Pearl Vodka Presents Sixth Annual Briefs:
A Festival of Short LGBT Plays
Coming Soon to the .ZACK Performing Arts Center!
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With funding for the arts under attack and more anti-LGBTQ legislation in the wings under the new administration, the sixth annual Briefs: A Festival of Short LGBTQ Plays is needed now more than ever. Pearl Vodka in conjunction with That Uppity Theatre Company and Vital VOICE Magazine will present the sixth annual Briefs: A Festival of Short LGBTQ 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 address the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning people. The festival is targeted to a diverse and mature audience that appreciates good theatre in unique settings.
Each of the eight plays run about 10 minutes or less and include a variety of comedic and serious themes and genres. This year’s collection of eight plays has been selected from over 250 submissions across the country and includes such themes as the care-taking of elderly family members by gay persons, the stress a lesbian couple experiences given varying responses to the Pulse massacre, the impact on family dynamics following a member's official adoption of a transgender identity, the closing of a bar that was a foundational safe haven for gay community members, and more.
The sixth year of the festival will again celebrate the third annual Ken Haller Playwriting Competition for LGBTQ and Allied Youth. The competition is named after pediatrician, performer, and longtime LGBTQ activist Ken Haller. The Haller competition will provide the winning playwright with a cash prize and their play will be staged at the Briefs festival. We will be honoring the Haller Award recipient, McKenzie Moser, for her play Trial and Swear during the Briefs Festival.
During its six-year history, Briefs has attracted many talented leading actors and directors from the St. Louis area. This year, we will feature three local, female writers, Shannon Grier, Joan Lipkin and Theresa Masters with their respective works titled Twenty Questions, Our Friends , and Danny Boy . Dan Berkowtiz’s When Oprah Says Goodbye is back by popular demand as a presentation of diversity and aging in the LGBTQ community.
According to Briefs co-producer and artistic director Joan Lipkin, “Gender parity has been a core value of the festival since its inception and we hire more female directors than most places locally and nationally. As of this year, we will have produced 50 plays, many world premieres and several by local writers. It is heartening to consider the contribution we have made in assembling and nurturing this body of dramatic literature.”
“Briefs is very important because we are getting the opportunity to see LGBTQ stories though the medium of live theatre,” says Vital VOICE CEO Darin Slyman. “Of course we read about these LGBTQ stories and hear about them, but we rarely have the opportunity to see them, and seeing is very powerful.”
Art and freedom of expression is essential for the survival and well-being of various communities including LGBTQ and allied people. Looking at our selected plays and the diverse group of directors, playwrights, actors, and technicians, we are delighted to present one of the best Briefs festivals yet. The selected works and directors of the plays are listed below:
That Uppity Theatre Company • 4466 West Pine Boulevard, Suite 13C •
Saint Louis, MO 63108