THE BEEBO BRINKER CHRONICLES Gears Up For The Brava New Year, Opens 2/26/2010

Long anticipated Regional Premiere of The Beebo Brinker Chronicles will open at Brava! for Women in the Arts on February 26, 2010. Written by Kate Moira Ryan and Linda S. Chapman, directed by Brava's Artistic Director Raelle Myrick-Hodges, The Beebo Brinker Chronicles is adapted from a series of pulp novels written in the 50s and 60s by Sacramento resident Ann Bannon. The play originally premiered with the Hourglass Group in New York in 2007.

"Seldom do you have other producers or directors demanding that you see a play. With Beebo, that is how I discovered it - on its last performance in New York two years ago. I thought it was a tale worth telling to our San Francisco community." Say artistic director Raelle Myrick-Hodges.

The story is about Laura who discovers love with her college roommate. As a sensitive young Midwesterner, Laura arrives in 1961 Greenwich Village to escape the heartache of a failed romance with her true love, Beth. Once in New York, the impressionable Laura befriends Jack, an older gay man, crushes on her straight roommate, Marcie, and falls into the bed of the title character, a brash lesbian who has slept with half the West Village. Meanwhile, out in California, Beth is waging an internal war between her duty as a wife and mother and her true love for Laura.

The mix of melodrama with sincerity brings The Beebo Brinker Chronicles to the forefront as a celebratory reminder of the ‘back in the day' sentiment of pre-Stonewall Greenwich Village. The play is adapted from the books of Ann Bannon, a resident of Sacramento, CA.

Now, Ann Bannon has been called "The Queen of Lesbian Pulp Fiction". When Ms. Bannon started writing in 1955, she was a twenty-two year old housewife living in Philadelphia. She found the book that became the inspiration for her own writing on a drugstore shelf: it was Vin Packer's Spring Fire, a story of two college sorority sisters who have an intense affair. The book sparked a fire in Bannon, only a year out of college herself, and eventually led to her own lesbian narrative. With surprising and welcome help from author Vin Packer, to whom Bannon had written for advice, the manuscript found its way to Richard Carroll, editor-in-chief of Gold Medal Books. Carroll's suggestions tightened the manuscript and focused it on the romance between the two girls. Odd Girl Out, Bannon's first published work was the second best selling original paperback of 1957. Bannon followed it up with four others: I Am A Woman, Women in The Shadows, Journey to a Woman, and The Beebo Brinker Chronicles, all published between 1957 and 1962.

In 2004, the process of translating three of the novels into award-winning theater piece began. Written by playwrights Kate Moira Ryan and Linda S. Chapman, The Beebo Brinker Chronicles stage play had two successful runs in New York in 2007 and 2008, produced first by Hourglass Group, and then by Harriet Leve, with commercial producers Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner, Harriet Newman Leve, Elyse Singer, Jamie deRoy, Pam Laudenslager and Douglas Denoff Double Play Connectionsor an entire generation, The Beebo Brinker Chronicles provided the first representation in literature that they had ever read of women loving women. Bannon and others helped to end the isolation and ignorance that had kept thousands of gay women in emotional prisons, and paved the way for the new generation of lesbian writers who were to follow. Over the decades, of all the original lesbian pulp novels authored by women, Bannon's books have become the most read, the most remembered, and the most often taught.

"I had the pleasure of meeting Ann earlier this year at the fundraiser we had for this production. The opportunity to have Ann Bannon be part of this Regional premiere process is so exciting for our company. For our community to talk with her on a personal level about her books and how they have affected the lesbian community is much larger than simple post show discussions. She is so extraordinary and to hear the stories of how the work was created, it only informs the play more and more." Says Myrick-Hodges. "Ann will be joining us for many of the Beebo events during the run of the show and that is a rate treat for me as a director. Seldom do I get to know the writer of the origins of a work when it has been adapted. But, Ms. Bannon is a part of our community here in the Bay Area and I hope audiences relish the opportunity to have true conversations with her during this time.

The Regional Premiere of The Beebo Brinker Chronicles opens at Brava! for Women in the Arts on February 26th, 2010.

Brava as with all of its productions embraces collective artistry with national and local designers working together including Matt McAdon as the set designer. The cast will be completely Bay Area locals.

Cheat Sheet:
The Beebo Brinker Chronicles (West Coast Premiere)
Written by Kate Moira Ryan & Linda S. Chapman
Directed by Raelle Myrick-Hodges


Tickets $20-$30

Performance Dates, Times and Prices
Thursday, February 25, 8pm: $25
Friday, February 26, 8pm: $25 - opening night/press night
Saturday, February 27, 8pm: $25
Sunday, February 28, 8pm: $25
Thursday, March 4, 8pm: $25
Friday, March 5, 8pm: $25
Saturday, March 6, 8pm: $25
Sunday, March 7, 3pm: $15
Monday, March 8, 8pm: $25
Thursday, March 11, 8pm: $25
Friday, March 12, 8pm: $25
Saturday, March 13, 8pm: $30

Where:Brava Theater Center
2781 24th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
Box Office: 415.641.2822, info@brava.org
www.brava.org

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