When he was in his early 20s, actor and writer Robert Galinsky remembers constantly walking past a group of homeless guys who used to hang out on the steps of the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, Connecticut – frequently screaming and yelling at each other. At first, he didn’t pay much attention, but, once he did, their poetic vulgarity drew him in. When he started hanging out with them, he learned they were much more than “the zombies” he originally envisioned. “They were human beings with depth and emotions and relationships, with desires and needs and interesting histories,” Galinksy says.
Those subjects shaped his play, The Bench, A Homeless Love Story. Running at the Conyers Rockdale Council for the Arts Blackbox Theater August 4 to August 6, it’s a one-man show written and performed by Galinsky, based on true stories of five homeless characters and the chaos that ensued when the AIDS crisis hit in the ’80s, affecting one of them.