Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-12-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor


  WINDY CITY TIMES

Kelli Strickland Talks Hannah Free
Special to the Online Edition of Windy City Times
by Sarah Toce
2010-06-30

This article shared 8489 times since Wed Jun 30, 2010
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Hannah Free rising star Kelli Strickland plays opposite one of the most-celebrated women in television history but the two uber-talented actresses are never in the same scene at the same time. The other phantom actress in this equation is Burn Notice and Queer As Folk star Sharon Gless. Both women will be in the same room at the same time this weekend — Pride Weekend in Chicago.

Recently, I chatted with Kelli Strickland about the long-awaited Hannah Free DVD release, her love of theatre and arts education and what it was really like on the set of the monumental film that has won over the hearts of Americans — gay and straight.

WCT: Hey Kelli! How did you first learn about Hannah Free?

Kelli Strickland: Well, let's see — I was aware of the play for many years because I had worked with Claudia Allen and had directed another one of her plays years ago. Probably eight years ago or something like that. I had her collection of plays in which Hannah Free had appeared in so I knew the story. As for the film adaptation, I received an email from Tracy Baim asking me if I still acted and, at the time, I had been primarily teaching and directing, but I said, "Sure". I really didn't know anything about the project, but when I walked into the room, I saw lots of wonderful faces that I had worked with in the past. Everything from there happened very, very quickly. Within a few weeks it seemed like we were filming and everything was well on its way.

WCT: The filming of Hannah Free was pretty abbreviated.

Kelli Strickland: Yeah, we filmed for 18 days. The location where we filmed was active 24/7. They would film on one set on one floor and then at the same time on another floor, they were tearing down the set and building the next one. Per usual, the actors had a hectic schedule — especially Sharon [ Gless ] who was in the whole darn thing practically. The crew was finishing up at 1:00am and people were getting there with breakfast at 5:00am. It was very, very intense but also really high energy and really vibrant. I don't think I actually understood the scope of everything that was happening at the time it was all happening! Everyone put in 110% because it would've never happened otherwise.

WCT: The end product is outstanding. Viewers can most certainly tell that there was a lot of attention paid to the filming and all of the energy that went into it.

Kelli Strickland: Yeah, I think everyone was pleased with the final product. A lot of love went into it. A lot of longtime supporters of Claudia's work and Sharon's commitment to promoting the film — even long after her commitment to the set was done — she's really just been amazing traveling all over the country to assist in promoting it. I think a lot of people are looking forward to seeing the DVD release and I know many people already have it in their Netflix que.

WCT: What was it like working with Sharon Gless? Obviously, you couldn't be in the same scenes together since you were playing young/old versions of the same character!

Kelli Strickland: Yeah, young Hannah never meets young Hannah in the dream sequences [ laughs ] . We did become pals during this film. She was really generous with me. She shared her time, wisdom and experience. She's fun! She's just a really fun gal to be around. We crossed paths moreso after the filming wrapped during the promotional work. I'll tell you this one story that everyone kind of gets a kick out of. We did a very small rehearsal because between the time she arrived in Chicago and the time we started filming, there was literally no time. The Hannahs and the Rachels did get together prior to the start of shooting and when she arrived in Chicago she had laryngitis and couldn't talk so she was saving what little voice she had for filming. She came into the room and cupped my face into her hands and said, "Oh my God. I see myself in you." We had a kind of immediate connection. I think she was pretty pleased with the casting of her younger self and got a kick out of it and right away we became fast friends.

WCT: What a compliment!

Kelli Strickland: Yeah and she had not much to really base it on except for that I did share with her my impression of the "Cagney Walk" [ laughs ] . One of the things I did during our first rehearsal was watch her mannerisms and try to absorb as much as I could with the little amount of time that we had. So, we were watching each other walk because it was one of the things we were doing and I said, "Here, I'll show you my "Cagney walk" and Sharon laughed and was like, "that is it!".

WCT: Hannah Free circulated over 60 film festivals last year. Were you able to attend any of the screenings?

Kelli Strickland: I think I've been to most of the big ones. I was at Frameline in San Francisco and in New York. Also, obviously in Palm Springs where I met you and also the premiere we had here in Chicago. We've all done some cross-country travel to try to support the film and people's attendance.

WCT: How has your life changed since the release of Hannah Free?

Kelli Strickland: You know, not significantly. I've been a practitioner of theatre in Chicago for, like, 20 years. What I have noticed is that film just reaches such a larger audience. I do notice that when I am out at the gay bars, it's not totally uncommon for people to stare at me for a long time before coming over to me [ laughs ] .

WCT: What's up next for you following the DVD release of Hannah Free?

Kelli Strickland: I am actually on faculty at Loyola so I will resume my teaching and also run an outreach program at the Raven Theatre where we partner with Chicago Public Schools and create arts education in the school system that is woefully short on arts education. That is probably something closest to my heart out of all of my endeavors. I also am working on a play myself so I've been sort of going down that pre-development process. Next spring I'll be back onstage in Chicago at the Raven Theatre again!


This article shared 8489 times since Wed Jun 30, 2010
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Billy Masters: Adele, 'Pam & Tommy,' and more 2022-01-24
- "Yes, it is true—for over a year, we have been trying to film a script called My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3. What is also true, we are not filming; when we get film insurance, we are going to Greece to ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'The Gay Agenda,' Elliot Page, actress dies, sports items, Rock Hudson 2022-01-23
- Netflix has launched The Gay Agenda, a podcast that looks at the lives of LGBTQ creatives at the top of their fields across different industries, NBC News noted. The goal, the streaming service said, is to ...


Gay News

WORLD Namibia ruling, crimes, LGBTQ+ film festival, blogger sentenced 2022-01-23
- Namibia's High Court ruled against two same-sex couples fighting for recognition of their marriages, with Judge Hannelie Prinsloo saying she agreed with them but was bound by the nation's prohibition of same-sex relations, Reuters reported. Daniel ...


Gay News

MOVIES Siskel films include 'The Power of the Dog,' 'Flee' 2022-01-20
- The Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St., has current and upcoming movie slates that include everything from older classics to current award-festival favorites. On the more contemporary side, the Jane Campion film The Power ...


Gay News

Revry's Black History Month of LGBTQ-First Films and Series celebrates Black stories 2022-01-20
-- From a press release - Los Angeles - This Black History Month, Revry is programming LGBTQ-first Black stories with themes from the differently-abled, LGBTQ athletes, activists and the lesbian, trans and the cis-gender lesbian community. Over 35% of Revry's audience is ...


Gay News

Billy Masters: Colton Underwood, Golden Globes and more 2022-01-17
- "I was not prepared to receive death threats over a fictional character's fictional relationship choices that are fictional which means not real."—A writer on the Sex and the City sequel And Just Like That describes feedback ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Music festivals, Murray Bartlett, Reese Witherspoon, author David Sedaris 2022-01-16
- Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival revealed the lineup for this year's festival, taking place June 16-19 on the Bonnaroo Farm in Manchester, Tennessee, a press release noted. Highlights will include performances by Tool, J. Cole, Stevie ...


Gay News

SAG nominees include 'Gucci,' 'Power of the Dog,' 'Squid Game' 2022-01-12
- Nominees for the 28th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards honoring outstanding individual, cast and ensemble performances for the past year were announced Jan. 12 by actors Rosario Dawson and Vanessa Hudgens via Instagram Live, according to ...


Gay News

NBJC celebrates Mj Rodriguez on Golden Globes win 2022-01-11
—From a press release - The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) congratulates Michaela Jae "Mj" Rodriguez on earning the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Drama during the 2022 Golden Globe Awards. Rodriguez won for her role as Blanca ...


Gay News

Billy Masters: Andy Cohen, SJP and more 2022-01-10
- The virus hit us both like a freight train. Thankfully, we were both triple vaccinated and the vaccinations did their job, which kept us out of real danger and out of the hospital… [We're] still isolating and waiting to see until we test ...


Gay News

Trans actress Rodriguez makes history at quiet Golden Globes 2022-01-10
- On Jan. 9, Michaela Jae "Mj" Rodriguez won a Golden Globe for best actress in a TV drama for her role as Blanca on the FX show Pose, according to media reports. The awards were announced on social media, as the Globes were not broadcast or live-streamed ...


Gay News

Chicago's first-ever Festival au Cinema to take place Aug. 26-28 2022-01-07
- Haven Chicago has announced its first-ever Festival au Cinema, described as "the company's new platform for visionary and innovative filmmakers and media artists staking their claim in the future of digital storytelling." Festival au Cinema will ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ JoJo Siwa, Jeopardy! champ, director dies, Frank Ocean 2022-01-02
- TikTok fans of LGBTQ entertainer Jojo Siwa said her new teenage girlfriend, Katie Mills, is a supporter of anti-LGBTQ Republican former President Donald Trump, per LGBTQ Nation. Mills also once questioned if transgender women are "actually" ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ The film 'Licorice Pizza,' Aaron Sorkin, WNBA player, Mariah Carey 2021-12-26
- Alana Haim, who stars in the film Licorice Pizza (now out in theaters), talked with out.com about how the movie incorporates queer representation by including unsung queer political figure Joel Wachs. "Joel Wachs was such an ...


Gay News

'Real Housewife' Julia Lemigova talks about Miami Housewives, miniature cattle 2021-12-24
- The Real Housewives of Miami finally has an out and proud member of the LGBTQ+ in the main cast with Julia Lemigova. (She's the franchise's second such cast member, following The Real Housewives of Orange County's ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS






Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.