The upcoming Tigard Mask and Mirror production is billed as a 'children's play for adults.'

COURTESY AL STEWART PHOTOGRAPHY - 'Anatomy of Gray' opens Friday, May 5.Sarah Ominski brought the play "Anatomy of Gray," by Jim Leonard Jr., with her on a beach vacation about a year and a half ago. Before she even finished reading the opening dedication, she was hooked.

"I get teary-eyed just thinking about it," said Ominski, who is directing the upcoming production of "Anatomy of Gray" for Mask and Mirror Community Theater in Tigard.

That dedication was about Leonard's friend John Geter, an actor who died of AIDS in the early 1990s. Leonard tried to write something for his friend shortly after his death, but found it too difficult — so he put the project away for about 10 years, until he was finally prompted by a dream to finish "Anatomy of Gray."

Both Leonard and Geter were from small Midwestern towns, and Geter's family and hometown neighbors found it difficult to accept the cause of his death, because AIDS was then seen as disease specific to gay men.

"They were upset that he was dying," Ominski said, "yet they were disturbed what he was dying from."

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