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Palm Beach Dramaworks Announces Contemporary Voices Series Celebrating Pride Month


The series opens on June 7 with The Garden of Hannah List.

Palm Beach Dramaworks Announces Contemporary Voices Series Celebrating Pride Month

In celebration of Pride Month, Palm Beach Dramaworks' Contemporary Voices series will shine the spotlight on playwright Michael McKeever in June. This free, online series features live readings and discussions of plays by a cross-section of some of the finest American Playwrights working in theatre today. Beginning June 7, PBD will present three of McKeever's plays on three consecutive Monday evenings, followed each Wednesday with a discussion of the work by theatre professionals and community leaders. PBD Producing Artistic Director William Hayes kicks off the festivities on June 2, when he hosts a (pre-recorded) conversation with McKeever.

The series opens on June 7 with The Garden of Hannah List, which premiered at Florida Stage during the 1997-98 season and was described by McKeever in an interview as "the play that officially made me a playwright." That's followed on June 14 with the first look at his newest play, The Code. The series concludes on June 21 with Daniel's Husband, which premiered at Island City Stage in 2015 and went on to become a hit Off-Broadway. The Wednesday evening discussions are on June 9, 16, and 23. All readings and discussions begin at 7:30pm. Tickets are free, but reservations are required.

McKeever, a South Florida native, is the third playwright to be featured in the Contemporary Voices series, following Lynn Nottage in October and Nilo Cruz in April. His work will also be seen during PBD's 2021-2022 season, when the company presents the world premiere of The People Downstairs, a play commissioned by PBD about the people who hid Anne Frank and seven others during the Holocaust.

PBD closes out Pride Month on June 30 with the multi-talented Charles Busch in conversation with Hayes, part of the company's Luminaries of Stage & Screen initiative. Busch will discuss his illustrious career as playwright, actor, cabaret artist, and drag icon. The series launches tonight with the legendary Louis Gossett Jr., followed on May 26 with the esteemed actress Lynne Moody. All conversations are pre-recorded. Once again tickets are free, but reservations are required.



(June 7, 7:30pm; Discussion June 9, 7:30pm) Hannah List lives in a large and comfortable home in Nuremberg, Germany in 1939. Within the peaceful setting of her glorious and well-maintained garden, she and her family are faced with a dilemma: take a stand or do nothing as the Nazi Party rises to power around them.


(June 14, 7:30pm; Discussion June 16, 7:30pm) Hollywood, 1950. Prior to a dinner party at the home of director George Cukor, Billy Haines, interior designer to the stars, invites a handful of friends, including Tallulah Bankhead, for cocktails. When agent Henry Willson arrives with his newest protégé, Chad Manford, a simple request turns into a heated debate on the hypocrisy of what it takes to be a star in the land of make-believe.


(June 21, 7:30pm; Discussion June 23, 7:30pm Mitchell Howard does not believe in gay marriage. His partner, Daniel Bixby, does. Before they can resolve their difference of opinion, fate intervenes. This Off-Broadway hit explores the devastating consequences that can occur when fundamental rights are denied.

Casting will be announced at a later date. The discussions are hosted by PBD Director of Education and Community Engagement Gary Cadwallader. His guests will be Bruce Linser, director of The Garden of Hannah List, and Dr. Peter Cruise, executive director of the LeRoy Collins Public Ethics Academy and affiliate associate professor at Florida Atlantic University, June 9; Christopher Renshaw, director of The Code, and Christy Andreoni, production director at the Palm Beach County Film and Television Commission and a board member of Women in Television and Film - Florida, June 16; and Stuart Meltzer, director of Daniel's Husband, and attorney Elizabeth Schwartz, a nationally recognized advocate for the legal rights of the LGBTQ community, June 23. Marilyn Meyerhoff and Samuel Feldman are the executive producers of Contemporary Voices. Marsha and Stephen Raab are the program sponsors for The Garden of Hannah List, The Code, Daniel's Husband, and the interview with McKeever. Louise and Barry Snyder are the sponsors of PBDonline.

Michael McKeever has written 30 full-length plays that have been produced at theatres around the world. Theatres in North America include Penguin Rep, Marin Theatre Company, NCTC, Phoenix Theatre, Stage West, and Florida Studio Theatre. His work has also been seen in major European cities, including Berlin, Warsaw, and Vienna. His play Daniel's Husband, produced in New York by Primary Stages, was nominated for an Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best New Work and went on to successful runs at The Westside Theatre (Off-Broadway) and The Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles. His play After was seen Off-Broadway at 59E59 Theaters in 2019. McKeever has won numerous Carbonell and Silver Palm awards, and has been nominated four times for the Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award. McKeever is a co-founder of Zoetic Stage, a Miami-based theatre company dedicated to developing new work. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

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