Diversionary Theatre Invited To Bring DEAR HARVEY To FringeNYC In August


Diversionary Theatre, San Diego's LGBT Theatre, has been invited to bring Patricia Loughrey's tribute play Dear Harvey to the 14th annual New York International Fringe Festival ( www.FringeNYC.org), a production of The Present Company. More commonly known as FringeNYC, the Festival is the largest multi-arts festival in North America, with more than 200 companies from all over the world performing for 16 days with 1,200 performances in more than 20 venues. FringeNYC will run August 13-29.

Dear Harvey was chosen for FringeNYC from more than 800 submissions. Drawn from over thirty interviews conducted by Patricia Loughrey, Dear Harvey recounts the achievements and vision of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to a major public office in the United States. The tribute play weaves together the voices of a drag queen, a State Senator, an international gay rights activist, a nineteen-year-old composer and others with the personal and political writings of Harvey Milk to paint a portrait of a leader, and a vision for equality.

"These stories about Harvey Milk are from the people he knew and the lives he changed," said playwright Loughrey. "I've had the remarkable privilege of talking with people close to him, and it's exciting to be able to share these intimate, sometimes surprising, stories with our community. We lost Harvey too soon, but in these stories, we get to hear the impact of his love and courage." Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated in San Francisco's City Hall in November 1978. Dear Harvey is based on interviews with Harvey's nephew Stuart Milk, Harvey's campaign manager Anne Kronenberg, AIDS Quilt founder Cleve Jones, California State Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, activist Robin Tyler, plus other community activists, and is supported with original music by Thomas Hodges and historical photos of Harvey Milk by Daniel Nicoletta.

Commissioned by Diversionary Theatre, Dear Harvey had its world premiere at Diversionary in April 2009 www.diversionary.org/dearharvey. The commission for the play was underwritten in part by The James Irvine Foundation, and the premiere was funded in part by Carlos Malamud.

Dear Harvey was recently given a professional concert reading at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in April of this year as part of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), and Loughrey was awarded a Core Apprenticeship at the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis for the upcoming year. Since its premiere, the play has also had readings or productions in Sacramento, Los Angeles, Torrance CA and at San Diego State University (their production of the play went to the regional KCACTF in St. George, Utah). Harvey Milk would have turned 80 on May 22nd, and upcoming readings or productions in Santa Monica, Staten Island, Bakersfield CA and Boston will celebrate his birthday and the first California State Harvey Milk Day holiday. This fall Dear Harvey will be published by Playscripts, Inc., and will have productions in Los Angeles and Albany NY.

Diversionary Theatre was founded in 1986 and will celebrate their 25th Anniversary Year during their 2010-2011 season. Their mission is to produce plays with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender themes that portray characters in their complexity and diversity both historically and contemporarily. "We are amazed and thrilled to be part of telling our history through Dear Harvey," said Dan Kirsch, Diversionary's Executive & Artistic Director. "Being part of FringeNYC will help our company connect with artists from all over the world. We look forward to representing San Diego and bringing the stories of Harvey Milk to a wider audience."

A director and cast for the FringeNYC production will be announced at a later date. The performance venue and performance dates will be announced by mid-July. San Diego community member Carlos Malamud is supporting the Diversionary's FringeNYC production with a challenge grant so that the Theatre can raise the funds required to participate in the Festival. To donate to the production or to learn more about Diversionary, contact Dan Kirsch at 619.220.6830.

Financial support for Diversionary Theatre is provided in part by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

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