2017-07-13 / Entertainment

Pride Theater at Chandler Begins July 21

July 21-23 and 28-30
Contact: Sharon Rives, kenrives@gmail.com802-728-3726
In its seventh summer season, Vermont Pride Theater will present a medical drama, a madcap comedy, and a full evening of LGBTQ playlets. With the chance to discuss these issues in post-performance talkbacks, plus the opportunity in receptions to mingle with the actors, directors, and talkback resource persons, each evening will be memorable.
Opening the festival on Friday July 21st will be the Northeast premiere of DC Cathro's new comedy Family Holiday. In this fast-paced production, directed by Nancy Manney, RJ goes home to Montpelier for the holidays, hoping to have a relaxing time with his family and best friend. He arrives to find his sister newly single, his Nana on a health kick, his mother dashing in and out, and his father nervous about all of the strange behavior. Secrets are revealed and RJ is stuck in the middle of this farce for modern times. Featured in the cast are Andra Kisler (Northfield), Gene Kraus (Bethel), Amanda Menard (Montpelier), Lava Mueller (Randolph Center), Lennon Philo (Brandon), and Carol Ruzicka (Rochester).Family Holiday will also be presented on Saturday July 29th.
On Saturday July 22nd the Northeast premiere of Out of the Closet, developed by Caroline Sposto for Emerald Theatre Company (Memphis), will be at Chandler. Directed by Kim Ward, Dvora Zipkin, and Gene Heinrich, these eight short LGBTQ plays -- two previously produced in Vermont Playwrights Circle's TenFest -- are at times funny, at other times touching and serious. They explore coming out and staying in the closet, navigating societal expectations, holding onto and letting go of relationships, looking for love in the right and wrong places, and celebrating life's moments of connection. The playwrights are Calley Anderson, Mary Anzalone, Lawson Caldwell, Joe Gulla, James Marzo, and W. L. Newkirk, plus Vermont playwrights Jack Rushton and Dvora Zipkin. Ensemble members are Susan Bauchner (Warren), Vincent Broderick (Montpelier), Brett Cox (Roxbury), Gene Heinrich (St. Albans), Andra Kisler (Northfield), Jennifer Lord (Danville), Susan Loynd (Fayston), Rae Merrill (Randolph), Kris Rowley (Brookfield), Rachel Sucher (Montpelier), Kim Ward (Montpelier), William Wuttke (South Royalton), and Dvora Zipkin (Worcester). Out of the Closet will also be presented on Sunday July 30th
Closing the first festival weekend on Sunday July 23rd will be the Vermont  premiere of Deborah Salem Smith's prize-winning play Love Alone, directed by Margo Whitcomb. When a character loses her same-sex partner of 20 years during what should have been a routine surgery, her life and the life of their daughter, as well as the life of an attending physician, explode. This provocative play charts the emotional and medical aftermath of the tragedy as seen from all perspectives, in a poignant and deeply affecting drama. Featured in the cast are Memory Apata (Lebanon), Libby Belitsos (East Montpelier), Kathryn Blume (Charlotte), Lonnie Poland (Milton), Baylen Slote (Calais), and Jeff Tolbert (Randolph). Love Alone will also be presented on Friday July 28th
Tickets are $20 in advance, $22 at the door for adults; for students, $15 in advance, $17 at the door. Or buy a Pride 3-Pass, which can be used for any three tickets, for just $50 for adults, $35 for students. Advance-priced individual tickets and the Pride 3-Pass are now available online at www.chandler-arts.org, or by calling (802) 728-6464 beginning July 5th.
Sponsorship support for the Summer Pride Festival is provided by the Gay & Lesbian Fund of Vermont, the Samara Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, and the Vermont Conference United Church of Christ. Media support is provided by Vermont Public Radio, 105.7 The Beat, and The Point.
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