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On March 21-23 2014, Pearl Vodka presents BRIEFS: The 3rd Festival of Short LGBT Plays, powered by That Uppity Theatre Company, in partnership with The Vital VOICE. For the past two years, BRIEFS sold out all four performances, with a diverse audience from the LGBT community and straight allies.  Located at La Perla, a historic downtown bank renovated for events of all kinds with a 150-person capacity and a cash bar.

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More than a traditional theatrical production, BRIEFS is a community event, bringing together a diverse audience from the LGBT community, straight allies, local businesses, and local artists.  Our slogan this year is, “Come for the play, stay for the party!”  The space will stay open for at least at hour after every performance so people can visit and have a drink. 

Additionally, on Sunday, March 23, our final performance matinee will also honor LGBT seniors and their friends and will include a complimentary brunch for LGBT seniors from groups including SAGE, Primetimers and Older Lesbians Advocating for Change (OLAC).

According to executive co-producer Joan Lipkin (Artistic Director of That Uppity Theatre Company), the short play format in BRIEFSprovides productive opportunities for the multiple perspectives of several directors and playwrights and for the pieces to speak in relation to each other. "I also think in this economy it is essential that ticket prices be as affordable as possible in order to attract and welcome a diverse audience so we will have one of the lowest tickets prices in town.”

"Vital VOICE always strives to create and deliver new and exciting projects for the LGBT community and our straight allies. Briefs is a celebration of our community that will leave audiences entertained informed and uplifted,” says Darin Slyman CEO and Publisher of Vital VOICE Media.

The plays of BRIEFS were selected from playwrights nationwide for the third-annual production, including:

  • “Buggery" written by Brigham Mosley, directed by Ryan Foizey
  • "Ready" written and directed by Joan Lipkin
  • "Sharp Corner" written by Donna Hoke, directed by Lee Anne Mathews
  • "In the Water" written by Tabia Lau, directed by Bonnie Taylor
  • "Not My Father's Son" performed by Desire' Declyne
  • "Messages Deleted" written by Rich Espey, directed by Christopher Limber
  • "Lucky" written and directed by Theresa Masters
  • "Strange Bedfellows" written by Donald Miller, directed by Michael B. Perkins

“I am delighted to be directing. ‘Briefs,’ a tremendous addition to St. Louis theatre, provides a gritty, witty and articulate sampling of LGBT and allied playwrights. This year's festival of 10-minute vignettes, like last year’s, presents a deeply personal and yet universal patchwork of plays. This showcase will resonate and delight any theatre goer looking for insightful and powerful new work for the theatre,” says Christopher Limber, who will be directing “Messages Deleted.”

According to Associate Producer Michael B. Perkins who is also directing, "BRIEFS will inspire conversations during the event and long afterward, bringing a diverse audience together that wouldn't otherwise interact. We learn so much not only by doing, but by watching our peers."

"BRIEFS is distinctive because it brings together gay and non-gay communities modeled by a diverse group of directors and material written by both gay and lesbian and allied playwrights," said director Bonnie Taylor.

BRIEFS, like the plays themselves, incorporate a diverse spectrum of gender, age, and orientation.  Some are seasoned professional actors, others are rising talents  but all are from our local St. Louis community.  Among the performers in BRIEFS are Michael Amoroso, Alaina Appleby, Chuck Brinkley, Sara Hamilton, Rachel Hanks, Carrie Hegdahl, Meghan Maguire, Paige Russell, Rich Scharf, Alyssa Ward, Ben Watts, Eric Dean White, Pete Winfrey, John Wolbers, Jeffrey M. Wright, Kirsten Wylder, and more.

PRODUCERS:
Joan Lipkin | Darin Slyman | Michael B. Perkins

DIRECTORS:
Ryan Foizey | Christopher Limber | Joan Lipkin | Theresa Masters | Lee Anne Mathews | Michael B. Perkins | Bonnie Taylor

PLAYWRIGHTS:
Rich Espey | Donna Hoke | Tabia Lau | Theresa Masters | Donald Miller | Brigham Mosley

PERFORMERS:
Michael Amoroso | Alaina Appleby | Chuck Brinkley | Rachel Hanks | Sara Hamilton | Carrie Hegdahl | Zachary Alan Lee (aka Desire' Declyne) | Meghan Maguire | Paige Russell | Rich Scharf | Alyssa Ward | Ben Watts | Eric Dean White | Pete Winfrey | John Wolbers | Jeffrey M. Wright | Kirsten Wylder

PREVIOUS "BRIEFS" FESTIVALS: 2013 | 2012

JOAN LIPKIN (Executive Producer/Writer & Director, “Ready”) is Artistic Director of That Uppity Theatre Company, which was founded to put the principles of cultural diversity into innovative theatrical practice and promote arts based civic dialogue and activities. She divides her time between New York City, St. Louis and other parts of the US. A playwright, lyricist, director, educator, activist and social critic, her award-winning work has been featured on network television, National Public Radio, the BBC and the Associated Press. Among her awards and honors includes being named the 2011 Arts Innovator of the Year by Arts and Education. Her work has been published and presented throughout the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland and Australia. (back to top)

MICHAEL B. PERKINS (Associate Producer/Director, “Strange Bedfellows”) has many artistic abilities in his “toolbox” and has been honored to use many of them for That Uppity Theatre Company since 2011. Michael primarily works with Shakespeare Festival St. Louis in their education programs as an actor/teaching artist. Michael holds a BFA in Directing from Lindenwood University and is a St. Louis-based freelance artist who has worked with just about every local theatre company in varied capacities.  michaelbperkins.com (back to top)

RYAN FOIZEY (Director, “Buggery”) attended the University of Northern Iowa to study theatre with an emphasis in directing, and moved to STL in 2011. Having spent most of his life in Cedar Rapids, Ryan first appeared with New Line Theatre in HIGH FIDELITY, NEXT TO NORMAL¸ BUKOWSICAL, and in the title role of the American regional premiere of CRY-BABY. He also made his Stray Dog Theatre debut as Moritz in SPRING AWAKENING. Some of his other favorite roles include Frank N. Furter in THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, Leaf Coneybear in …SPELLING BEE, Abraham in ALTAR BOYZ, and Margaret Mead in HAIR.. He has also directed NO EXIT, STUFF HAPPENS, A FUNNY THING … FORUM, ‘NIGHT MOTHER, THE SUNSET LIMITED, COWBOY MOUTH and will be directing SOMEONE WHO'LL WATCH OVER ME for R-S Theatrics in June. Ryan recently formed a new theatre company, Theatre Lab, in August and is looking forward to more projects with TL soon. (back to top)

CHRISTOPHER LIMBER (Dramaturg/Director, "Messages Deleted") is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and the Dramatists Guild of America. His 30-year career includes hundreds of productions as an actor, director, playwright, and composer. Mr. Limber has written and directed numerous productions for Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, and Opera Theatre of St. Louis, as well as the Judy Award-winning production of BENT for HotHouse Theatre and TWELFTH NIGHT for St. Louis Shakespeare, which was named “Best Shakespeare Production of 2002” by the Riverfront Times. Since 1980, he has taught theatre, Shakespeare, voice, and improvisation for the Festival, COCA, and at numerous universities. Mr. Limber is a certified member of the National Guild of Hypnotists, and specializes in helping performers tap their full potential. (back to top)

LEE ANNE MATHEWS (Director, "Sharp Corner") has been a theatre professional for many years.  While her primary career focus has been acting and musical theatre, Lee Anne has found herself in every corner of the theatrical process. Backstage, Lee Anne has worked as a union stage manager, choreographer, director, producer and educator.  She is the founder of the Alaska Shakespeare Festival in Denali, Alaska, and she is currently an educator of theatre at Coca and Crossroads College Preparatory School.  As a director, she has tackled the greats, from Shakespeare to Sondheim, and is inspired by how much each experience can expand our horizons in unexpected ways.  Lee Anne is very proud to be a part of this play festival, and hopes that the art of theatre will continue to bring us together as a community.  Enjoy the show! (back to top)

BONNIE TAYLOR (Director, "In the Water") is grateful to be directing a third time for Briefs. She directed Partners in 2012 and Waiting for the Skell in 2013.  In addition, Bonnie's current endeavor is staging Frank Wedekind's Lulu play with puppets for the 2013 St. Louis Fringe Festival. Her First Time Puppet Theater will also create and produce a segment in Fringe's Artist Showcase FIVE-FIFTHS: Alice in Wonderland this spring. Before these projects, she taught classes in theater history, comparative literature, and acting at Washington University and Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville after receiving her PhD in Comparative Literature and MA in Dramatic Literature from Washington University. As a member of Equity, Taylor has assistant-directed, acted, and staged managed with several St. Louis theaters. Most recently, she directed Cooking with Elisa and a reading of David Hare's Berlin/Wall for Upstream Theater. She also thanks Kirsten and Carrie for their collaboration.(back to top)

ZACHARY ALAN LEE (aka DESIRE' DECLYNE, "Not My Father's Son") is honored to be making his BRIEFS debut! Zachary comes to us from Springfield, Missouri and worked at the historic Landers Theatre, where he had the joy of being in numerous shows, his favorites being The Producers, Honk!: The Ugly Duckling Musical, High School Musical, The Buddy Holly Story, and Meshuggah-Nuns! Zachary wishes to thank his family, friends, Beth Domann, Estelle Getty, Harvey Fierstein, and most importantly, his band of misfits that love, embrace, and keep him sane! I love you guys! (back to top)

RICH ESPEY (Playwright, "Messages Deleted”) Rich’s plays have been produced throughout the United States. Recent highlights include THREE ANDYS produced by Single Carrot Theatre and STAND UP!, a monologue included in CENTERSTAGE’s “My America” project. Rich is a three time winner of the Carol Weinberg Award for best play at the Baltimore Playwrights Festival for FIFTY-FIFTY, HOPE’S ARBOR, and FOLLOWING SARAH. Rich is the Baltimore Regional representative of the Dramatists Guild, a member of DC’s Playwrights Gymnasium and the Playwrights Group of Baltimore, has served as Chair of the Baltimore Playwrights Festival and is currently the President of the Board of Single Carrot Theatre. Check out samples of his work and a production history at richespey.net (back to top)

DONNA HOKE (Playwright, "Sharp Corner") Western New York representative for the Dramatists Guild, Donna Hoke is a writer and editor, New York Times-published crossword puzzle constructor, and ensemble playwright at Road Less Traveled Productions.  Her work has been seein in 25 US States, as well as in England, Korea, Australia, and Romania. She is co-curator of BUA Takes Ten: LGBT Short Stories, and author of Neko and the Twiggets, a children's book. In 2012 and 2013, she was named Buffalo's Best Writer by Artvoice.  donnahoke.com

TABIA LAU (Playwright, "In the Water") is a Canadian Manhattan-based writer. Stories that move her span around topics of family ties, death, sexuality, duty, faith, loneliness, loss, and love. Upcoming playwriting productions include her own second year production The Sounds of My People and Men, Metres, Midnight and an original musical at the Toronto Fringe Festival in July. Tabia is an MFA Playwriting candidate at Columbia University. tabialau.com

THERESA MASTERS (Playwright/Director, "Lucky") is a St. Louis-based writer, director and performer. Her written work has appeared in literary journals, magazines and newspapers. She directed and collaborated with acclaimed playwright Joan Lipkin, to write The Big Fat LGBT Show of Shows, and the Feminist Follies, which were both produced by That Uppity Theatre Company.  She has taught sketch writing and comedy writing and has written for television, industrials, stage shows, award shows and even technical manuals. (back to top)

DONALD MILLER (Playwright, "Strange Bedfellows") has a Master’s degree in Media Literacy from Webster University. He teaches a graduate level writing course there and tutors students in writing through the Academic Resource Center. Recently, he co-authored a media literacy textbook that is scheduled for publication later this year. This is Donald's first play, and he is already working on another one.

BRIGHAM MOSLEY (Playwright, "Buggery") graduated from Southern Methodist University with a BFA in Theatre Studies.  His play Pretty, Smart, Poetic went on to be produced in Chicago by the Odradek Theatre Company and as a reading/workshop at Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, Connecticut.  Brigham’s Iph. had it’s premiere workshop/reading at NYC’s TBG Theatre followed by a workshop/reading of Semele at Westport Country Playhouse where Brigham is creating Fagmallion with director Bryan Hunt (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike).  Brigham’s solo works (Body Talk: 8-12 Minutes with the Poetics of Brigham Mosley’s BodyGlitterNationMagic ManOh Whatta Beautiful Mo[u]rnin’Mo[u]rnin'. After.Oklahomo!Mae Mosley is: A Handsome WomanSaint Brando; and Scarlett O'Hara and the War on Tara) have been performed across the country in spaces such as PS122, La MaMa ETC, Dixon Place, The New Museum, and many others.  Brigham was a 2013 Performing Beyond Limits resident at The New Museum and is an artistic associate of Chicago's Odradek Theatre Company.  brighammosley.com 

MICHAEL J. AMOROSO (“Sharp Corner”) is honored to be part of this festival. Previous credits include Ferdinand in THE NEW WORLD (Shakespeare Festival St. Louis), Justin in FOX ON THE FAIRWAY (Insight Theatre), and Captain Tempest in RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET (New Line Theatre). Michael has also participated in the Wise Write Program, Shake38, and the Theatre Lab 24 Hour Play Festival. Michael would like to thank his family for their undying loyalty and his friends for their inspiration. (back to top)

CHUCK BRINKLEY (“Messages Deleted”) is very excited to be working on the Briefs project this year. And to be performing with such a talented group of individuals.  He would not be here today without the help and love of a lot of people especially my family - Meg, Ian ,Connor & Collin.  They have been very understanding of his acting habit. Sit back, enjoy. (back to top)

 

 

SARA HAMILTON ("Ready") is a St. Louis native who studied Theatre at Missouri State University. She has appeared in the St. Louis Actor’s Studio & That Uppity Theatre Company’s production of The State of Marriage and was a long-time ensemble member of That Uppity Theatre Company’s Big Fat LGBT Show. Sara would like to thank her wife, Shanon, and their son, Jackson, for their unconditional love and support. (back to top)

RACHEL HANKS (“Lucky”) likes to bounce around theater companies, but her favorite places to play lately include R-S Theatrics, West End Players Guild, Theatre Lab, OnSite Theatre Company, St. Louis Actors' Studio and Stray Dog Theatre. Her favorite roles to date are Marie in THIS WIDE NIGHT at WEPG and Harper in ANGELS IN AMERICA at Stray Dog (nomination- Outstanding Actress in a Drama, St. Louis Theater Circle 2012). Her interest in how art and social change work together has led her into pursuing a master's degree in social work. She wants to thank Michael, Theresa, and Joan for this chance, her friends and family for their endless support and love, and Mike for being a part of her life. (back to top)

CARRIE HEGDAHL (“In the Water”) has been working as a School Psychologist in East St. Louis.  Love to Lola Devi and her friends who have helped her so much the last few years.  Credits include: BLEACHER BUMS (Royal George Theatre, Chicago), ROCK N ROLL (St. Louis Actors Studio), KIMBERLY AKIMBO, ADULT ENTERTAINMENT, THE PROBE... (HotCity Theatre, Saint Louis and Prague), THE LIFE AND TIMES OF TULSA LOVECHILD (Mad Scene Theatre, Los Angeles). Overseas credits include the European premieres of BIG LOVE (Ardeo Theater, France), and QUILLS (BBIT, Czech Republic, and FOIO, Germany). (back to top)

MEGHAN MAGUIRE ("Ready") is the former co-artistic director of Orange Girls Theatre Company and recipient of a  2013 St. Louis Theatre Circle Award for her performance as Sally Tally at the New Jewish Theatre. Most recently, she appeared in “The Lyons” with Max & Louie Productions and “King Lear” with St. Louis Actor’s Studio. Many thanks to Joan, Sara, Mary Cate and Amy G. (back to top)

 

 

PAIGE RUSSELL (“Lucky”) is an actor (SAG-AFTRA), writer, producer, feeder of many animals (furry & feathery) and most dear to her heart, she is a mother (to daughter Cheyenne), auntie (to nephew Tyler), and lover and partner to her Jilly.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Masters in Education from Drury University.  Having had the privilege of working for That Uppity Theatre Company. and with Joan Lipkin,  for two years, she savored seeing how theatre with an educational and socially-conscious heart was alive and thriving in her beloved home town, and is delighted to be in Briefs this year.  She’s worked with Theatre Factory St. Louis , Tin Ceiling Theatre, ECC Players, and Drury Lane Troupers. She is represented by TalentPlus Universal and has appeared in numerous films, web series, industrials/corporate films, commercials, and her favorite – home videos of embarrassing moments caught on the down-low by her daughter. PaigeRussell.net (back to top)

RICH SCHARF (“Strange Bedfellows”) performed in numerous theater productions in Harrisburg, PA area in the late ‘80’s/early ‘90’s.  After moving to St. Louis, he has been a member of two theater projects over the years with That Uppity Theater Co.:  The DisAbility Project, which develops and performs theater about the culture of disability, for which he co-wrote the piece GO FIGURE; and Meet Me In St. Louie, Louie, about gay male identity, for which he wrote the short script CHAT ROOM.  He has sung with the Gateway Men’s Chorus on and off for many years.  He is Associate Dental Director at Family Care Health Centers, a federally qualified community health center in St. Louis. (back to top)

ALYSSA WARD (“Sharp Corner”) is excited to be a part of this production!  It is her debut performance with That Uppity Theatre Company.  She works as a French teacher, yoga instructor, and occasionally as an actress in the St. Louis area.  Recently, she played a tree in THE BUTTERFINGERS ANGEL at Stray Dog Theatre.  She is happy to play a person again this time around.  Favorite roles include Agnes IN THE DIVINE SISTER, Jamie in JUST DESSERTS, and Joan in VINEGAR TOM.  Thanks to Lee Anne, the actors, and the crew for their help with this production. (back to top)

BEN WATTS ("Buggery") is happy to join the Briefs Festival.  Watts graduated from the Pierre Laclede Honors College at UMSL with a B.A. in Theatre and Dance.  He was last seen as both Dromios in St. Louis Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors.  Past credits also include Little Shop of Horrors, Angels in America, The Santaland Diaries, and Psycho Beach Party for which he was nominated for a St. Louis Theatre Circle award for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy.  In the fall, Watts will be appearing as Tommy in HotCity Theatre’s The Normal Heart. (back to top)

ERIC DEAN WHITE (“Strange Bedfellows”) is thrilled to be a part of this year’s Briefs Festival and to be working with such a great group of artists!  Eric trained at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York and has worked on a variety of theatre & film projects in St. Louis over the last few years.  He would like to thank Michael & Joan for the opportunity to work on this great play and the entire Briefs cast & crew for all of their hard work and dedication.  Love to Wendy, Payton & Cassidy for their never-ending support and patience. (back to top)

PETE WINFREY ("Buggery") is ecstatic to be making his debut with That Uppity Theatre Company. He has worked with a number of St. Louis theatre companies including Metro Theatre Company (Unsorted, Saying Something, Do Something), Shakespeare Festival St. Louis (Twelfth Night, Othello, Taming of the Shrew), COCA Presents (Swallows & Amazons), Encore Theatre Group (Red), HotCity Theatre (Connected), West End Player's Guild (The Hothouse) and others. He was recently nominated for a St. Louis Theatre Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical for his work in Parade with R-S Theatrics. He's incredibly grateful to Michael, Joan, Ryan, and the rest of the cast and crew for putting on this amazing festival and allowing him to be a part. Love and thanks to family and friends for their undying support. (back to top)

JOHN WOLBERS (“Messages Deleted”) is the Resident Teaching Artist for Metro Theater Company. He is honored to get the chance to work with this amazing cast and this wonderful festival. His most recent credits include Igor in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (Overdue), Voldemort in STUPEFY: THE 90 MINUTE HARRY POTTER (Magic Smoking Monkey) and OPUS (WEPG). Thanks to Chuck, Chris, Jeff, Wills, and her ladyship Gloriana Regina. (back to top)

JEFFREY M. WRIGHT (“Messages Deleted”) is thrilled to join this incredibly-talented group of actors, directors, producers, and collaborators!  Recent credits include ALL IS CALM (Mustard Seed Theatre), NEXT TO NORMAL and HIGH FIDELITY (New Line Theatre), TOMMY (Stray Dog Theatre), and THE LAST FIVE YEARS (The New Jewish Theatre).  Jeff's three solo cabaret shows have played to sold-out audiences at the Kranzberg Arts Center.  Look for him this year in HANDS ON A HARDBODY (New Line Theatre), FUNNY GIRL (Stray Dog Theatre), and the reprise of ALL IS CALM with Mustard Seed Theatre.  Jeff's website is jeffreymwright.com. (back to top)

KIRSTEN WYLDER (“In the Water”) has treaded the boards professionally in StL for over 17 years now. She has had the honor of working with some of the most respected and professional companies, actors, and artists our fine city has to offer. Currently sits on the Board of Directors for R-S Theatrics. She can next be seen in Wisewrite at the Rep  and Shake38 at a super-secret location. She is thrilled to be part of this amazing festival and even more excited to share the stage with her dear, wonderful friend, Carrie. Thanks to Michael, Bonnie and Joan. As ever, for Omi. (back to top)

Gay Shorts Suite
American Theatre Magazine

Short LGBT Play Festival 'Briefs' Return to Downtown St. Louis
St. Louis Public Radio

Briefs LGBTQ Short Plays Return to STL
Katlyn Moncada, ALIVE Magazine

Preview of BRIEFS
Alton Telegraph

First Stop: La Perla
Stefene Russell, St. Louis Magazine

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