Irvington Town Hall Theater To Produce Three-Event Diversity Series

Irvington Town Hall Theater To Produce Three-Event Diversity SeriesThe ITHT Commission, which oversees the beautiful and historic 116-year-old, 432-seat theater in Town Hall of Irvington, N.Y., announced on Monday the launch of a three-event series focused on diversity for the 2018-2019 season, beginning with the My Identity Is Not Your Opinion: An Evening About Transgender and Non-Binary Lives on Friday, Oct. 19, 2018, at 7:30.

The three events will bring diverse voices to the theater as part of engaging programs that mix video and live speakers.

"These are voices that deserve to be heard, and I think our community wants to enjoy and learn from people with different experiences," Kim Gilligan, the ITHT commissioner heading up the diversity series, said.

The diversity series, which is being produced by the commission under its Irvington Theater Presents banner, will span the entire 2018-2019 theater season. My Identity Is Not Your Opinion will kick off the series by focusing on transgender and non-binary stories. Admission to the event is free.

"It was important to me that we hear transgender and non-binary individuals tell their own stories in their own words," Gilligan said. "Too often, we hear people talking about the experience of others. At this event, we will hear people telling their own stories. I think everyone in the theater that night will find the event to be entertaining and informative."

The evening will begin with storytelling by transgender and non-binary guests, as they discuss topics such as the Transgender Day of Remembrance, being a transgender artist, and being a feminist as a transgender man. Scheduled speakers include attorney and former CBS News correspondent Kristen Browde; Anthony Arrien, facilitator of the Transgender Peer Support Group at The Loft LBGTQ Center in White Plains; Morgan Boecher, a writer and illustrator who explores the trans experience through humor; and comic writer and artist Merlin Slade, who grew up in New Rochelle and runs a webcomic called Adventures In Genderland, which chronicles his sometimes bizarre experiences navigating the world as a trans man.

Later, "Lost and Found: a coming out story," a short documentary film by Diane Hodson and Jasmine Luoma about Tarrytown-based life coach Ralph Cioffi and his son, Lylö Squared, will be screened. A Q&A session with the evening's speakers, moderated by Browde, will follow the screening.

"As a commission, we are exceptionally interested in bringing events to the Irvington and Rivertowns communities that are on par with what our residents are used to seeing in Manhattan," Gilligan said. "Not only does My Identity Is Not Your Opinion do that, but it is a real gift to our community. These stories deserve to be heard, but, this is also an evening to entertain. We have some wonderful speakers who have a lot to offer."

The series will continue with events dedicated to racial justice and the immigrant experience on February 22, 2019, and differently abled individuals on April 12, 2019.

Donations will be accepted at the event to benefit The LOFT LGBT Center in White Plains, which runs programs that "further the cause of inclusion, diversity, and pride through education, advocacy, and celebration."

For more information on My Identity Is Not Your Opinion or the theater, please visit www.irvingtontheater.com. For more information on The LOFT, please visit http://www.loftgaycenter.org.

The Irvington Town Hall Theater, located at 85 Main Street in downtown Irvington, N.Y., on the entire third floor of Town Hall, was built in 1902 and hosts film, theater, comedy, music and other events between September and May.

The ITHT Commission was established in 1980 by the Village of Irvington to operate and manage the theater. The members of the Commission were appointed by the mayor and village trustees.

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