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ArtsKSU To Present 8th Annual Coming Out Monologues: Stories Of Empowerment

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Virtual presentation includes stories by and about people across the LGBTQ spectrum

ArtsKSU To Present 8th Annual Coming Out Monologues: Stories Of Empowerment

Kennesaw State University (KSU) LGBTQ Resource Center and the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies (TPS) will present the 8th Annual Coming-Out Monologues (COM) on October 8 and 9, in celebration of National Coming Out Day. This year, the production will once again include stories from KSU students, staff, and members of the community beyond KSU. The wide array of stories captures experiences of lesbian, non-binary, gay and transgender folxs, as well as advocates, allies, parents, and friends.

Assistant Chair, Artistic Director, and Professor Karen Robinson believes that this "is one of the most fulfilling projects I have had the privilege of coordinating during my twenty years in the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies." Each year, the monologues are solicited from across a wide spectrum of people, and their stories are then performed by TPS students, and this year is no different.

However, what is different this year is that each piece will be directed by a different TPS directing student. Further, two of the featured stories were submitted by TPS students, both seniors. Jess Ford, author of "For the Children" said, "The Coming-Out Monologues is all about empowerment and the stories of those whose voices may have never been heard otherwise. I hope my story inspires others and maybe it will help someone realize who they are. It was my privilege to act my freshman year in the Coming-Out Monologues, and it is so amazing to come full circle and be a writer in in during my senior year."

Kylie Talbott, also a TPS senior, wrote "Two Cheers for Bisexuality" but it wasn't easy: "By submitting a monologue, I had to fully accept myself for who I am. What's beautiful about being chosen as a writer for this amazing event is that my words could unknowingly affect people who need to hear them at this point in their lives. You never know what people are going through these days, especially when it comes to sexual orientation, because that's still a scary thing to try and fully face by yourself!"

Ten different stories will be performed, bringing a total of 80 stories shared since its start at KSU in 2013. Topics covered this year include the discovery that an assigned gender "itches"; the fervent desire to affirm a 13-year-old kid at camp that it's okay to be non-binary; and a mother of three kids-all of whom are gay-and embracing them with all her heart and encouraging us to do the same.

Robinson said, "The stories are a blend of humor, lyrical love, and empowerment. Audiences will see themes of love, acceptance of self, and empowerment shine through these very vulnerable and personal experiences." TPS student Zach Tellez is serving as an Assistant Coordinator and Stage Manager for the project. He said, "I love it because it is a night of heartfelt stories grounded in a specific, yet universal experience."

Audience members are also encouraged to join the post-performance talkbacks, where audience members can lean into dialogue, share feelings and deeply personal stories, within a palpable, restorative, and supportive space. Robinson added, "To quote one of the pieces: This project is time well spent with a collection of 'beautiful soul(s)...riding the wave of life and allowing themselves to be exactly who they are."

The 8th Annual Coming-Out Monologues will be streamed live on Thursday, October 8 at 7:30 p.m. and on Friday, October 9 at 8 p.m. There is no charge to watch the performances; a simple registration is all that is required. Click here to register.



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