Finalists/Semifinalists Revealed For 46th Bay Area Playwrights Festival

After last year's (2017) sold-out run, and the most successful show in the 40 year history of Theatre Rhinoceros, we are thrilled to be presenting - BY POPULAR DEMAND - an encore production for 2017/2018 Season of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - The Musical. Priscilla has a book by Australian film director/writer Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott, using well-known pop songs as its score. Adapted from Elliott's 1994 Oscar-winning film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, the musical is the heart-warming, uplifting adventure of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus searching for love and friendship and end up finding more than they could have ever dreamed of. With a dazzling array of over-the-top costumes, extraordinary headdresses, A FULL SIZE BUS - ON STAGE, and a hit parade of dance floor favorites, this wildly fresh and funny musical is a journey to the heart of FABULOUS.

The Musical follows two drag queens and a transsexual (Tick, Adam, and Bernadette), who buy a run-down old bus (they call Priscilla) and set out on a road trip across the Australian Outback when one of them, Tick, is invited by his ex-wife to perform his drag show at her far-away resort. However, Tick is hesitant to tell his friends, Bernadette (a former performing icon who's best days are behind her) and Adam (a rambunctious young troublemaker), his own personal reasons for taking the trip. During their journey, the trio encounters an array of Australian citizens, some of who aren't receptive to their lifestyle, including incidents of homo and transphobia, while widening comfort zones, finding new horizons, and strengthening their own friendship.

Shows are at Gateway Theatre, 215 Jackson St., (at Battery St.) SF, CA 94111 - Embarcadero BART. Tickets are $15 - $45 and available at or 1-800-838-3006. (All Previews are pay-what-you-wish at the door.)

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - The Musical features Bay Area Actors: Suzy Jane Edwards (Ensemble); Rudy Guerrero* (Tick/Mitzi); John-Thomas Hanson (Ensemble); Morgan Lange (Ensemble); Kim Larsen (Bernadette); Grace Liu (Cynthia); Lisa McHenry (Diva); Caitlin Papp (Diva); Charles Peoples III* (Adam/Felicia); Phaedra Tillery (Diva); David Tuttle (Miss Understanding); Dee Wagner (Ensemble); Cameron Weston (Bob); Cameron Zener (Benji).

* The Actor appears through the courtesy of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Tech Credits: Stephanie Niemann (Stage Manager); Mark Dietrich (Music Director); John Fisher (Director/Producer); Fred Sharkey (Set Construction); James Goode (Sound Designer); Lawrence Helman (Publicist); Robert Horek (Costume Designer); Connor Hagen (Ass't. Stage Manager); Gilbert Johnson (Set Designer); Sean Keehan (Lighting Designer); Glenn Krumholz (Milner); AeJay Mitchell (Choreographer)

Performance Dates: May 26 - June 30, 2018

Previews (4) Sat., May 26 - 3:00 pm (No Press at Previews Please)

Sat., May 26 - 8:00 pm

Sun., May 27 - 3:00 pm (Our only Sunday performance!)

Wed., May 30 - 8:00 pm

Opening Night: Thurs., May 31, 2018 - 8:00 pm (Reception to follow)

Perf. Dates & Times: Wed., Thurs., Fri. & Sat. - 8:00 pm

Sat. Matinees - 3:00 pm

Individual performance dates are: May 26 - June 30, 2018

May 26 - Sat. - 3:00 pm (Preview)

May 26 - Sat. - 8:00 pm (Preview)

May 27 - Sun. - 3:00 pm (Preview)

May 30 - Wed. - 8:00 pm (Preview)

May 31, 2018 - Thurs. - 8:00 pm (Opening Night - Reception to follow)

June 1, 2 - Fri., Sat. - 8:00 pm

June 2 - Sat. Matinee - 3:00 pm

June 6, 7, 8, 9 - Wed., Thurs., Fri., Sat. - 8:00 pm

June 9 - Sat. Matinee - 3:00 pm

June 13, 14, 15, 16 - Wed., Thurs., Fri., Sat. - 8:00 pm

June 16 - Sat. Matinee - 3:00 pm

June 20, 21, 22, 23 - Wed., Thurs., Fri., Sat. - 8:00 pm

June 23 - Sat. Matinee - 3:00 pm

June 27, 28, 29 - Wed., Thurs., Fri., - 8:00 pm

June 30 - Sat. Matinee - 3:00 pm

June 30 - Sat. - 8:00 pm (Closing Performance)

In SF the dress was part of a Hollywood Costume Exhibit at a Macy's Passport show. The dress was lost in shipment through Fed Ex and was found days later at a plumbing supply shop in Daly City and returned to Macy's. The dress was auctioned off for charity in 1999 for $12,650, with the proceeds going to AmfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research.

John Fisher (Director) Recent playwriting: A History of World War II (Winner Best Actor Award - United Solo Festival 2017, NYC, Encore Production 2018); Transitions (March 2018); Flim-Flam (March 2017); Shakespeare Goes to War (nominated for six 2016 Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards) and To Sleep and Dream (2014 Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award Winner for Best Script.) He directed and acted in the TBA Award Recommended Productions of Breaking the Code (nominated for five 2016 Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards) and Equus. In 2016 John received two nominations from the BATCC as Best Leading Actor for his performances in Shakespeare Goes to War and Breaking the Code. John is the only two-time winner of the Will Glickman Playwrighting Award for Medea: The Musical and Combat! His plays have been performed in NY, LA and across the country. John appeared as Lear in King Lear at Yerba Buena Gardens in 2017. His new play Lavender Scare deals with the FBI attack in gays in the 1950s.

Mark Dietrich (Music Director) makes his debut with Theatre Rhinoceros with Priscilla. Mark is a Computer Science professor, piano instructor, audition coach, and small business owner, having retired from the military in 2006 and from IT/tech in 2017. Music Direction credits: Man of La Mancha (Custom Made Theater); Oklahoma!, Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical, The Taffetas (Altarena Playhouse); How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Las Positas College); Forever Plaid, The Taffetas (Pacific Coast Repertory); 1776 (Piedmont High School); Pitch Perfect, Dogfight, Footloose, Guys & Dolls, Legally Blonde (Alameda High School); Young Frankenstein (23 Elephants); Legally Blonde, Avenue Q, RENT (Tri-Valley Young Performers Academy); Oklahoma! (St. Timothy's Episcopal Church). Assistant MD/Associate Conductor: Next to Normal (Custom-Made Theater); The Fantastiks (Altarena Playhouse); RENT (Berkeley Playhouse). Vocal Direction: The Honky Tonk Angels (Altarena Playhouse). Special thanks to my #1 fans (my kids): Ellen, John, Mary, and Julia.

Rudy Guerrero* (Tick, aka Mitzi) won the SFBATCC award for Best Actor for his performance in Priscilla in 2017 and was nominated for a Broadway World Award for the same production. Previous Rhino performances include "Nugget /Frank / Nurse/Dalton" in Equus, "Wilson Mizner" in Road Show, "Sam" in Drunk Enough to Say I Love You?; and "Man" in "Seven Palestinian Children." Other theater credits include performances at 42nd St. Moon, Alcazar Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Central Works, Connecticut Repertory Theater, Foothill Music Theater, Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, Magic Theatre, Marin Shakespeare Company, Marin Theatre Company, Pacific Alliance Stage Company, Playwrights Foundation, SF Playhouse, TheatreWorks, Willows Theater Company, and Word for Word. Rudy has a BFA in Musical Theater from the Boston Conservatory and a MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater.

Kim Larsen (Bernadette) is excited to be a member of the Priscilla cast once again, especially considering the songs are from his gay bar days in college! He last appeared for The Rhino in Road Show by Stephen Sondheim. He's been very active in the Bay Area theater scene for over 25 years and is a board member of Theatre Rhinoceros as well as being the publisher of GayPocket San Francisco Guide.

AeJay Mitchell (Choreographer) was nominated for a Best Choreography Award by the Bay Area Critics Circle Awards for his work on Priscilla in 2017. More recently he directed the World Premiere of Kheven LaGrone's The Legend of Pink for Theatre Rhino. AeJay made his stage debut with BACCE playing the lead role of Sutter in Bootycandy at BRAVA!. Bay Area theatre credits Include: Actor 4/Another Black Man in We Are Proud To Present... (San Jose Stage Company); Kemi in Rose in America (Alter Theatre Ensemble); Miss Roj/Kid/Narrator in Colored Museum, E-Mem in X-Tigone, and Borracio in Much Ado About Nothing (African American Shakespeare Theatre Company); Gary Coleman in Avenue Q (NCTC): Gibbs in Dogfight (SF Playhouse); Tobias Twitch in Something for the Boys (42nd Street Moon); C.C. White in Dreamgirls (Broadway by the Bay); Scarecrow in The Wiz, Mayor Shinn in The Music Man and Rusty Charlie in Guys and Dolls (Berkeley Playhouse); and Jonathan Harker in Dracula (Inferno Theatre).

Charles Peoples III * (Adam/Felicia) is thrilled to perform with Theatre Rhino once again! Charles was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Award by Broadway World for his performance in Priscilla in 2017. He recently played Ruby in the World Premiere of John Fisher's Transitions at Theatre Rhino. Charles is a performance artist who explores visual storytelling to raise awareness, demand social justice, and cultivate self-love. He received his BA in Musical Theater from Sarah Lawrence College ('12) and is currently working on his debut album. You can find him performing original works and other pieces for his YouTube Channel regularly. Additional theater credits include Adam in Priscilla Queen of the Desert and the title role The Legend of Pink, both at Theatre Rhino, Collins in Rent, and Neil in The Story.

*The Actors appears through the courtesy of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Theatre Rhinoceros - Founded in 1977, The Rhino is the longest running LGBT theatre in the nation. We develop and produce works of theatre that enlighten, enrich, and explore both the ordinary and the extraordinary aspects of our queer community. Our emphasis is on new works, works about under-represented members of the larger queer community, and revivals of lesser known queer classics. Over the years Theatre Rhinoceros has received many awards of recognition including: Theatre Rhinoceros Day in the City Proclamation from Mayor Gavin Newsom, State Assembly Certificate of Recognition from Senator Mark Leno, recognitions from Congressperson Nancy Pelosi and Assembly Persons Tom Ammiano and Carole Migden, numerous Cable Car, BATCC and TBA Awards and Nominations, and the GLAAD Media Award for Best LGBT Theatre.

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