Angry Fags

by  Topher Payne

Full Length Play, Dark Comedy  /  3m, 4f

“Payne gives us two likeable killer queens whose road to domestic terrorism is paved with Paula Deen jokes […] Witty, dark, and disconcerting.” - Out Magazine

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    3m, 4f
  • Duration


    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre


    Not Applicable
  • Accolades


    Gene-Gabriel Moore Playwriting Award
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

Bennett is really trying to keep it together right now. He broke up with his boyfriend and moved in with his best friend, Cooper. It’s election season, and he’s the speechwriter for Georgia’s only gay state senator, who’s engaged in a bloody campaign against a conservative darling. Then Bennett’s ex is attacked in the parking lot of a gay bar. Bennett and Cooper are informed that the assault can’t be classified as a hate crime – because in Georgia, hate crimes against homosexuals don’t legally exist. Their frustration and fear eventually turn to rage as they realize “acceptance” simply isn’t enough. They’re still living in a society that relegates them to second-class status. They’re not respected. They’re not feared. It’s time for that to change.


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"Topher Payne's uncompromising Oscar Wilde-meets-Fight Club fantasia." - American Theatre Magazine 

"A gay gentleman's guide to love and murder [...] Filled with tension but laced with moments of black humor and rigged with unexpected twists and turns." - Chicago Tribune

"(Payne) softens the blows with his wickedly fine talent for one-liners, yet there's a heaviness in the room. His laugh lines are balloons weighted to earth like sandbags; that's the yin and the yang, the push and pull of Angry Fags." - ArtsATL 

"Payne gives us two likeable killer queens whose road to domestic terrorism is paved with Paula Deen jokes [...] Witty, dark, and disconcerting." - Out Magazine

"It is, quite simply, one of the best plays of this or any year." - Atlanta Theatre Buzz

"Undeniably relevant and hard-hitting." - The GA Voice

"A must-see [...] The show addresses serious subject matter in an empathetic and sensitive matter, with a generous helping of relatable humor." - 


Our Picks For The 2019/20 Season
Lawrence Haynes
January 7, 2019


Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Professional Theatre
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups


  • Caution Alcohol Alcohol
  • Artboard 3 Gun Shots
  • Caution Intense Adult Intense Adult Themes
  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language
  • Caution Nudity Nudity/Partial Nudity
  • Caution Smoking Smoking

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $90 per performance



  • Time Period: Contemporary, Present Day, New Millennium/21st Century
  • Duration: More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting:

    Several locations around Atlanta, GA.

  • Additional Features: Stage Combat, Multimedia
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


3m, 4f

BENNETT RIGGS - 30s. Speechwriter for a state senator. Cautiously optimistic, affable. Conflicted.
COOPER HARLOW - 30s. Bennett’s roommate. Caustic, clever, unpredictable. A fancy badass.
SENATOR ALLISON HAINES - 40s. A former activist, now the only out lesbian in the Georgia State Senate. Pragmatic, thoughtful, flawed. A dedicated public servant now wondering what happens when she’s no longer celebrated by the public.
KIMBERLY PHILLIPS - 30s. The senator’s office manager, a married mother of two. Good-humored, quick, overworked. Probably really enjoyed her early twenties.
ADAM LOWELL - 30s. The senator’s chief of staff. Undeniably appealing and charmingly square. Likely owns a lot of books about Bobby Kennedy.
PEGGY MUSGROVE - 40s. The senator’s opponent. Genuine, witty, nimble. A black female Republican, with all the conflicts and potential advantages that implies. She’s found a way to weaponize being othered.
DEIRDRE PRESTON - 50s. A local broadcasting legend. Has the shrewd and discerning eye of a brilliant woman who believes her best days are still ahead of her.

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Cast Attributes

  • Role(s) for Black Actor(s)
  • Multicultural casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)



Topher Payne

In 2014, The American Theatre Critics Association awarded Topher Payne’s play Perfect Arrangement the M. Elizabeth Osborn Prize for Best Play by An Emerging Playwright. The play went on to be produced Off-Broadway in 2015 by Primary Stages and MARS Theatricals, and was a finalist for a 2017 Lambda Literary Award. He wa ...

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Angry Fags originally premiered at 7 Stages in Atlanta, GA (Heidi S. Howard, Artistic Director) in February 2013 under the direction of Justin Anderson.

A revised version of the work premiered, again at 7 Stages in Atlanta, GA (Heidi S. Howard, Artistic Director) in March 2019 under the direction of Kate Donadio MacQueen with Ibi Owolabi.

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