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Steven Dietz's LONELY PLANET To Kick Off 'Pride In Place' Online Reading Series

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Steven Dietz's LONELY PLANET To Kick Off 'Pride In Place' Online Reading Series

Pride Films and Plays today announced five more live online readings of LGBTQ-themed plays, following its enthusiastically received April 14th reading of Terrence McNally's MOTHERS AND SONS.

The new series, Pride Arts Presents "Pride in Place" will include an encore of Scott Gryder's Jeff-nominated 2019 performance in Jonathan Tolins' BUYER & CELLAR along with four scripts not previously produced by PFP. The series of live online readings allows the organization to continue its mission for patrons from the comfort of their own home as they continue to "shelter in place." Executive Director David Zak says, "We found the online performance of MOTHERS AND SONS to be a great way to stay connected to audiences and artists around the country, and not only because of the quarantine. We had a great response from others who even in normal times have difficulty attending live performances, like many seniors and those with limited mobility." This series of plays will be performed live by actors, each appearing via Zoom from their own homes.

The first production in the series will be LONELY PLANET, by Steven Dietz, on May 14. LONELY PLANET is a two-hander set during an earlier pandemic, the AIDS crisis. The other plays in the series will include Jane Camber's lesbian drama A LATE SNOW, to be directed by Sara BenBella (Thursday, May 28); BUYER & CELLAR, directed by Donterrio Johnson (Thursday, June 4); Jonathan Tolins' look at gay life in the 1990s - THE LAST SUNDAY IN JUNE, directed by Michael Rashid (to be presented on the last Sunday in June - June 28); and Brad Fraser's provocative political comedy UNIDENTIFED HUMAN REMAINS AND THE TRUE NATURE OF LOVE, directed by Jacob Van Hoorn (Wednesday, July 1).

In LONELY PLANET, Jody, a reclusive gay man in his forties, has been hiding from the world in his map store to avoid infection. His thirty-something friend Cal, who has been bringing into the shop chairs that had belonged to their friends who fell to the illness, convinces him to leave the safety of the shop to go out and get tested. This leads to him taking a week off from the shop to see the world he abandoned. For many years, LONELY PLANET was one of the most often performed plays in America, and its brilliance sparkles again against the backdrop of this different public health crisis.

David Lipschutz, assistant director for Pride's upcoming production of I PROMISED MYSELF TO LIVE FASTER and an ensemble member with Hell in a Handbag, will direct a cast including Shane Roberie as Jody, Tyler Anthony Smith as Carl, and Sydney Genco narrating. Roberie has been seen recently in SUNSET BOULEVARD (Porchlight Music Theatre), HEAD OVER HEELS (Kokandy Productions), POSEIDON! (Hell in a Handbag), and EVIL DEAD, NIGHTMARE & NIGHTCAPS (Black Button Eyes). Smith recently performed in THE GOLDEN GIRLS: THE LOST EPISODES - THE HOLIDAY EDITION, VOL. 2 and THE DRAG SEED (Hell in a Handbag), and BABY WITH THE BATHWATER (Eclipse). Genco is Head of Ensemble, Company Makeup Designer and a frequent performer with Hell in a Handbag Productions.

Ticket price for each reading is $10.00. Tickets are available at or by phone at 773-857-0222.

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