UPDATE July 13, 2012: Songs for a New World is no longer on the Pride schedule. Disregard mentions of it below.
Although it wasn't on the roster when the 2012 season for Uptown Players was announced last year, the group is bringing back the Dallas Pride Performing Arts Festival for a second year. The first festival was a hit. The event, running Sept. 9-15, brings smaller works of GLBT interest to the Kalita Humphreys Theater during Dallas Gay Pride week. It will be headlined by a staged reading of Dustin Lance Black's play 8, which deals with the Proposition 8 ruling n California in 2008.
Also on the lineup are the returns of two productions from other groups in the area seen within the past year: One Thirty Productions' critically acclaimed staging of Lanford Wilson's The Madness of Lady Bright, seen at the 2011 Festival of Independent Theatres; and queer performance artist John Michael Colgin's one-man show A-Gays: Stillwater, Oklahoma, which was presnted by Nouveau 47 Theatre.
Uptown will also stage Jason Robert Brown's musical Songs for a New World with a "twist" (we're guessing that twist will be in the same vein as UP's annual Broadway Our Way show), as well as the area premiere of Stephen Karam's play Speech and Debate. There also be cabaret, comedy and more.
Here's the info from Uptown's news release:
The festival will kick off with a staged reading of 8, a new play by Academy-award winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk, J. Edgar) on the main stage at the Kalita Humphreys Theater. Based on the actual words of the landmark trial of Perry v. Schwarzenegger, 8 is the real-life story of Kris & Sandy and Paul & Jeff, two loving couples who want to get married but can't. Together with attorneys, David Boies & Ted Olson, and a host of expert witnesses, they take aim at Proposition 8, a discriminatory law that took away the right for LGBT couples to marry in California in 2008. As 8 flashes in and out of the Perry court, watch both sides present the best evidence, arguments and witnesses for and against marriage for gay and lesbian Americans. 8 will be directed by René Moreno and will feature 21 of Dallas' best-known actors and actresses.
Also on the main stage at the Kalita Humphreys Theater is the musical Songs For a New World. Songs is an abstract musical with a series of songs all connected by a theme: "the moment of decision," done with an Uptown twist. Composer Jason Robert Brown has said of his show, "It's about one moment. It's about hitting the wall and having to make a choice, or take a stand, or turn around and go back." Songs for a New World will be directed by Bruce Coleman, with music direction by Kevin Gunter.
Presented in Franks Place upstairs at the Kalita Humphreys Theater, will be a series of plays and Cabaret acts for just three performances each.
Speech & Debate, by Stephen Karam, is about three teenage misfits in Salem, Oregon who discover they are linked by a sex scandal that's rocked their town. When one of them sets out to expose the truth, secrets become currency, the stakes get higher, and the trio's connection grows deeper in this searching, fiercely funny dark comedy with music.
The Madness of Lady Bright, by Lanford Wilson, was seen in the 2011 FIT Festival at the Bath House Cultural Center. Produced by 130 productions and starring Larry Randolph, the show traces the mental breakdown of Lesley Bright, an aging homosexual whose past returns to haunt him with the emptiness of the choices he made.
I Google Myself by Jason Schafer, is a pulpy drama about the intersection of sex, violence, and a man who wants to find the meaning in his life through an internet search. What he discovers instead is that he shares a name with a porn star. It comes as no surprise that these two very different characters have more in common than it seems, but that's only revealed after increasingly absurd and violent plot twists send the play into comic terrain.
Presented back to back are the comedy duo of Paul J. Williams and Marisa Diotalevi. Paul J. Williams presents Triple Crown Queen, his one-man show combining childhood stories, photos and videos celebrating his half-century journey from Creative Child to Pink List Celebrity. Returning to the stage with a sequel of her one-woman show, Marisa Diotalevi presents Still Consummate. Seeing both of these comedians on one night, will leave you in stitches and smiling until your cheeks hurt!
In A-GAYS, Stillwater, Oklahoma, John-Michael Colgin tells his story of coming out as a young gay man while at college at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. In his search for his first boyfriend, he fell in with a group of attractive, rich gay students, where there is an entrance policy: NO UGLIES ALLOWED. Using this story to work around the hot-topic issue of bullying, Colgin's show is about tolerance and acceptance, posing the question of acceptance within a community that wants to be accepted. A GAYS: Stillwater, Oklahoma was first presented by Nouveau 47 Theatre last spring.
Why Am I Not Gay, by Jason Kane, is his story about growing up a fan of musical theatre. He knows that when he talks about his collection of original Broadway Cast Recordings, the season finale of Kathy Griffin, and his two cats, he should expect to be gay-tially profiled as family. This straight man is one Bette Midler concert shy of legally irrefutable proof of queerness. The show pokes fun at these dilemmas with a peppering of show tunes, pop songs and monologues.
Tickets for all shows range from $10-$15. Festival passes allow you to see every production excluding the staged reading of 8, for just $50. Performances will take place at the Kalita Humphreys Theater building, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd at Blackburn. Single tickets and festival passes can be purchased online at www.uptownplayers.org or by phone at 214-219-2718.
Kalita Humphreys Theater
- 8 Staged Reading: Sept. 6 @ 8pm
- Songs For A New World: Sept. 9 @ 7pm, Sept. 11 @ 8pm, Sept. 15 @ 3pm
Frank's Place (upstairs at the Kalita Humphreys Theater)
- Speech & Debate: Sept. 7 @ 7:30pm, Sept. 8 @ 3:30pm, Sept. 10 @ 7:30pm
- The Madness of Lady Bright: Sept. 8 @ 2pm, Sept. 9 @ 4pm, Sept. 15 @ 8:30pm
- Still Consummate: Sept. 8 @ 6pm, Sept. 11 @ 7:30pm, Sept. 14 @ 7:30pm
- Triple Crown Queen: Sept. 8 @ 730pm, Sept. 11 @ 9pm, Sept. 14 @ 9pm
- A-GAYS, Stillwater Oklahoma: Sept. 8 @ 9pm, Sept. 9 @ 5:30pm, Sept. 15 @ 6:30pm
- I Google Myself: Sept. 9 @ 2:15pm, Sept. 13 @7:30pm, Sept. 15 @ 4:30pm
- Why Am I Not Gay?: Sept. 9 @ 7:30pm, Sept. 12 @ 7:30pm, Sept. 15 @ 2pm