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LOS ANGELES (Dec. 6, 2018) — “We are the new. Beyond gender. Beyond possessions. Beyond the past.” Odyssey Theatre Ensemble opens its 50th anniversary season with the Los Angeles premiere of Hir, a darkly funny, shockingly absurd and endlessly surprising vision of a world in transition by MacArthur genius Taylor Mac. Bart DeLorenzo directs for a Jan. 19 opening at the Odyssey Theatre in West L.A., with performances continuing through March 17.
Hilarious and terrifying, Hir is a dysfunctional family dramedy for a new era: a highly intelligent, heartfelt and deeply, darkly humorous portrayal of a family in crisis, in which domestic abuse, the trauma of war and the acceptance of gender neutrality are illustrated in a nearly absurd, emotionally gripping, intensely real dynamic. Somewhere in the American suburbs, Isaac, dishonorably discharged from his tour in Afghanistan, has returned home to discover a household in revolt. The insurgent: his mom. Liberated from an oppressive marriage to Isaac’s father by his debilitating stroke, and with Max, Isaac’s newly out transgender sibling, as her ally, Paige is on a crusade to dismantle the patriarchy.
“Hir is about the future of America and how we might break into the next moment,” says DeLorenzo. “This country, in its defining documents, was seeking to transition from autocratic rule to individual rights, but how far did we get? And will we keep moving forward, or will we move back? Hir is the opposite of the ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan: it’s arguing that unless you’re willing to overlook and ignore quite a lot, this country has never been great, has never lived up to the promise of its constitutional freedoms. But, from this point on, many voices contend, it will have to. And what will be the cost of this liberation? At the same time, Hir is a very funny dark comedy, what Mac calls ‘absurd realism.’ Mac adopts the form of the classic American family play and then sends it spinning.”
The word “hir” is a gender-neutral, third-person singular object pronoun that replaces the use of him or her. According to Mac, “The title is a metaphor. It’s pronounced ‘here,’ and I enjoy the duality of something being about gender and also about place.”
Hir was developed at San Francisco’s Magic Theater, where it premiered in 2014, and at New Dramatists as part of their Creativity Fund. It opened in New York City at Playwright’s Horizons a year later, where it was named one of the “Top Ten Best Theater of 2015” by The New York Times. “Perhaps no play this year inspired a greater sense of awe than Taylor Mac’s audacious dive into the dysfunctional-family playpen of American theater,” wrote Times theater critic Ben Brantley.
The Odyssey’s L.A. premiere stars Ron Bottitta (Oppenheimer at Rogue Machine; Arsenic and Old Lace, Rank and Theatre in the Dark at the Odyssey) as the formerly abusive but now helpless Arnold; recent CalArts graduate Zack Gearing as prodigal son Isaac; Cynthia Kania (L.A. premieres of Bleacher Bums, Women Behind Bars; Theatricum Botanicum productions of The Crucible, The Chalk Garden, Richard the III, Joyce Carol Oates’ Tone Clusters and A Midsummer Night’s Dream) as family matriarch Paige; and Puppett (guest star role on Catfish: The Untold Stories, supporting role in feature film Drifter) as the newly trans, gender queer Max.
The creative team includes set designer Thomas A. Walsh, lighting designer Katelan Braymer, costume designer Merrily Walsh and prop master Josh La Cour.
Taylor Mac (who uses “judy,” lowercase sic, not as a name but as a gender pronoun) is a playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, performance artist, director and producer. Judy’s work has been performed at Lincoln Center, the Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Royce Hall, Guthrie Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre, Sydney Opera House, American Repertory Theatre, Södra Teatern, Spoleto Festival, Curran Theater and MOMA, and at literally hundreds of other theaters, museums, music halls, opera houses, cabarets and festivals around the globe. Judy is the author of 17 full-length plays and performance pieces including A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (Pulitzer Prize finalist for drama), The Lily’s Revenge, The Walk Across America for Mother Earth, The Young Ladies Of, Red Tide Blooming and The Be(a)st of Taylor Mac. Mac is the recipient of multiple awards including the Kennedy Prize, New York Drama Critics Circle Award, Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, Guggenheim Fellowship, Herb Alpert Award, Peter Zeisler Memorial Award, Helen Merrill Playwriting Award, two Bessies, two Obies, a Helpmann Award, an Ethyl Eichelberger Award and a MacArthur Fellowship.
Bart DeLorenzo is the founding artistic director of the Evidence Room Theater. At the Odyssey, he has previously directed Kiss, Go Back to Where You Are, Day Drinkers, and A Number, as well as Evidence Room co-productions of The False Servant, Passion Play, Annapurna, Ivanov, Margo Veil and The Receptionist. Other recent work: Sugar Plum Fairy at South Coast Repertory and the Skylight; Stage Kiss, Death of the Author and Coney Island Christmas at the Geffen Playhouse; tokyo fish story, Fast Company, Doctor Cerberus and Shipwrecked! An Entertainment at South Coast Rep; Nomad Motel at Pittsburgh’s City Theatre; Women in Jeopardy! at the Ensemble Theater of Santa Barbara; Need to Know at Rogue Machine; The Projectionist at the Kirk Douglas/CTG; and The Night Watcher at Washington’s Studio Theatre. He is on the faculty at CalArts. He has numerous awards from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, LA Weekly and Backstage, and he is a recipient of the Alan Schneider Director Award.
Hir opens the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble’s 50th anniversary season. Founded in 1969 when Ron Sossi decided to demonstrate that experiment-oriented theater could have populist appeal and be fiscally solvent while maintaining the highest artistic standards, the Odyssey continues to explore, produce and present works on the forefront of contemporary theater art in its three-theater complex in West Los Angeles. Coming up in 2019: an exciting retrospective of seminal theater works that inspired the Odyssey at the time of its inception, a rich time of experimentation and exploration when the theatrical soil was fertile both here and abroad.
Performances of Hir take place on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. from Jan. 19 through March 17. On Sunday, Jan. 20 only, the performance will be at 5 p.m. with no 2 p.m. matinee. Additional weeknight performances are scheduled on Thursday, Jan 31; Wednesday, Feb. 20; and Wednesday, March 6, all at 8 p.m. Talkbacks with the cast follow the performances on Thursday, Jan. 31; Wednesday, Feb. 20; and Friday, Feb. 22. Tickets range from $32 to $37; there will be three “Tix for $10” performances, on Friday, Jan. 25; Thursday, Jan. 31; and Friday, Feb. 22. Friday, Feb. 22 is “College Night” and includes a pre-performance snacks on the patio for students as well as a post-performance discussion: $10 with valid student ID (use promo code COLLEGE). Additional discounts are available at select performances for seniors, students and patrons under 30; call theater for details.
The Odyssey Theatre is located at 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles, 90025. For reservations and information, call (310) 477-2055 or go to OdysseyTheatre.com.
Pride Fund to End Gun Violence PAC – America’s only national LGBTQ political organization focused solely on gun violence prevention – announced today its endorsement of candidates Chris Murphy for U.S. Senate (CT), Andrew Gillum for Governor (FL), Ann Kirkpatrick for Congress (AZ-2), and Attorney General Maura Healey (MA).
Pride Fund believes that Americans deserve leaders who will stand up for what is right, and who will stand up to the gun lobby. With the approach of the 2018 midterm elections, the race for important seats in Congress and throughout the country is becoming more crucial than ever. Pride Fund is proud to stand and fight with our newly endorsed candidates who are standing up to the NRA, taking action, and making progress toward a safer America.
“Senator Chris Murphy has been one of the strongest gun reform advocates in the U.S. Senate and we could not be more excited to endorse his re-election bid,” said Jason Lindsay, Executive Director of Pride Fund to End Gun Violence. “After the shooting at Pulse in 2016, Murphy stood up for LGBTQ Americans and against the gun lobby by holding one of the longest Senate filibusters on record. We need members of the Senate like Chris, who will not be afraid to stand up for sensible gun reform and the safety of American families,” said Lindsay.
Senator Murphy has been a supporter of universal background checks, closing loopholes allowing dangerous individuals access to firearms, banning high-capacity magazines, and banning military-grade assault weapons. Along with sensible gun reform, Senator Murphy has been an ally to LGBTQ Americans by standing up for basic civil rights, like employment nondiscrimination, and ensuring healthcare for all Americans.
“Andrew Gillum has shown Florida what it means to stand up to the gun lobby and the NRA. We are so excited to help him continue that fight as Governor,” said Jason Lindsay, Executive Director of Pride Fund to End Gun Violence. “As Mayor of Tallahassee, Andrew has proven that he is up to the task of passing common sense gun reform legislation across Florida and has built a gun violence prevention coalition in the wake of the Pulse and Parkland tragedies in his state. We can’t wait to see what he can accomplish as Governor,” said Lindsay.
Andrew Gillum has the unique opportunity to be Florida’s first Democratic Governor in almost 20 years. We are proud to be supporting him this November during this historic election in Florida. Gillum has shown his commitment to common sense gun reform by successfully taking on the gun lobby and the NRA in his tenure as Mayor of Tallahassee. In 2014, the NRA took action against Gillum for refusing to allow guns to be fired in city parks, but Gillum fought back and defeated the dangerous initiative by the gun lobby. We can’t wait to see him continue fighting for the safety and dignity of all Americans as Governor of Florida.
“We’re excited to support Ann Kirkpatrick in her return to Congress this election cycle,” said Jason Lindsay, Executive Director of Pride Fund to End Gun Violence. “Ann has dedicated her life to making communities safer in Arizona by representing her state in Congress and advocating for gun safety. We are proud of the activist stance she took in the wake of the Pulse shooting by participating in a sit-in in the House of Representatives to protest senseless gun violence and are looking forward to hearing her voice in Congress again,” said Lindsay.
Ann Kirkpatrick has served her community in Arizona her entire life, advocating for Arizona families in both the Arizona House of Representatives and in the U.S. House of Representatives. Kirkpatrick has spent her career fighting for comprehensive policy reform for Native American communities, veterans, and LGBTQ Americans. This election cycle, Kirkpatrick has the opportunity to flip AZ-2 and continue advocating for pro-LGBTQ, pro-gun reform policies in Congress.
“Maura Healey has proven herself to be one of the fiercest advocates for LGBTQ rights and common sense gun reform, and we are so excited to support her re-election campaign for Massachusetts Attorney General this November,” said Jason Lindsay, Executive Director of Pride Fund to End Gun Violence. “She has taken on the gun lobby without backing down. Her efforts on assault weapons after the Pulse shooting deserve extra recognition. We need to keep her bold leadership as Attorney General another term,” said Lindsay.
During her career as a civil rights attorney and her tenure as Attorney General of Massachusetts, she successfully argued the Massachusetts Attorney General’s challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act and has continued to further the civil rights of LGBTQ Americans. In 2015, Healey was elected as the first openly gay attorney general in the United States and represents an essential voice in the national conversation on LGBTQ civil rights. Healey has worked tirelessly to promote the safety of Massachusetts residents by working with the Massachusetts legislature to pass a statewide ban on bumpstocks and assault weapons as well as support universal background checks for individuals seeking to purchase firearms.
About the Pride Fund to End Gun Violence
Pride Fund to End Gun Violence (“Pride Fund”) is the only national LGBTQ political organization focused solely on gun violence prevention. Pride Fund was founded by Jason Lindsay, a gay Iraq War veteran, in the days following the June 2016 mass shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. When it occurred, the Pulse nightclub shooting was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Pride Fund supports sensible gun policy reforms while championing LGBTQ safety and equality by advocating for legislation and supporting candidates at the state and federal levels.
The first time I made pasta from scratch, I was eight years old. I grew up in rural Connecticut at the end of a cul-de-sac, with my maternal Italian grandparents living in the house across the street. To tell you it was heaven would be an understatement.
One rainy afternoon, my grandmother called me over to help her make something. I ran across the street, with my black Labrador retriever named Sam in tow, feeling important because my grandmother, who I thought was a lot like Superwoman, needed me to help her with something important.
After I took off my shoes, careful to avoid the “Blue Room” or the formal living room that was always covered in plastic and never seemed to ever actually be used, I found my grandmother standing in front of her stove wearing her familiar Nonna’s apron with the pink flowers nearly washed out, as she stirred a pot of tomato sauce with her favorite wooden spoon and sipped Southern Comfort with a single ice cube from a Dixie cup.
On that rainy afternoon, I remember my grandmother showed me how to make a hole in the flour on the board where she dropped in the eggs, and how the dough stuck to my fingers as I helped her knead it. We rolled out sheets of pasta until my arms ached that we cut in many shapes like fettuccine, pappardelle, radiatori, trofie, pacheri, and spaghetti. Batch after batch, one after the other, we hung pasta to dry on the clothes drying rack and even covered my grandparents’ king size bed with towels before covering the entire bed with more pasta.
While we made pasta, we also worked on the sauce. Some Italians call it gravy, but we always called it sauce, and Sunday sauce was loaded with braciole, or thinly sliced sirloin rolled into a thick cigar shape around garlic, parsley and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. We also made meatballs with a mix of ground pork, ground veal, ground beef, garlic, basil, mozzarella cheese and stale bread soaked in milk. All of it made the house smell heavenly as the rain fell in sheets outside the window, as my beloved dog Sam dozed in front of the television with my grandfather as he pretended to watch M.A.S.H.
I don’t remember what we talked about, but I remember feeling so happy to spend time with my grandmother, and I recall feeling utterly content in the kitchen making food that I knew our extended family would enjoy at one of our weekly Sunday dinners. In hindsight, I believe this was the moment I fell in love with food and with cooking. It was the first time I understood what it felt like to take time and care with fresh ingredients to make something special for loved ones. As we cooked, I imagined the now quiet dining room filled with laughter and clanking of dishes and silverware, as we all enjoyed Sunday dinner with cousins and family. I knew exactly which stories would be told because they were the same stories that had been told over and over again for years. My heart filled with joy as I thought about watching everyone I loved savor the food we had prepared.
Years later, I still make Sunday sauce and often invite dear friends and family to sit around our table to enjoy a leisurely dinner together devoid of cell phones or conversations about politics. We still tell funny stories and laugh at each other’s lame jokes, but the point is that we spend time together as the seasons, and the world around us, changes. The act of cooking something special soothes me, calms me in a way Yoga or meditation never will.
All of this experience and joy in cooking led me to writing my third novel, A Recipe for Love. This time around, I knew I wanted to write a traditional lesbian romance, but I wanted to write a story about my love of Italian food, so I decided that the two main characters would meet and fall in love in an Italian cooking class.
When I finished writing the story, I decided to include a pretty lengthy cookbook section where I could share some of my favorite recipes. A few of these recipes are family favorites that I learned from my mother and grandmother, while others are pulled from various sources that I’ve tried and adjusted over time. Because for me, writing a novel is a lot like cooking a meal. I take time to create a story that I hope will help readers relax and escape from the stresses of everyday life for a little while. Cooking a meal is much the same. Both make me happy to share part of myself.
About Lucy J. Madison
Lucy J. Madison is an author, screenwriter, and home-cook who may still attend culinary school so she can own a supper club in Provincetown one day. She’s at work on her fifth novel when she’s not in the kitchen. LucyJMadison.com
Facebook, Instagram & Twitter @lucyjmadison
About A Recipe for Love: A Lesbian Culinary Romance
Available for Pre-Order Now. Available 10/10/18.
Piermont, New York. Danika Russo is 55, newly retired from a 30-year career as a mail carrier, and stuck in a rut. After putting her own needs on hold to care for her terminally ill partner and her unloving father, Danika is holed up the childhood home she inherited, a claustrophobic time warp from the 1970s complete with brown Formica and linoleum, and not sure what to do next.
Her best friend Natalie suggests making a list of things she has always wanted to do. Stepping outside her comfort zone, self-deprecating Danika opts for taking an Italian cooking class, not knowing that she will both impress the appreciative chef with her tasting skills and meet a mysterious younger woman there, Finn Gerard, who will capture her heart and teach her the recipe for love. But Finn is withholding a grim secret and, despite her initial passion, appears unable to commit to Danika fully. Will Danika allow herself to let go and fall in love for the first time in her life, even if there are no guarantees? Even if she must learn to let go?
This complex lesbian romance touches on themes of rediscovery and transformation, showing that while love can be the answer, real healing always starts from within.
Lucy Madison’s latest will appeal to fans of fine, well-crafted lesbian fiction and authors like Caren Werlinger. Readers will enjoy a bonus cookbook section at the back, featuring all the recipes mentioned in the book!
Today, October 11, is National Coming Out Day, and it’s a day we need to celebrate. And not just because we’ve gotten the chance to see some of our favorite people come out this year, like Janelle Monáe and Tessa Thompson or hockey player Jessica Platt.
It’s the 30th anniversary of National Coming Out Day. Ok, yes, the political situation today is bleak. But think of how far we’ve come.
On the first National Coming Out Day:
– Marriage equality was not even a topic of serious discussion
– Same-sex parental rights were non-existent
– No federal court had ever protected students from anti-LGBTQ bullying or discrimination
– “Conversion therapy” was not only legal but was an accepted treatment
So yes, with Kavanaugh’s confirmation last week and being under constant fire from the Trump-Pence administration, it feels like we’re up against it right now. But that’s even more of a reason for us to make a statement today. Our very existence is the foundation of our resistance.
On this National Coming Out Day, let’s promise to be sanctuaries for each other. Sanctuaries for those battered by the current administration, sanctuaries for survivors of sexual violence, sanctuaries for those turned away by families and churches.
Maybe you’re so out that you don’t have anyone left in your life to come out to – good for you! But I’d still urge you to post on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and let your words be a source of strength to someone who may need to see that today.
Remember, together we’re a force so powerful that they can only try to make us invisible again because maybe we won’t realize how many there are of us, and how few there are of them.
Don’t be invisible. Be loud, be proud, and be a force for the world you want to see.
Kate Kendell, Esq.
NCLR Executive Director
Even in this crazy world, which first tries to show its tolerance and adequacy, and then makes you hide your feelings in shame, true love is the only worthy thing.
“We don’t fall in love with the gender – we fall in love with the person” – this incredible thought is a cross-cutting theme of all lesbian quotes and sayings. Indeed, it doesn’t matter who you love, your feelings and your needs are everything that matters. That’s why it’s so important to share them.
We’ve done a big job to pick up the most thoughtful and spicy collection of lesbian texts, lesbian kissing quotes, and relationship sayings, so just take them to take relationships with your beloved girl up to the next level.
Lesbian Relationship Quotes and Sayings
Lesbians love to talk about love and how amazing and unpredictable it can be: the best friend becoming a girlfriend, a beautiful chick that took the table next to you turns out to be a lesbian and you’re both absolutely in love, you steal a girl from some local macho – yes, lesbian relationships are so multifaceted and sometimes wonderful, and numerous lesbian quotes prove that:
• Staring at you and thinking: how did a girl like you end up with a girl like me?
• As I stare at you this very moment, I had realized you’re still the one I wanna fall for, every second from now.
• Seeing your girl undress in front of you is some other level of high.
• Being someone’s first love may be great, but to be their last is beyond perfect.
• At the end of the night, all I really want is my head on your chest with your fingers wrapped around mine.
• It will always be you, for the rest of my life and beyond.
• You may not be perfect, but with every imperfection, I find you’re more perfect for me.
• My girl, you have no idea how good it feels to wake up every morning knowing you are mine and I’m yours.
• It doesn’t matter what others say, as long as you’re here with me, it’s all that matters.
• I’m gonna marry that girl, no matter what you say.
Find the perfect quote for your sweetheart or social media feed here.
#DearProfessorFord We Support and Believe you - YouTube
Republicans in the United States Senate continue to rush Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination to a vote despite credible allegations of sexual assault against him that were revealed last week.
We believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who made public her traumatic experience with Kavanaugh despite knowing that her privacy would be shattered and her personal life inalterably changed by this revelation. Her home address and photos of her house have been circulating on extremist websites and discussion boards since last week, and she and her family have had to go into hiding because of death threats generated by this vicious campaign against her.
This is why survivors of sexual assault hesitate to come forward. But we’re here to lend our support to this fearless woman, and I urge you to watch this video with Andrea Pino, NCLR’s Digital Strategy and Communications Manager, along with other survivors of sexual assault. They speak for all of us here at NCLR with a simple message: #WeBelieveYou.
Also, please contact your Senators to demand that these charges against Kavanaugh be investigated thoroughly before any vote is taken on his nomination. We’ve made it easy to voice your objections using our online activism form – fill in your contact info, modify the message or just send it with the suggested text, and we’ll make sure it’s emailed to your two Senators immediately.
We refuse to back down from this fight, and I hope you stand with us as we take on the powerful forces of hatred, misogyny, and white male privilege driving this shady nomination process. Thank you.
NCLR, Executive Director
New York, NY (September 3, 2018) Filmmaker Cheryl Allison has announced the cast for her upcoming LGBT dystopian drama “Hiding in Daylight.” Judy McLane (Were the World Mine), Jule Cerda (Passengers), Gerald McCullouch (Daddy), and Gary Hilborn (Jane Wants a Boyfriend) make up the ensemble of this short film. After a gay purge in a dystopian future, two couples who secretly meet once a week to reminisce about their former openly gay lives must decide if their clandestine meetings are worth risking their lives. In one night, secrets are revealed, emotions run high, and mistakes cause for a catastrophic event.
As an out and proud lesbian, director Cheryl Allison was immediately drawn to the story of Hiding in Daylight. “It is a very topical and unsettling story that much like The Handmaid’s Tale, shows us how easily persecution of marginalized groups can be justified in the name of religion or patriotism. Last month, I volunteered down on the Texas border helping reunite immigrant families being released from one of the detention centers. It was a horrible reminder of how quickly human rights can be stripped away. So while this dystopian storyline is fiction based, all one has to do is place the story in 1933 and suddenly the fiction turns into a dark, grim reality. My hope is that the film will evoke an uncomfortable truth and warning that when people are complacent history can repeat itself.”
Cheryl Allison is an award-winning actress who has performed in Broadway, Regional Theatre and Film/TV for over 25 years. She has directed and produced The Birdman of St. Pete (2014), Mini Maestro (2016), and currently in post production with the documentary Shatter the Silence. Cheryl, a Regional Emmy Nominee, also produced and directed the 5P Minus Society PSA This is Cole which was the recipient of Silver and Bronze Telly Awards. The PSA is currently running on FOX Television Stations.
She is the Founder/Producer of WOW FILMS, and is co-producing the film with Gregory G. Allen of ASD Media & Entertainment (screenwriter) and producer Carina Rush. All three producers hope the futuristic film about equaliy, discrimination, and love shines a light on current proposed initiatives and bills that threaten the rights of the LGBT community. The film is shooting in late September in New York state and will hit the festival circuit in 2019.