Pearl Vodka Presents Fourth Annual Briefs:
A Festival of Short LGBT Plays
Coming Soon to the Rialto Ballroom in Grand Center!
Regional Arts Commission |
The Rialto Ballroom at Grand Center
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Pearl Vodka in conjunction with That Uppity Theatre Company and Vital VOICE Magazine will present the fourth annual BRIEFS: A Festival of Short LGBT Plays. BRIEFS is a unique venture in St. Louis that brings together numerous directors and theatrical artists to showcase the work of eight different playwrights all under one roof.
BRIEFS presents theatrical work that addresses the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people and is targeted to a diverse and mature audience that appreciates good theatre in unique settings.
The plays of BRIEFS were selected from playwrights nationwide for the fourth-annual production, including:
The eight plays run about 10 minutes or less and include myriad comedic and serious themes and genres. This year's collection of eight plays have been selected from over 170 submissions from across the nation and include such themes as a gay mermaid looking for love, a Jewish mother who competitively wants her single son to have the biggest wedding, the stresses of sexual identity for LGBTQ adolescents, a lesbian version of Dr. Seuss and a conflict between a gay male couple around involvement in Ferguson.
At the invitation of Cynthia Prost, executive director of the Arts & Education Council this year's festival will be held at the Rialto Ballroom at Grand Center. The fourth year of the festival also sees the launch of the Ken Haller Playwriting Competition for LGBTQ and Allied Youth. Named for pediatrician, performer and longtime LGBT activist Ken Haller, this contest will provide a cash prize of $250 to the winning playwright as well as production at the festival. On opening night, Friday March 27, we will offer a preshow reception at 6:30 pm to honor Haller and Schmidt and to celebrate our fourth year.
According to BRIEFS co-producer and artistic director Joan Lipkin, "We want to provide opportunities and more visibility for young writers. It's also a wonderful way to honor Ken Haller, whose work has been so pivotal, on behalf of young people and LGBT rights." This year's winner is John Schmidt, who is a senior and a Nemerov Scholar at Washington University in St Louis.
Award namesake Ken Haller said, "I am moved and humbled that That Uppity Theatre Company and Vital Voice Magazine have named the competition for LGBTQ & Allied Youth in my honor. Growing up gay and caring for kids as a pediatrician, and working in theater I know how crucial it is for kids who have been marginalized to be heard." This year BRIEFS will also feature the Barefoot Bubbly Brunch at noon before the final 2 PM Sunday matinee, which includes pre-show mimosas and brunch.
During its short history, BRIEFS has attracted some of the leading actors as well as some of the most experienced directors in St Louis. Previous BRIEFS directors Christopher Limber, Lee Ann Matthews, Marty Stanberry, Joan Lipkin and Michael Perkins will be joined this year by Todd Schaefer, Gad Guterman and Philip Boehm. BRIEFS also provides an excellent opportunity for younger directors and actors to gain valuable experience and exposure.
"Vital VOICE Magazine always strives to create new and exciting projects and experiences for the LGBT community and our straight allies," said CEO Darin Slyman. "BRIEFS is a celebration that will leave audiences entertained, informed and uplifted."
That Uppity Theatre Company • 4466 West Pine Boulevard, Suite 13C •
Saint Louis, MO 63108