Paul Elliot's GENTLE PASSAGE Wins Pride Films and Plays' 2014 Great Gay Play Contest

Paul Elliot's GENTLE PASSAGE Wins Pride Films and Plays' 2014 Great Gay Play Contest

After a weekend of large houses and enthusiastic crowds viewing enhanced stage readings of four new plays and one new musical, Gentle Passage by Paul Elliot was named the winner of the 2014 Great Gay Play and Musical Contest.

Paul Elliott's drama Gentle Passage was written to expose the actual childhood his husband, Ed, survived. While the premise of the play is fiction and names have been changed, the story is entirely true. This two person drama, performed by PFP Artistic Ensemble Members Tom Chiola and Carmen Molina, was extremely moving for all who attended.

Director Larry Baker said: "Gentle Passage gave us the opportunity to explore one man's emotional journey, as he faces the loss of memory and unveils his childhood trauma. Together with his Psychologist, he unlocks the past and finds peace and friendship. It's a story about heartbreak and healing. We all took something away from this poignant piece of theatre."

Paul Elliot is a published playwright with over 700 productions to date. His new comedy, Exit Laughing, the 2013 AACT PlayFest winner premiered at the historic Landers Theater and will be opening in New York this spring. His first novel, The Riverton Project, is represented by WME. Gentle Passage was written as a birthday present for his husband.?

"We could not have been more pleased with the weekend," said Pride Films and Plays' Executive Director David Zak. "We had terrific houses, especially for Max Vernon's fine new musical The View UpStairs and Michael Leeds' comedy Who Killed Joan Crawford? We had great discussions with audience members, casts and directors, and we know these plays are ready for production at theaters everywhere."

Directors for the weekend included Eric Hoff (The View UpStairs), Larry Baker (Gentle Passage), John Nasca (Who Killed Joan Crawford?), Derek Van Barham (The Book of Andy by Michael Mejia), and Katherine Siegel (Michelangelo and Tommaso by James Rosenfeld).

Pride Films and Plays is dedicated to developing fresh LGBT work for the stage and screen. For the second year, we have gotten 5 Jeff Nominations - this year for productions of The Children's Hour and Songs From An Unmade Bed. Our Queer Bits Film Fest on June 30 at the Pub Theater, 3716 N Clark, will feature the premiere of short LGBT works never before screened in Chicago. Entries for our Great Gay Screenplay Contest are being accepted through June 30, and planning is being finalized for Women's Words Weekend, a festival of work by women with lesbian characters or themes. Entries for the 2015 Great Gay Play and Musical Contest will be accepted starting September 1.

For more information regarding Pride Films and Plays, visit

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