Private Project

Impossible Choice: The Play Within

Date: October 25, 2014

Short Synopsis of “Impossible Choice: The Play Within”
Contact: Ron Marquisee, Director (

Length: 20 Minutes, 31 Seconds

This short film is a fictional, dramatic retelling of two landmark events in the gay history of the United States that illuminate universal personal and human rights issues. Drawn from the feature-length film, Impossible Choice, we follow two college students in a theater class as they have to write, produce, and perform an exercise based on the life and deaths of Matthew Shepard and Tyler Clementi. In a powerful retelling of their stories we explore two sides of the hate found within our culture. There is the hate from without that permitted the cold-blooded murder of Matthew Shepard by two young homophobic men in Laramie, Wyoming; and the bullying done by a student at Rutgers University that drove Tyler Clementi to unwarranted despair, ultimately ending in suicide. The “message” of the total scene is one of affirmation and pride in being “who you are”.

  • Ronald Marquisee
    Cruising America's Waterways (PBS series)
  • Jesse Navagh
    Key Cast
  • Tyler Spicer
    Key Cast
  • Edward Mastin
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, LGBT
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes 31 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 14, 2014
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Ronald Marquisee

After study at Syracuse University and Ohio University, Ronald Marquisee returned to Syracuse University’s S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communiucations where he served as a Tenured Associate Professor from 1970-1981. He developed the University’s first film major, before leaving to more fully involve himself professionally in
the content areas he so much enjoyed in his teaching.
He co-founded Media Artists Inc., to provide an integrated service approach to meeting client communications needs … providing writing, photographic, motion picture, multi-media, graphic, audio, and video production services to this day. The company has produced hundreds of commercials, training programs, entertainment pieces, and documentaries. In 2000, the company produced the multi-award-winning series, Cruising America’s Waterways, distributed nationally by PBS, and an
award winning companion book, Cruising America’s Waterways: The Erie Canal. Mr. Marquisee is licensed by the United States Coast Guard as a Master (Captain) in the Merchant Marine.
He resides in Upstate New York with his SO, and a Wire Fox Terrier, Joey, who appears in the film.

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Director Statement

This short is the core scene from the feature-length film, Impossible Choice. It is a message rich sequence that works to promote understanding of the LGBT Community. It is ideally suited to group and classroom utilization.