Theater Preview: PRIDE PLAYS 2020 FESTIVAL (Pride Plays, Playbill, and Rattlestick)

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by Jim Allen on June 5, 2020

in Theater-New York


Pride Plays (Festival Producers Doug Nevin and Michael Urie, and Festival Director Nick Mayo) and Playbill, in partnership with Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, are celebrating the LGBT month of Pride with the Pride Plays 2020 Festival’s Primetime Livestream lineup. Playbill will present a free livestream theatrical event from the queer theatrical canon in June, beginning June 12, at 7 pm EST. Aside from these four live-streamed readings of plays by and about the gay community, there will also be a free, publicly available celebration Pride Spectacular Concert hosted by Mr. Urie on the evening of Pride Sunday, June 28, 2020. The events will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. Each presentation will be hosted by a pillar of the community, who will introduce the play and share their own stories before the curtain rises.

JUNE 12: Donja R. Love’s one in two, a portrait of what it means to be black and queer in America today. “The play was rapturously received at the New Group earlier this season and we are honored to bring this work to our audiences in June,” says Mayo.

JUNE 19: Masculinity Max by MJ Kaufman will take the “stage.” Directed by Will Davis, the play stands as a mesmerizing and life-affirming new work from a powerful playwright. Kaufman’s Eat and You Belong With Us played the 2019 festival “and audiences were wowed by the wit and heart of their writing,” says Nevin. “MJ Kaufman is one of the most exciting playwrights working today.”

JUNE 22: Brave Smiles…Another Lesbian Tragedy by The Five Lesbian Brothers. Reuniting original collaborative writers The Five Lesbian Brothers — Maureen Angelos, Babs Davy, Dominique Dibbell, Peg Healey, and Tony-winner Lisa Kron (Fun Home) — the play will be directed by Leigh Silverman. Presented at last year’s festival, the joyous and raucous Brave Smiles is considered one of The Brothers’ most essential works.

JUNE 26: The Men from the Boys by Mart Crowley. The last play in Pride’s series honors groundbreaking playwright Mart Crowley, who passed away in March of this year, after winning a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play for his The Boys in the Band. Produced with Aaron Glick, the drama will be directed by Zachary Quinto, who played Harold in the Tony-winning revival. “With The Boys in the Band, the late, great Mart Crowley wrote the original Pride Play. Those boys changed the lives of so many and we always wondered what happened to them as they became men,” says Urie. “Men From the Boys is the answer to that question as we revisit those characters here.”

In addition to the four readings and a concert, throughout the entire month of June, Pride Plays will continue to develop new works through virtual readings. Since they are in development, it’s not presented to the public. It’s invite only. The goal since is to expand representation of the entire queer community in the theater. Major directors will be on board to help fine-tune these new stories.

The following plays will be part of the full Pride Plays Festival 2020 June 1–30:

Everything Beautiful Happens at Night
by Ted Malawer
Directed by David Cromer

Just Press Save
by Rodney Hicks
Directed by Michael Greif

Good Time Charlie
by Ryan J. Haddad
Directed by Danny Sharron

Crooked Parts
by Azure D. Osborne-Lee
Directed by Kirya Traber

by Omar Hantash
Directed by Kareem Fahmy

Are You There Truman?
by Garrett David Kim
Directed by Gaven Trinidad

Marked Green At Birth, Marked Female at Birth
by Sophie Sagan-Gutherz
Directed By: Caitlin Ryan O’Connell

You Have to Promise
by Audrey Lang
Directed by Jenna Worsham

Modern Gentleman
by Preston Max Allen
Directed by Blayze Teicher

Will You…Hold My Hair Back
by Carmen LoBue
Directed by Dominique Rider

For Leonora, or, Companions
by Hayley St. James
Directed by Leigh Fondakowski

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