Psychologist Puts Skills to Work in Regional Premiere at The Foundry

  • This content is brought to you in partnership with Ronnie Larsen Presents and Plays of Wilton (POW!)

Erynn Dalton (left), and Sandi Stock portray a lesbian porn star and her obsessed fan in a play by Bayla Travis making its regional premiere at the Foundry in Wilton Manors. Credit: Courtesy.

In the movies and on television, psychologists make great detectives, profiling their suspects, digging into the deepest and sometimes darkest motivations for their crimes. In real life, licensed psychologist Bayla Travis does somewhat the opposite – using her training and clinical experiences to create engaging characters for the stage.

When she’s not working with her clients, she’s writing plays that have been performed around the world. This week, Women of Wilton (WOW!) presents “The Dyke and the Porn Star,” an intriguing comedy that Travis began penning 30 years ago.

The Oakland, Ca., resident got her start in theater while still young and living in North Carolina.

She recalled in an email interview, “I tried to be a theater kid. But after my first experience on stage in the sixth grade I didn't think I had what it took to make it.”

When she was 18, she left for New York City, “hoping there would be lesbians everywhere. Which was true, especially compared to North Carolina, but there wasn't enough lesbian theater.”

Travis joined the only lesbian theater in town and wrote “Parlor Games,” which she described as “the kind of play I wanted to see, which was ladies in turn-of-the-century Vienna waltzing together in period costumes while on breaks from playing dangerous games together.”

“When I moved to San Francisco in the early ‘90s, there was a lot of queer performance art about sexuality,” she added, “but something was missing for me. And that thing was a compelling story. So, I decided to create a play that explored aspects of lesbian desire where the audience could get to know the characters, their motivations, and struggles.”

Today, “The Dyke and the Porn Star” could also be viewed as a period piece, a snapshot of queer life in San Francisco at that time. In the play, dyke-about-town Chance gets to meet her favorite porn star, Tara Gold. Chance's fantasies could either come true or send her on a collision course with the actress’ own most personal unfulfilled erotic yearnings. This dark sexy comedy is as complex as it is hot.

Writing the play turned out to be relatively easy: “Since I was very young, I have been interested in both being creative and understanding the intricacies of human interaction. So, writing is a natural extension of spending a great deal of time training, researching and trying to make sense of my own life and the lives of others.”

Yet, the play still evolved over time, beginning as a 10-minute piece with just the first two scenes that debuted in a staged reading session. Travis then expanded it to a one act performed as a late night show that regularly sold out. 

“Audiences were usually under a dozen people for late shows, and I was shocked to see a line around the block when I arrived,” she recalled. 

Later, a second act was created to allow Travis to explore the characters more deeply and take the story further. This all took place from 1994 to 2003.

Now making her South Florida debut, “I hope audiences have a great time,” she said. “If they are inspired to think about or talk about the nature of attraction, and maybe put their own work out in the world, that would be great, too. Queer visibility has grown by leaps and bounds since this play was conceived 30 years ago, and there are still so many more great stories to tell, especially from marginalized parts of the community. We've only seen the tip of the iceberg of queer art.”

Women of Wilton (WOW!) presents the regional premiere of “The Dyke and the Pornstar” by Bayla Travis, March 16 – April 2 at the Foundry, 2306 N. Dixie Hwy. in Wilton Manors. Tickets are $37.50 at

This content is brought to you in partnership with Ronnie Larsen Presents and Plays of Wilton (POW!)


Phone: 954-514-7095
Hours: Monday - Friday 9AM - 2PM


2520 N. Dixie Highway,
Wilton Manors, FL 33305



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