NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Writers often rely on personal experiences for inspiration.
It's happening for a recent Stephen F. Austin State University graduate whose semi-autobiographical play is revealing a personal truth.
East Texas News visited with playwright and actor Bobby Britton to find out why he's sharing on stage his very personal journey of self-discovery.
The play "Closed for Repairs" written by and starring Bobby Britton is about the playwright's quest to be honest with himself.
"The play is about my personal experiences with reparative therapy," said Britton, who graduated from SFA.
Just prior to entering SFA, Britton chose to pursue the controversial and reportedly dangerous therapy to change sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual.
"It led me to some of my darkest moments, but it also has allowed me to enjoy some of the greatest joys of my life," Britton said.
The journey is Britton's play.
"On prom night Kimmey kissed me," Britton's character says in the play. "And then I opened my eyes, and there pressed against my face was this girl who wanted more than what I was really prepared to give her."
"This was never a choice that this character made," Britton said. It was actually a choice he tried to fix in his life as far as his sexuality goes, where he felt like it wasn't OK for him to be anything other than straight."
Britton eventually came to terms with his sexuality, sparked when his mother almost died from a massive heart attack. It's Britton's toughest scene to share.
"And I let go of everything else," Britton's character says in the play.
However, acceptance in the Bible Belt wasn't easy for a man who grew up in the church.
"I think the best thing that has happened in this process is that we did a workshop performance of it in my hometown of Lake Jackson, and after the show someone came up to me and said, 'Your play made me think of things that I never considered before,'" Britton said. "And so I hope that if I don't change people's minds, I hope there's a conversation that gets started about it."
Britton will soon become a graduate student at Boston's Emerson College. Best of all, he's happy.
"Much happier," Britton said. "I feel like I am exactly who, what and where I'm supposed to be."
A preview performance of "Closed for Repairs" will be Tuesday at 7:3 p.m. in the Recital Hall at the Wright Music Building. Then on August 1st, the play travels to Scotland.
"The Fringe" is considered the largest and most prestigious performing arts festival in the world.