Harvard’s Secret Witchhunt



Nick Westrate (centre) plays the corrupting Congressman’s son, Ethan Roberts | New Civil Rights | 14456

In 1920, when a one-time student of Harvard committed suicide, it sparked a secret investigation and witch hunt to weed out all “inverts” and “homosexualists” from campus, ultimately damaging or destroying dozens of lives. A series of articles in the Harvard Crimson about the files of “Secret Court, 1920,” sparked national attention in 2002 and ultimately this play by Plastic Theatre, writes reviewer Michael Glitz on the play Unnatural Acts.

“We quickly meet the circle of friends who congregate in Perkins 28, a room where gay romps take flight or more to the point, where the men feel free to discuss the possibility of gay romps or just be themselves. Edward Say (a nicely fey Jess Burkle) is the clearly gay sort of man who brazens it out by never trying to hide his specialness, to the point of wearing rouge. His stiff but curious roommate Joseph Lombard (played by Will Rogers, who has a great name and an appropriate understated delivery to go with it) both warns Edward about seeming “too much” but is also drawn to the brash boys almost as much as he’s silently drawn to unattainable jock Kenneth Day (Roe Hartrampf, convincing in every way as a conflicted object of desire).”



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