On June 24, 2011, one of the most important moments in the history of marriage equality, and in the long-running fight for equal rights in the LGBT community, took place. On that day, the New York State Assembly passed The Marriage Equality Act, which allowed same-sex couples to legally marry. On June 24, the State Senate passed the bill, which was instantly signed into law by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The event garnered worldwide attention, and inspired Tina Cesa Ward, writer, director, and executive producer of the award-winning, popular web series ANYONE BUT ME (along with writer and executive producer Susan Miller) to write and direct the 5 episode web miniseries, titled GOOD PEOPLE IN LOVE, released on Blip.tv in November of 2011. The miniseries, which takes place on the night that marriage equality was passed in New York, portrays the story of two couples: one straight, and one lesbian, as seen through the eyes of a man, Scott (Jesse Wakeman), and a woman, Sarah (played by Rachael Hip-Flores, best known as Vivian on ANYONE BUT ME), who each have their own perspective on love. The miniseries also illustrates the effects that the passage of marriage equality will have on each of their lives – for better or worse. The miniseries also stars Renee’ Olbert as Beth, Steven Alexander (briefly a writer/producer on ANYONE BUT ME before leaving the show) as Maxwell, Heather Leonard as Carolyn, and Megan Melnyk as Anna. The show, which was developed before ANYONE BUT ME was created, was always meant to be about gay marriage, Ward says, but as New York seriously considered the passage of marriage equality, the storyline’s tone changed considerably. “It heightened the tension and gave the series a weight that wouldn’t have existed before. The events of June 24, 2011, made GOOD PEOPLE IN LOVE a better series than if I had produced it in 2008.”

The cast

Ward, who cites the Swedish director Ingmar Bergman and his award-winning 1975 work, SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE, as her creative fuel during the pre-production phase of GOOD PEOPLE IN LOVE, approached the production of the miniseries in a unique way. “I wanted to go back to my cinematic roots and wanted to make a drama that demands a lot of its viewer and find out if there was an audience for that kind of story on the web. At the time, drama was taking a bit of a beating. And I wanted to find out if everyone was right or wrong about there being very little place for drama online.” For the show’s ensemble cast, the process of filming was at times exhausting, especially given the content of the story. Yet, it also proved to be a memorable one for each actor, and also for Ward. During the filming of episode 3, the cast and crew, having put themselves through the paces of one of the series’ most emotional scenes (when after finding out that the amendment is passed, each of the characters engages in a contentious discussion about marriage and commitment), were so overcome with emotion, that there was stunned silence after the final cut, “…until one of the crew members managed a mumble of ‘that was intense’ and then everyone exhaled. It was probably the first time I thought to myself while I was directing, that I should give myself more credit for the work I do as a writer and that experience changed my commitment to writing ever since,” Ward says. While the debate over marriage equality now finds itself in the Supreme Court, Ward hopes that GOOD PEOPLE IN LOVE will not only entertain, but also make those who watch consider the issue of marriage equality, and of its impact on society. “I really wanted to tell a story not just about what victory looks like to gay and lesbians after finally winning the right to marry, but how that right actually shapes our lives and relationships. I think for any couple that lives in a state where same sex couples can marry, the day the bill passed they immediately looked at their girlfriend or boyfriend differently. Do I want to marry this person? And do they feel the same? It also changes things for single people looking for a relationship. Is it now all about finding a husband or a wife? A lot has changed and I think it’s important for gay and lesbians to recognize that and deal with it individually. And of course no matter what your answers to those questions are, you feel real good the conversation is finally happening.” FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/GoodPeopleinLove TWITTER: https://twitter.com/GoodPeopleinLov YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/show/goodpeopleinlove BLIP.tv: http://blip.tv/goodpeopleinlove