Dallas — After taking 2015 off, Uptown Players' Dallas Pride Performing Arts Festival is back, happening Sept. 16-24 at various locations in the Kalita Humphreys Theater. It features five full productions of plays, two of them by local writers, one staged reading (also local) and two cabaret performances, including the return of former Dallasite William Blake, who's now a staple in NYC. The two locally written plays were the finalists in Uptown's first Pride Write Playwiting Competition: Bruce R. Coleman's Boomer Tyro Coming Home and Stigmatic by Ness Everett. Another play from that competition will have a staged reading by Echo Theatre. The other plays are James Hindman's The Drama Department, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's Say You Love Satan and Marty Martin's The Necessary Luxury Company, the latter of which will be performed by One Thirty Productions. In addition to William Blake, Amy Armstrong and Freddy Allen return to Pride for the first time since 2013.
Below is the complete news release, with descriptions and ticketing info:
Uptown Players, a professional theater group located in the Uptown area of Dallas, has announced its programming for the Fifth Annual Dallas Pride Performing Arts Festival, including the two finalists from the Pride Write Play Writing Competition. From September 16 to 24, 2016, Uptown Players will present an eight-day festival of plays, cabaret acts and staged readings celebrating Dallas Gay Pride. The festival is presented thanks to the generous support of the Greg Grosh Charitable Fund.
The festival will feature five plays and a staged reading that include the World Premiere productions of Boomer Tyro Coming Home and Stigmatic, the two finalists in the Pride Write DFW Play Writing Competition. Audience members will be able to vote on which play will receive the Audience Favorite cash prize. The third play from the competition, Mom’s Guitar, will also be presented as a staged reading by Echo Theatre.
The festival also includes the world premiere of The Necessary Luxury Company, to be presented by One Thirty productions, and the world premiere of The Drama Department, and the regional premiere of Say You Love Satan both presented by Uptown Players. These six productions will be presented in the intimate upstairs Franks Place venue and the Bryant Hall venue next door to the main building. Nationally known Cabaret Acts from Chicago and New York will open and close the festival on the Kalita Humphreys Main Stage.
Amy Armstrong and Freddy Allen
Having appeared in the 2013 Pride Performing Arts Festival, the Chicago-based “Dynamic Duo” Amy Armstrong and Freddy Allen have been captivating audiences for more than 20 years. They have been the opening act for several familiar names including Phyllis Diller, Bea Arthur, and Jennifer Holiday. Amy’s beautiful voice, edgy humor and quick wit, combined with Freddy’s impeccable musical arrangements and sly repartee, create an evening of enjoyable and unforgettable entertainment.
Dallas-born and Uptown Players alumnus William Blake is back from the Big Apple to close this year's Pride Festival. After leaving nine years ago for New York City and traveling the world performing his award-winning cabaret acts, William returns to Dallas along with celebrated NYC musical director Nate Buccieri (direct from their weekly engagement at the legendary Duplex in the West Village) to entertain with song selections ranging from Broadway to blues to pop to close out this week's festivities with a bang! See and hear what the Los Angeles Times has called "a powerful tenor" and what the Wall Street Journal has deemed "super-soulful" in a show destined to put a smile on your face and pride in your stride!
The Necessary Luxury Company
by Marty Martin
Presented by ONE THIRTY PRODUCTIONS
Marty Martin’s play The Necessary Luxury Company is a sequel of sorts to his widely successful star vehicle, Gertrude, Stein, Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein, which was commissioned by Pat Carroll. Martin’s new play gives Alice B. Toklas’ view of the events recalled by Gertrude and transcends that script in its emotional depth and the range of stories and its fond portrait of one the most successful marriages of the twentieth century. Toklas and Stein were married before anyone was concerned about marriage between two women or two men, for that matter. They traveled extensively in America on a book tour and were very open about their relationship and simply no one noticed.
Mom’s Guitar or Leave The Latchstring Out
by Carol Young
A staged reading presented by Echo Theatre
Three sisters meet at their recently deceased mother’s house to negotiate distribution of some contested items from her possessions. In greeting and discussing the recent funeral some family dynamics are exposed. Points of view are examined and adjusted as they try to come to some agreements about the past and putting their mother “to rest.” This play is written by local playwright Carol Young and is the non-finalist winner from the Pride Write Play competition.
by Ness Everett
Stigmatic, by local playwright Ness Everett, was one of the two finalists from the Pride Write Play Competition and will be making its world premiere as part of the festival.
A quiet weekday morning for married couple David and Alan is interrupted by a visit from Alan’s twin brother, Alec, a father of three who feels trapped in a struggling marriage. The two find themselves the unexpected confidants of a man too busy hiding behind a wink and a smile to acknowledge that there’s more to the story than a man and a woman falling out of love. For all their lives, Alan and Alec have had an unusual bond. What once made them inseparable is now tearing them apart, and David realizes too late that he stands at the center of it all.
Boomer Tyro Is Coming Home
by Bruce R. Coleman
Boomer Tyro Is Coming Home, by Bruce R, Coleman, was one of the two finalists from the Pride Write Play Competition and will be making its world premiere as part of the festival.
Boomer Tyro Is Coming Home is the Lost Tennessee Williams play that Williams never wrote. In hot and steamy Galveston, Texas circa 1955, the residence of the decrepit Hotel La Vienna are in a lather preparing for the return of local boy gone Hollywood, Boomer Tyro. Secrets are exposed, lust is inflamed and mendacity gets all sexy-pants in the tongue-in-cheek homage to a simpler time - a simpler time that was WAY more complicated than anybody would like to remember.
The Drama Department
by James Hindman
A mid-west high school takes great pride in its Debate & Dramatics teacher until the son of the school board president isn’t cast as the lead in the school musical. Slowly and insidiously rumors are spread to create dissent and scandal as we watch loyal friends, students, and teachers turn against him in this sharp and gripping comedy of suspicion and personal integrity.
Say You Love Satan
by Roberto Aquirre-Sacasa
Late one rainy night in Baltimore, Andrew—an affable graduate student researching the works of Dostoevsky—meets a handsome stranger named Jack. The two immediately hit it off and start dating, despite the fact that Andrew already has a super-duper boyfriend and that Jack has the Mark of the Beast—you know, 666—burned into his forehead. "Are you a satanist?" Andrew asks Jack. "No," he replies sheepishly. "But my father…he's the Devil." Intrigued-slash-slightly apprehensive (and against the urgings of his best gal-pal Bernadette), Andrew does his best to make a go of it with Jack. Until, as this seriously entertaining comedy unspools, Andrew slowly begins to realize, with mounting dread and horror—and, always, an undefeatable sense of humor—that Jack isn't the Devil's son at all. On the contrary, he's something far, far worse…truly, a boyfriend of the damned.
General admission tickets for events in Franks Place and Bryant Hall are $10-15. Reserved seats for the concerts by Amy Armstrong and Freddy Allen and by William Blake are $20 - $30. Festival passes allow you to see all six productions in Franks Place and Bryant Hall for just $65. Performances will take place at the Kalita Humphreys Theater complex, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd at Blackburn. Tickets and festival passes can be purchased online at www.uptownplayers.org or by phone at 214-219-2718.