Vermont Pride Theater to Host 4th Annual Summer Pride Festival, Begin. 7/18

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Vermont Pride Theater to Host 4th Annual Summer Pride Festival, Begin. 7/18

Vermont Pride Theater at Chandler announces its 4th annual Summer Pride Festival of LGBT plays in Randolph, Vermont, July 18-20 and 25-27. This season it will offer full productions of three exciting scripts, none of which has been presented before in Vermont. These will be directed and performed by an ensemble of Equity and non-Equity theater artists from across the nation, and presented in Randolph's historic Chandler Music Hall, listed on the National Historic Register.

Jane Chambers' classic lesbian drama "Last Summer at Bluefish Cove" will be presented Friday July 18 and Sunday July 27. Douglas Carter Beane's Tony-Award-winning comedy "The Little Dog Laughed" is scheduled for Saturday July 19 and Friday July 25. And a new stage adaptation of Will Fellows' "Farm Boys" will be premiered on Sunday July 20 and Saturday July 26.

The Theater Festival will also include two events benefiting the Matthew Shepard Foundation. A screening of Moises Kaufman's film of "The Laramie Project" is scheduled for Tuesday July 22 in the Esther Mesh Room of Chandler's Upper Gallery. On Wednesday July 23, in the same space, a cast of young people will present a reading of Leslea Newman's related poem cycle, "October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard".

During the two-week Summer Festival period and for a month thereafter, portrait and landscape paintings by Andy Newman will be on exhibit in the Chandler Gallery.

David Zak, Executive Director of Chicago-based Pride Films and Plays, will adapt "Farm Boys" and direct it at the Festival. "Mr. Fellows' interviewees provide rare perspective about growing up gay on farms in rural America," observes Mr. Zak, "and giving them voice on a Vermont stage seems especially relevant."

Newbury and New York City resident Richard Waterhouse will direct Mr. Beane's 2006 play. When it debuted in New York, leading lady Julie White won a Tony Award for her performance. "It's a laugh a minute," he observes, "despite holding a mirror to the foibles and vanities of our screen stars - and of ourselves - in ways both painful and wise."

Jeanne Beckwith, founder of Norwich University's Pegasus Players, will direct Ms. Chambers' 1980 play on the surprising outcomes from a straight woman's encounter with a lesbian community. "The writing for each of the eight characters is very strong," comments Dr. Beckwith, "and requires eight excellent performers of different ages...not hard to find among Vermont's acting community!"

Advance individual tickets for the Music Hall plays are now on sale at www.brownpapertickets.com

or (800) 838-3006 and www.chandler-arts.org. For the price of only 2 tickets, a "Pride Pass" valid for any 3 admissions is also available.

Admission to the Shepard Foundation benefit events is by donation at the door.

This 4th annual Summer Pride Theater Festival presents the concerns and issues of LGBT Vermonters with the goal of building bridges of understanding between them, their families and friends, and the wider community. Sponsorship support is provided by the Gay & Lesbian Fund of Vermont and the Samara Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, with media support provided by Vermont Public Radio.

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