Lineup Announced for 3rd Annual Summer Pride Festival at Chandler
Chandler Center for the Arts and Pride Films and Plays bring the 3rd season of Summer Pride to Chandler Music Hall in Randolph, Vermont, July 12-14 and July 19-21. The festival -- the only one of its kind in the state -- was inaugurated in 2011 as a way to facilitate conversations among gay and lesbian Vermonters, their friends and family members, and the broader community.
In this year's festival a talented ensemble of actors from throughout the region will offer plays by Moises Kaufmann, Claudia Allen, and Marty Casella. David Zak, Executive Director of Pride Films and Plays, returns to direct. After each play, there will be a talkback between audience and cast, followed by a reception in Chandler's Upper Gallery. In connection with the festival the Vermont Folklife Center's Rainbow Cattle Company audio-visual exhibit on the Dummerston drag queens, featuring photos by Evie Lovett and interviews by Greg Sharrow, will be hung in the same gallery space from July 8 through July 22.
Moises Kaufmann's Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde will be presented as a staged reading, with Gene Heinrich (Bethel) as Oscar Wilde and noted theater lecturer Peter Saccio (White River Junction) also in the 9-member cast, on Friday July 12 and Sunday July 21. Before Mr. Kaufmann wrote The Laramie Project, he developed this thrilling version of the trials that ended the career of the popular gay playwright, poet, and author. Using texts from the trials, newspaper accounts, personal recollections, and Wilde's own great words, Kaufmann creates a textual tapestry both haunting and heart-breaking. This is the Vermont premiere of a contemporary classic.
Hannah Free by Claudia Allen, one of America's most esteemed lesbian playwrights, will be presented in a full production on Saturday July 13 and Friday July 19. This charming and delightful love story, with a 10-member cast featuring Screen Actors' Guild member Cameron Foord (Burlington) as Hannah and Andra Kisler (Northfield) as Rachel, stretches across decades. Now in the twilight of their years, with their health degenerating, they are being kept apart by the actions of a family member. This Vermont premiere of Ms. Allen's 1992 drama speaks eloquently to current issues facing the lesbian community.
The world premiere of Marty Casella's Directions for Restoring the Apparently Dead will be presented in a full production on Sunday July 14 and Saturday July 20, with Equity member Richard Waterhouse (Newbury) and Ethan Bowen (Rochester) featured in the cast. In this prize-winning new script we meet old friends Jinx and Griff, one gay and one straight, whose parallel lives have more in common than they realize. Directions... will add to the string of Off-Broadway successes from the New York playwright.
Tickets for adults are $17 in advance, $20 day of show; for students, $12 in advance, $15 day of show. These are available on-line at www.chandler-arts.org or by calling the Chandler box office (802) 728-6464 between 3-6 PM on weekdays. A 3-play pass is available for the price of 2 plays, but only if ordered directly from the box office before Thursday July 18. All performances begin at 7:30 PM. Support from the Gay & Lesbian Fund of Vermont funds the passes, and Vermont Public Radio is the media sponsor.
Chandler has a long tradition of developing collaborative and innovative community arts programming serving a diverse population. In this spirit, Chandler and its Pride Advisory Committee enthusiastically join with Pride Films and Plays in presenting this 3rd annual Summer Pride Festival, which will enhance its other offerings and strengthen connections with the regional gay and lesbian community.
Pride Films and Plays (PFP), a Chicago-based non-profit which links an international network of writers with film and theater producers, fosters excellent new work for the stage and screen that not only speaks to the gay and lesbian community, but also is essential viewing for friends, families, and co-workers. For more information visit www.pridefilmsandplays.com.