When the four principal characters of Adam in the Morning, who are, many of them, connected through a local repertory production of The Tempest, come off what is for them a world-transforming moment, they sit on the roof outside Bo’s bedroom window and watch the sun go down, talking, considering what they want the world to be like now. They’ve fought the New York cops to a standstill for two nights running, even if they don’t know what they want yet.
Bo and Andrew, who are lovers, have been experimenting, since they first met in a class on What is a man? at Alternate U on 14th Street. Andrew had said in that class, “The gender roles most of us have been taught enslave us to ways of thinking and acting that aren’t native to us. We want to be free. I want to be free, but I am not free, and that is why I am here at this class. I want to be in a room with other men, and I want to talk about how it feels, not to be free.” This suggests their method: ask questions, discuss possibilities with each other, take risks, reject the orthodox, see what works.
But this isn’t easy, and Bo shows how hard it is. It is really natural to want the other man to make a promise. “I don’t know. I think it is hard because I want to control the future, be together always, have this always. I want you to promise me that this will never change.” They resist the effort, because it is their freedom that defines them.
Bo and Andrew gather friends, an actor who plays Caliban in The Tempest, another who plays Ariel, a woman, Belle, who wants a baby, and a street kid, who hasn’t had a home since she was kicked out when she was thirteen.
They press on. They have another night of fighting the cops, and then they have huge questions to answer. How are we to conduct our relationships now? What do we attack first, the NYPD? the SLA? the federal government? Or do we attack the idea of monogamy?
What we see, during the five days of the Stonewall Riots, is four men and two women beginning the process of constructing a new world.