Topher Payne Discusses His New Shows ‘Rome In Love’ And ‘Entertaining Lesbians’

Topher Payne's latest Hallmark movie "Love in Rome" is currently on the Hallmark Channel.
Topher Payne's latest Hallmark movie "Love in Rome" is currently on the Hallmark Channel.
Credit Philippe Antonello/Crown Media

Atlanta playwright and screenwriter Topher Payne has kept himself busy this summer with a new Hallmark movie and show. His movie “Rome in Love” was released last Saturday on the Hallmark Channel. The film puts a modern twist on the classic Audrey Hepburn film “Roman Holiday.”

The film follows an avocational actress, named Emilia, who is from Oregon and works as a barista. There is an international search for an actress to portray the role of Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday.”

Emilia is cast in the role and that takes us to Rome, Italy for pre-production on the film. We follow her for the week prior to rehearsals and shoots. An American journalist who works for an Italian magazine is assigned to the responsibility of writing Emilia’s profile and introducing her to the world.

“We hear these stories about actors who come out of no where and there’s these major discoveries, but they didn’t just come out of no where, they came out of a place you weren’t paying attention to,” said Payne about his love of the main character.

His show “Entertaining Lesbians” is his latest production that will take us to the stage this weekend. The show is being produced as the first in a planned series at Out of Box Theatre called “Beta Test Performance Series,” which will put the work in front of audiences for an extended preview period, but will not officially “open” with a full production.

The show follows Rowena Tuttle, a cisgender heterosexual white woman, who is looking to get her daughter into a prestigious, uber-exclusive school. In order to get her daughter admitted into the “School for Young People,” she needs to diversify her friend group.

Rowena decides to pursue a friendship with Atlanta’s most powerful lesbian couple. To her dismay, forging a friendship and helping her daughter is a bigger challenge than she expected.

You can see “Entertaining Lesbians” Aug. 2-17 at Out of Box Theatre.

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