Photo Flash: First Look at Pride Films and Plays' BEAUTIFUL THING
Pride Films and Plays presents the Chicago 20th anniversary production of Jonathan Harvey's acclaimed Beautiful Thing, the heartwarming story of two teenaged boys coming to grips with their sexuality. Director John Nasca directs a cast that includes PFP Artistic Ensemble Members Michelle McKenzie-Voigt and Patrick Rybarczyk as Sandra and Tony, with Robert Hilliard as Jamie, Charlie Wein as Ste, and Kiah McKirnan as Leah. Get a first look at the cast in the photos below!
Jamie, a boy who skips school to avoid playing sports, is attracted to his next-door neighbor Ste, an athletic teen who is regularly beaten by his father and brothers. One night, Jamie's mother Sandra offers Ste refuge from his abusive family, setting off a chain of events that changes their lives forever. Set in a working-class area of southeast London, Beautiful Thing illustrates the struggle of growing up in a world that can be cruel and unforgiving to anyone perceived as different. It is a story of hope and acceptance and, ultimately, of the power of love.
Written in 1993, Beautiful Thing was initially produced by The Bush Theatre, London, England. It received its American premiere in 1998 by Famous Door Theatre Company in Chicago and then transferred to New York in 1999 at the Cherry Lane Theatre. "As 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of Beautiful Thing and with bullying issues still very much a part of today's headlines, this is the perfect time to revisit this play, which feels more relevant than ever," says director John Nasca.
The play features set design by Sara Heymann, lighting design by Scott Pillsbury, costume design by John Nasca, sound design by Alexander St. John, fight choreography by Zack Meyer, and the dialect/vocal coach is Jeremiah Davis.
Performances will take placea at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago. Previews January 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m. Opening January 19 at 7:30 p.m. Closing February 17. Curtain Times: Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2:00 p.M. Prices $15 for Previews, $23 on Thursdays and Sundays, and $25 on Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets 773-935-6875 or www.athenaeumtheatre.org.
Pride Films and Plays, based in Chicago, links an international network of writers with professionals working in film and theater. PFP fosters excellent writing for the stage and screen that speaks not only to the LGBT community, but is essential viewing for all audiences. Using stories with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender characters or themes, Pride Films and Plays develops human stories that become a cultural bridge to understanding. Through readings, contests, classes, screenings, and full Theater Productions, PFP engages artists and audiences in the full developmental process needed to make great artistic experiences. For more information, visit www.pridefilmsandplays.com.
Robert Hilliard (left) as Jamie and Charlie Wein as Ste
Michelle McKenzie-Voigt and Patrick Rybarczyk as Sandra and Tony
Charlie Wein (left) as Ste and Robert Hilliard as Jamie