Jason Leaver, creator, writer and director of Out with Dad, a local web series about a single father and his teenaged lesbian daughter, is launching the 17th episode of the series at the Scarborough Museum on May 1.
Leaver says the series was inspired by a dream in which he was a single father. He woke up wondering how he’d handle life with a gay daugher.
“Obviously I’d be very supportive of her, but I might be a touch overly protective. Annoyingly so,” he says. “That struck me as rather amusing, so I looked into what’s been done like this before. Turns out, not much at all.”
Out with Dad now has more than five million views, with fans in Brazil, Germany, Italy and the US. It recently won several awards at the 2012 Los Angeles Web Series Festival, including outstanding drama series, outstanding ensemble cast and the grand jury prize.
“The beauty of the web-series medium is that we have no one to answer to except the audience. It’s a creator’s medium,” Leaver says. “This is a space where LGBT stories can flourish. Stories are a mirror of life and society. If we don’t see ourselves being reflected, we may not feel we fit into society.”
Episode 17, which was filmed on location at the Scarborough Museum, explores both father and daughter’s romantic lives. Rose visits the museum with a friend to meet her crush Claire. Meanwhile, Nathan is on a second date with Angela.
Actor Will Conlon, who plays Nathan, Rose’s father, finds his role illustrates a parent’s perspective of having a gay child.
“Most people want to be accepted and loved by their parents unconditionally,” Conlon says. “I think this is why Nathan’s character is not only important, but unique. He is supportive of Rose being gay, but, as so many parents of gay children have expressed, he wants to protect his child, which really is his primary job.
“It’s a fine line, I think, for a parent to allow their child to grow into the person they really are, while at the same time trying to protect and prepare them for a world that isn’t always very supportive of our lifestyle choices.”
Actress Kate Conway remembers that when she first auditioned for the role of Rose, she understood how much their personalities stemmed from their youthful age.
“At that age I worried so much about what people thought about me that I would get super shy in situations that I didn’t need to,” says Conway. “After high school, I really did understand how big the world actually is. There is so much potential out there, that if I could tell teenage me how awesome it would be, I’d be a lot more excited for my future.”
The Museum Outing Premiere Event
Meet the cast of Out with Dad
Tues, May 1 at 7pm
1007 Brimley Rd