GLAAD's Ross Murray, Missi Pyle and More Set for BARE's TalkOUT Series, 1/9-31
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by BWW News Desk
The producers of the new musical Bare have announced the upcoming series of speakers for the January TalkOUT events. Audiences at select performances will be invited to stay after the show to participate in a discussion with some of the foremost leaders in the fight for LGBT equality. This month's special guests will include Ross Murray (GLAAD) with Missi Pyle (BARE's own "Sister Joan"), Nathan Schaefer (Empire State Pride Agenda), Maggie Keenan-Bolger and Derrick Miller-Handley (The Point Foundation), Rabbi Michael Mellen, The Clementi Family (Tyler Clementi Foundation) and Taylor Trensch with Stafford Arima (BARE's "Peter" and the show's director).
Each TalkOUT will focus specifically on the organization represented that evening. Audiences will have the opportunity to learn more about the organizations and their roles in the ongoing fight for LGBT equality. TalkOUT attendees will also be invited to participate in the discussion and to ask questions. For the conversation with Trensch and Arima, fans are encouraged to submit questions ahead of time via the Bare Facebook and Twitter pages starting on Tuesday, January 29th. To submit a question via Twitter, use the hashtag #askStaffordTaylor when tweeting at @BareNYC. Facebook questions can be submitted on the Bare Facebook wall.
The TalkOUT series began with Bare's first preview, Monday, November 19th and featured Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard, the University of Wyoming student who died after a vicious anti-LGBT hate crime in Laramie, Wyoming in 1998. Judy is the founder of the Matthew Shepard Foundation and the driving force behind the Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
Wednesday, January 9th Ross Murray (GLAAD) with Missi Pyle (BARE)
A calendar of TalkOUTs will continue to be updated and can be viewed by clicking HERE.
BARE began previews Off-Broadway at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street) on Monday, November 19, 2012. Opening Night was Sunday, December 9, 2012.
Tickets to Bare may be purchased via www.Telecharge.com, by calling 212-239-6200 or in person at the New World Stages box office (340 West 50th Street between 8th and 9th Avenue). Ticket prices range from $25 (front row, night of performance, with student ID) to $126.50 (premium). Regular price tickets are $89.75. All ticket prices include a $1.50 facility fee. Please visit Telecharge.com for a complete preview performance schedule as well as holiday performance schedules. The regular performance schedule will be Monday at 8pm, Wednesday - Saturday at 8pm, Saturday at 2:30pm, and Sunday at 3pm & 7:30pm.
The company features Jason Hite (Jason), Taylor Trensch (Peter) and Elizabeth Judd (Ivy), with Gerard Canonico (Matt), Jerold E. Solomon (Father Mike), Barrett Wilbert Weed (Nadia) and Missi Pyle (Sister Joan). They will be joined by Anthony Festa (Swing), Casey Garvin (Zack), Ariana Groover (Vanessa), Sara Kapner (Madison), Alice Lee (Diane), Megan Lewis (Swing), Justin Gregory Lopez (Beto), Michael Tacconi (Nick) and Alex Wyse (Alan).
Featuring music by Damon Intrabartolo and book & lyrics by Jon Hartmere, Bare is directed by Olivier Award nominee Stafford Arima (Carrie, Altar Boyz) and choreographed by Emmy Award nominee Travis Wall ("So You Think You Can Dance"). Additional music is by Hartmere and Lynne Shankel (Altar Boyz, Cry-Baby, Company). Music supervision and arrangements are also by Lynne Shankel.
The Bare creative team includes Tony Award-winner Donyale Werle (Peter and the Starcatcher, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) as the scenic designer, costume design by Tristan Raines (Tribes, Murder in the First), lighting design by Tony Award-winner Howell Binkley (Jersey Boys, Memphis), and sound design by Keith Caggiano (Soul of Shaolin). Bare is proud to partner with The Out NYC as the Official Hotel Partner.
When your true love is your deepest secret. When your heart is so full that your head clouds. When you've let your self-image be a group project. How much do you share-and with who? Bare is an exhilarating new rock musical that follows a group of teens trying to navigate the tightrope to adulthood over the minefield of high school. Along with their teachers, they will wrestle with issues of identity, sexuality, religion and love. Both deeply moving and heartwarmingly humorous, Bare is for anyone who's ever felt locked out trying to fit in.
For more information, visit www.BareMusicalNYC.com.
Stafford Arima (BARE's Director) Selected work: Carrie (5 Drama Desk Award nominations including Outstanding Revival of a Musical, MCC Theatre); Altar Boyz (Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical and 7 Drama Desk Award nominations); Ragtime (8 Olivier Award nominations including Best Director, West End); Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living In Paris (Stratford Shakespeare Festival); Candide (San Francisco Symphony); The Tin Pan Alley Rag (Outer Critics Circle Award nomination, Roundabout Theatre Company); The Secret Garden (World AIDS Day concert); A Tribute to Stephen Sondheim (Boston Pops); Guys and Dolls (Paper Mill Playhouse); Abyssinia (Goodspeed Musicals); Bowfire (PBS television special); Ace (The Old Globe); Bright Lights, Big City (Prince Music Theater); Marry Me a Little (Cincinnati Playhouse); Allegiance (The Old Globe, San Diego). Upcoming: A Separate Peace (New York Stage and Film). www.staffordarima.com
James Clementi (The Tyler Clementi Foundation) is a bright, extremely brave young man from New Jersey. A graduate of Skidmore College in New York State, he is dedicated to raising awareness and acceptance for LGBTQ people everywhere. On September 22, 2010 James' life was turned upside down when his brother, Tyler Clementi, jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge. The incident occurred after his college roommate, unknowingly to Tyler, set up a webcam in their dorm and videotaped him and another male in an intimate encounter. Tyler, unable to handle the humiliation, committed suicide. In coping with his brother's death, James has taken more than an active role taking a stand against cyber-bullying and becoming and advocate for the LGBTQ community. James is an active contributor for the Huffington Post Gay Voices, member and employee of GLAAD and has shared his brother's story on national television including on Anderson Cooper and at several prestigious events including The Voice Awards. He even attended the White House Pride Reception at which Obama acknowledged the work of LBGTQ advocates. James along with his family launched the Tyler Clementi Foundation that works to raise awareness of the issues surrounding and support organizations concerned with suicide prevention, acceptance of LGBT teens, and education against internet cyber bullying. This is his biggest platform for keeping Tyler's story and message alive. James has taken a tragedy and turned it into an opportunity to help children and adults everywhere struggling with their sexuality and being accepted.
JANE and JOSEPH CLEMENTI (The Tyler Clementi Foundation) are the loving parents of Tyler Clementi. Tyler, while a student at Rutgers University, committed suicide in 2010. Tyler was a victim of cyber-bullying. Alongside oldest son James Clementi, the family has founded the Tyler Clementi Foundation which is dedicated to creating safe and inclusive spaces for LGBT and vulnerable youth, their families and their allies. Moderating tonight's discussion is Steven Guy who serves as the executive director of the Foundation. The Foundation is proud to be launching their Upstander Pledge, which is focused on turning witnesses to acts of bullying into allies and upstanders. Through educational partnerships, research, public dialogue and awareness programs, TCF fosters empathetic, constructive discussions of respect and dignity for youth and families, at all levels of society. They envision a world where human dignity will be exhibited by unconditional love and embraced inclusive of society and regardless of sexual orientation.
Maggie Keenan-Bolger (The Point Foundation) was born and raised in inner-city Detroit. She gained a unique perspective on racial and economic discrimination early in life, as one of a few white students attending predominantly black schools and living in predominantly black neighborhoods. At age 14, Maggie came out as the only openly LGBT-identified individual in her 800-person high school. The religious upbringing of the majority of her classmates lead to conflict and rejection on both an individual and school-wide level, as she was forced to attend anti-homosexuality lectures which resulted in personal opposition to her identity and beliefs. Maggie was just 17 when her mom passed away from breast cancer. She not only lost a crucial member of her family, but an ally. Maggie attended Oberlin College for her undergraduate work and found a passion in combining her majors of Theatre and Gender and Women's Studies. Later, with the support of the Point Foundation as the Dr. Joan. Shelley W. Fernandez Named Scholar, Maggie acquired her Master's Degree, using theatre to facilitate, activate and educate in the Applied Theatre Program at the City University of New York. Maggie has worked with a variety of populations including LGBT Homeless Youth, LGBT elders and inter-generational LGBT groups as a way to provide a venue for self-expression and a voice to often silenced communities. She currently works as an openly queer teaching artist in the New York City Public Schools, teaching theatre classes and running LGBT Pride Clubs at three high schools in Brooklyn. At Goddard College, Maggie will continue her studies in the Interdisciplinary Arts Program using theatre, storytelling and LGBT politics as a way to create community and generate change in the world around her.
Derrick Miller-Handley (The Point Foundation) endured vicious anti-gay bullying and violence every day in his neighborhood and at school throughout childhood and adolescence. Expressing that experience through his art helped Derrick to survive persistent isolation, hopelessness, and thoughts of suicide. At 15, a hate-incident outside of the school library finally compelled Derrick to speak out after 10 years of silent torment. At that moment, the need to make change replaced the need to simply survive and Derrick has been dedicated to fostering justice ever since. As a community-worker and activist, Derrick has been affiliated with numerous communities and organizations around the country, including GLSEN, Groundspark, NCLR, Community United Against Violence and the California Safe Schools Coalition. As the first Youth Activities Coordinator for the Pacific Center, an LGBT community center in Berkeley, he helped to design and launch the center's LOUD Youth Program. At Ally Action, he led efforts to implement California's LGBT safe-schools legislation in conservative school communities of the San Francisco East Bay. Most recently, Derrick's work at LYRIC, a center for queer youth in San Francisco, has allowed him to mentor and develop leadership among future generations of queer youth and allies. Derrick is thrilled to finally be pursuing a formal fine arts education, a childhood dream. Studying Graphic Design has allowed him to re-discover who he is as a creative thinker and visual problem solver. With visual messages becoming an increasingly global vernacular, the influence of art and design to shape our world is also increasing. For Derrick, placing this power in the hands of the people affected most by it is where his creative passions meet his passion for justice.
RABBI MICHAEL MELLEN is a sought after speaker, trainer, facilitator and consultant. Ordained as a rabbi in 1998, he has served as Director of NFTY - the North American youth movement of Reform Judaism's 900 congregations, as a congregational rabbi and educator at Temple B'nai Shalom in Fairfax Station, Virginia, and as a consultant, educator and advisor with a company he founded, Jewish Youth Works. Michael works with the Jewish Education Project in New York. Focused on helping individuals on a successful, happy, connected life journey, he begins with the individual and his or her story, goals, and questions. With many years experience speaking with, counseling and working with thousands of youth, teens and adults in camps, synagogues, and communities across North America, he has addressed topics ranging from social justice and spirituality to values focused strategic vision and from bullying to living your best life. Michael brings a background in staff training and youth programs, as well as years of experience with youth camping, family camping, and community teen programs. An alum of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, Michael continues to explore spirituality in individuals' life journeys, spirituality and youth, as well as spirituality in business and marketing. Along with rabbinical ordination from Hebrew Union College (HUC-JIR), Michael received a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Michigan and a Masters in Hebrew Letters from HUC-JIR. He is certified in and experienced with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), as well as certified as a facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program of Life Innovations, Inc. Michael plays a mean game of Simon Says with children of all ages and adults. Michael and his wife, Amy, have a funny, fun five year-old, Jonah and an adventurous one year-old Ariana.
ROSS MURRAY (GLAAD) is the Director of Religion, Faith & Values at GLAAD, where he amplifies the voices of LGBT-affirming communities of faith and LGBT people of faith. He has secured national and religious media interest in stories that bring examples of LGBT equality in faith communities to Americans. He speaks and writes frequently about the relationship between religion and LGBT people. He has written and appeared on numerous media outlets, such as CNN, the Washington Post, Huffington Post, and Religion News Service. Ross is also a founder and director of The Naming Project, a faith-based camp for LGBT youth and their allies. The Naming Project has also been the subject of much media, including the award-winning film Camp Out, as well as the controversial episode "Pray the Gay Away?" of Our America with Lisa Ling. Ross holds a BA in Youth & Family Ministry from Augsburg College, an MA in Outreach & Discipleship from Luther Seminary, and an MBA from Augsburg College. Ross currently lives in New York City with his partner, Richard Garnett. He strives to build community and develop a vocational theology that calls people to live their most authentic selves.
Missi Pyle (BARE's Sister Joan) Theatre: Broadway - Boeing Boeing, Steppenwolf - The Libertine, Film: The Artist, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Big Fish, Galaxy Quest, Dodgeball. Upcoming: Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters. TV:" Boston Legal," "Two and a Half Men," "The Sarah Silverman Program." Training: North Carolina School of the Arts. Missi is half of the band Smith and Pyle; Album: It's OK To Be Happy on iTunes. Missi is working on her second album which is being produced by Chris Goss.
NATHAN SCHAEFER (Empire State Pride Agenda) is the Executive Director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, New York's statewide civil rights organization committed to achieving equality and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) New Yorkers and our families. He oversees a 19-person staff across the state and is responsible for integrating the many facets of the organization's work into a cohesive and productive entity.
Taylor Trensch (BARE's Peter) Broadway: Wicked. First National Tour: Spring Awakening. Off-Broadway: RENT (New World Stages). Regional: Little Miss Sunshine (La Jolla Playhouse); Mormons, Mothers and Monsters (Barrington Stage). Education: Elon University. Gratitude: Telsey + Co., the incomparable creative team, my family and friends.
THE EMPIRE STATE PRIDE AGENDA is New York's statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights and advocacy group. Our mission is to win equality and justice for LGBT New Yorkers and our families. We recognize that while significant cultural, legal and governmental advances have led to greater equality for LGBT New Yorkers, we and our families remain highly vulnerable without the vast majority of rights and protections that most New Yorkers take for granted.
Through our education, organizing and advocacy programs, we work toward creating a broadly diverse alliance of LGBT people and our allies in government, communities of faith, labor, all sectors of the workforce and other social justice movements to achieve equality for LGBT New Yorkers and the broader goals of social, racial and economic justice. For more information, visit www.PrideAgenda.org.
For over 25 years, GLAAD has worked with news, entertainment and social media to bring culture-changing stories of LGBT people into millions of homes and workplaces every day. As the nation's leading LGBT media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, GLAAD builds support and acceptance for equality through what people see and hear on TV, in the news and online.
Formed in New York in 1985, GLAAD has since reshaped the way Americans think about LGBT people, drawing national attention to the issues essential to reaching full equality. Entertainment Weekly has named GLAAD as one of Hollywood's most powerful entities, and the Los Angeles Times described GLAAD as "possibly the most successful organizations lobbying the media for inclusion." For more, go to www.GLAAD.org.
POINT FOUNDATION empowers promising LGBTQ students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential - despite the obstacles often put before them - to make a significant impact on society. Applicants to Point Foundation turn to Point Foundation because their families are either unable or unwilling to support them and their goals for higher education. Each student has a compelling and inspiring story of overcoming incredible obstacles and hardships. Many have been cruelly rejected by their families, forced to leave home, and cut off from all financial support. Yet Point Scholars are excelling at our nation's most prestigious and demanding universities and colleges, while also leading in a variety of extracurricular and community service activities.
Point Foundation's academic/program year begins in July with a Leadership Conference, where past and recently awarded scholars receive intensive training in leadership development, accountability, community service guidance, and advocacy and philanthropy to the LGBTQ community. Most importantly, Point Foundation instills a clear understanding of how these attributes all relate to the community's history and development. In addition to financial support, Point Foundation matches each scholar with a mentor who is a successful professional in fields such as the arts, science, education, business, law, medicine and other humanities.
Point Scholars have a proven track record of leadership and scholastic achievement along with a strong desire to make a difference in the world. Point Foundation believes these scholars are the future of the next generation of the LGBTQ community. Point Scholars represent the diversity of the LGBTQ community. Of the 76 current scholars, 42% are male, 41% are female, and 17% identify as either transgender, genderqueer or gender non-conforming; 45% of the current Point Scholars are from racial minority backgrounds; 39% of scholars are from rural areas. For too many of these individuals, their gender identity and/or sexual orientation resulted in bullying, persecution, and a lack of emotional and financial support from their families and communities. In spite of these obstacles, these students are among the best and brightest in the LGBTQ community. Point Alumni have gone on to become influential elected officials, groundbreaking physicians, corporate executives and, most importantly, graduates, an accomplishment that might not have been possible without support from Point Foundation. Visit www.PointFoundation.org for more information.
THE TYLER CLEMENTI FOUNDATION, guided by the life and story of Tyler Clementi, promotes safe, inclusive and respectful social, environments in homes, schools, campuses, churches and the digital world for LGBT youth and their allies.
Through educational partnerships, research, public dialogue and awareness programs, TTCF fosters empathetic, constructive discussions of respect and dignity for youth and families, at all levels of society. We envision a world where human dignity will be exhibited by unconditional love and embraced inclusive of society and regardless of sexual orientation. TTCF is focused on creating broad impact in multiple areas. At the root of the organizations reason for existence, lies the core component of honoring Tyler Clementi's legacy and story.
TTCF is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The Foundation promotes safe, inclusive and respectful social, environments in homes, schools, campuses, churches and the digital world for LGBT and vulnerable youth, their families and their allies. Go to www.tylerclementi.org for more.