short of rehearse, which is a staple of my practice rather than his. As the performance date drew near, Kevin emailed the cast photos of past productions and filled my inbox with details and notes for this stunner of a play. I had one stroke of genius, which was to have dancers “play” the titular fax machine. The choreographers created a movement score that kept them on stage throughout the entire play, adding another level of chaos to the farce, to the wild celebration of Kevin at The Stud that night.

It became clear to me how sick he was after all of this was already in motion. Remarkable how the cast tended to the project, in our single rehearsal and more broadly in our growing awareness that this would be Kevin’s final performance. The show became a tribute, even a kind of living memorial. The Stud was packed the night of the show, with several attendees in from New York, Chicago, and Kevin was up, up, up, giving an incredible star turn.

Among his infinite talents, Kevin wielded a brand of earnest hyperbole that transformed everything that caught his eye. Our play in the gay bar felt like the art event of the season. He wrote to me: “I will be starting chemo a day or two after the performance, and so I am nervous, but also ecstatic to get the chance to imagine that, even if worse comes to worst, I can look forward to one, final, sensational show—thanks to your care and vision. I’m like a beauty blogger—I ‘can’t even.’”