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San Francisco Mime Troupe Returns Live

The San Francisco Mime Troupe after a 2-year COVID hiatus live performances return with free political musical theater in Bay Area & Northern California parks. They’re opening their 63rd season on July 2nd to September 5th with “Back To The Way Things Were - A New Musical Nostalgia Ain’t What It Used To Be”. The performance is about a country where we can finally stop wearing masks to get pizza & go to the movies & where we again have a president who isn’t dumb as a two-dollar ham. Hard- working, middle-aged liberals Ralph & Alice wistfully yearn for times when things seemed normal but for Zoe - their twenty-something daughter who grew up in a world of climate change, housing crashes, student debt, the rise of dictatorships & the fall of democracies - there isn’t a “better” to go back to. For her the purgatory of the last two years was just a pause from life in Hell. The cast includes Keiko Shimosato Carreiro, Andre Amarotico, Lizzie Calogero, Norman Gee & Alicia M. P. Nelson. The play was written by Michael Gene Sullivan & Marie Cartier with music & lyrics by Daniel Savio & directed by Velina Brown. Musical director is Daniel Savio with Will Durkee (Guitars), Daniel Savio (Keyboards), & Jason Young (Drums). The San Francisco Mime Troupe’s mission is to create & produce theater that presents a working-class analysis of the events that shape our society, that exposes social & economic injustice, that demands revolutionary change on behalf of working people & to present this analysis before the broadest possible audience with artistry & humor. 

LGBTQ Groups Demand Tech Protections

On the last day of Pride Month 24 groups including Fight for the Future, GLAAD, the National Black Justice Coalition & the National Lawyers Guild are asking Congress & the FTC to address big tech monopolies, fight Section 230 carve outs & crackdown on private & government surveillance to better protect our LGBTQ community. Our safety & freedom is more important than ever especially with the surge of recent anti-LGBTQ+ attacks on our community. Evan Greer Fight for the Future Director stated, “Pride Month should be a reminder of the incomplete work to liberate LGBTQ+ folks, especially those left out by the mainstream movement. This year, threats to queer & trans people’s safety, freedom & bodily autonomy are multiplying & technology can and must be a force for liberation, not oppression. Congress & the FTC have an obligation to listen to organizers & use their power to protect our community.” Jenni Olson GLAAD Senior Director of Social Media Safety added, “Like other industries before it, Big Tech’s products should be safe for consumers—both here in the US & around the world. Congress & the FTC must take leadership now to protect LGBTQ people & all of us, from the myriad of harms being inflicted on society by social media companies.” The letter to Congress concludes, “This Pride Month, you have the opportunity to honor our lives with action, instead of empty platitudes. Fighting monopoly power, preventing Section 230 rollbacks & cracking down on surveillance will help prevent technology from amplifying the existing dangers to our community.” 

Deborah Bowie onePULSE Foundation

Deborah Bowie has been appointed executive director of onePULSE Foundation the nonprofit established following the June 12, 2016 tragedy to honor & preserve the legacy of those killed in the Pulse Nightclub massacre. Bowie joins onePULSE at an important time with the foundation recently embarking on a new three-year strategic plan & entering the next crucial phases of the final design, construction & operation of the National Pulse Memorial & Museum & Orlando Health Survivors Walk. Earl Crittenden, Chairman of the onePULSE Foundation Board of Trustees stated, “We are extremely pleased to welcome Deborah as our Executive Director. Deborah’s depth of knowledge & breadth of experience, combined with her strategic vision & unwavering dedication & passion, makes her uniquely qualified to lead onePULSE into this next stage of our journey to realize the National Pulse Memorial & Museum.” Bowie concluded, “I am honored & privileged to serve as Executive Director of onePULSE Foundation. I look forward to working with our exceptionally talented staff & board members, our dedicated partners & the community, to help drive onePULSE’s mission to create & support a memorial that opens hearts, a museum that opens minds, educational programs that open eyes and legacy scholarships that open doors. I, too, understand what it means to have to rebuild every aspect of who you are after such a life-changing tragedy. It is with this additional sense of purpose & drawing on my own personal grief journey, that I will strive to continue the advancement of onePULSE’s incredible work.” Bowie's sister was fatally shot in a highly publicized triple homicide in Miramar, FL in 1994 & brings a notable public & nonprofit sector experience to onePULSE as well. 

LGBTQ Out Film Connecticut Winners

Out Film CT announced the winners of the 35th annual Connecticut LGBTQ Film Festival Jury & Audience Awards. “Mascarpone” won the Audience Award for Best Feature & “Invisible” won for Best Documentary. In the Jury category “Finlandia” won for Best Feature Film & “Prognosis – Notes on Living” won for Best Documentary. Jaime Ortega Festival Co-Director stated, “We had an incredibly diverse collection of films this year from over 25 different countries spanning 6 continents & the awards reflect how the audience & jury really embraced that diversity, with winners from Italy, Mexico, India, Canada & right here in the United States. We are thrilled with the audience response & are delighted to share the results of their voting as well as the festival jury's selections as the best of the festival." In the 2022 Audience & Jury Awards filmmakers will share $3,500 in prize money. Shane Engstrom Festival Co-Director concluded, "The prize money we award is meant to assist filmmakers with the funding of their future projects. This year's honorees showcased the rich diversity of our community & we hope to assist them with continuing to tell the important stories of our diverse lives that rarely make it to the local cineplex." The 35th Out Film Connecticut LGBTQ Film Festival was presented as a hybrid festival this year with feature films & short films screenings in-person screenings at the historic Cinestudio on the campus of Trinity College in Hartford, the CT Science Center, Apple Cinemas as well as via virtual streaming. From over 650 submissions audiences & the jury had the opportunity to view & vote on over 100 full-length films & shorts. 

New Play “The Lady Hamlet” (AUDIO)

This week I talked to award-winning author Sarah Schulman about the world premiere of her new play “The Lady Hamlet” at The Provincetown Theater in Provincetown, MA. that runs for 16 performances now through July 21st. It took 17 years for Schulman’s daring & romantic farce to come to fruition & I can’t wait to see it. “The Lady Hamlet” is a rollickingly smart, gender-defying comedy with big heart, deep curiosity & with serious laughs. The play is about two women born to play Hamlet set in 1920s New York City as they engage in a war of wits that leaves their colleagues & lovers caught in the crossfire. This hilariously smart & farcical costume comedy with one foot in screwball & the other in a fencing match creates a duel of divas in a fierce battle to see who will be the first & best female Hamlet on Broadway & win the off-stage hand of the fair Ophelia. Directed by David Drake, Artistic Director at The Provincetown Theater the cast of 6 includes Jennifer Van Dyck (Bway: Two Shakespearean Actors, Hedda Gabler, Dancing at Lughnasa), Kate Levy (Bway: Bernhardt/Hamlet). John Shuman (Bway: La Cage Aux Folles, TV: “Boardwalk Empire”), Anne Stott (Film: “Don't Look Up,” “The Mothership,” “Crookedfinger”) Laura Scribner (“Law & Order: Criminal Intent) & Brandon Cordeiro (Bway: The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me). “The Lady Hamlet” was developed in part through the Provincetown Theater's new play development program The Stephen Mindich Literary Project. COVID-19 safety protocols for the performance include mandatory facemasks for all patrons except while actively consuming food or drink & proof of vaccination. I talked to Sarah about the inspiration for her fabulous new play & her spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN  

Supreme Court Rules Radically Religious

With the Supreme Court overturning of Roe v. Wade & abortion rights it’s time to acknowledge that the highest court has become the newest religious institution & not in a good way. This is going to take a huge toll on this country in every way possible. First of all we can no longer think that the highest court will ever rule again in a fair & equal manner. Justice Clarence Thomas has made it crystal clear of his next radical agenda stating, "In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence & Obergefell." Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO of GLAAD stated, "Thomas' concurrence is a blaring red alert for the LGBTQ community & for all Americans. We will never go back to the dark days of being shut out of hospital rooms, left off of death certificates, refused spousal benefits, or any of the other humiliations that took place in the years before Obergefell. And we definitely will not go back to the pre-Lawrence days of being criminalized just because we are LGBTQ. But that's exactly what Thomas is threatening to do to the country, even as support for marriage equality is at an all-time high of 71% & more Americans are coming out as LGBTQ with each generation. Between this threat & today's reversal of abortion rights, we can no longer trust that the Supreme Court is operating in the interests of the majority of Americans." If Justice Thomas goes after Obergefell & marriage equality I hope he also challenges Loving v. Virginia which will dissolve his own marriage.

OutRight Pride Around The World Report

OutRight Action International dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ people everywhere has published its annual Pride Around the World report. The report tracks the increase of Pride marches & other events aimed at LGBTQ visibility around the world, including a focus on countries where Pride was celebrated for the first time in 2021 or where heightened repression made it impossible. Through case studies on the Bahamas, Georgia, Hungary, Lithuania, Ghana, Malawi, & Rwanda the report sheds light on legal & political environments that enabled or complicated Pride events in 2021. It also analyzes survey responses from 67 activists in 45 countries, drawing out the multiple purposes of Pride, including awareness, advocacy, community building & resistance. Maria Sjödin, Acting Executive Director of OutRight Action International stated, “Pride is important for visibility, especially where people somehow have the idea that LGBTIQ people don't exist. It is also important for LGBTIQ people themselves - to be in community and get a boost for all the activism that happens all other days of the year.“ Neela Ghoshal, OutRight Senior Director of law, policy & research who led the report’s research & findings concluded, "For LGBTIQ movements around the world, Pride is a time for celebration, for advocacy & for resistance. While public displays, such as Pride, are not the ultimate goal or even a key priority for every movement, they can serve as a useful barometer of LGBTIQ movements’ capability to organize & voice their demands in various parts of the world. It is a testament to the resilience of queer movements that even in the context of COVID-19 restrictions, more countries held public Pride & visibility events in 2021 than ever before." 

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San Francisco Mime Troupe Returns Live

The San Francisco Mime Troupe after a 2-year COVID hiatus live performances return with free political musical theater in Bay Area & Nor...

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