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Pride Films and Plays kicks off Pride 2016 with The Boys Upstairs
From a press release
2016-04-14

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Chicago, IL — Pride Films and Plays is thrilled to present the US professional premiere of Jason Mitchell's zesty comedy The Boys Upstairs which The Village Voice called 'Sex in the City meets Boys in the Band.' PFP Artistic Associate Nelson Rodriguez leads a cast including Gary Henderson as Seth, Tristien Winfree as Eric, Shaun Baer as Ashley, and PFP Company Member Luke Meierdiercks playing a variety of different roles. PFP Executive Director David Zak directs.

The Boys Upstairs welcomes you into the living room of Josh and Seth, awaiting the arrival of Ashley, the third of our gay musketeers. In a series of short scenes, we see the personal and professional thrills and disappointments, tops and bottoms that New York's Hell's Kitchen has to offer these friends. Just when the men settle into their usual rhythm of celebrating life and then analyzing it the next morning, they are all thrown for a loop when a new neighbor moves in below. The "is he or isn't he" question is just one of many that these city boys ponder with style, scandal, and specialty cocktails!

The Boys Upstairs previews Thursday, May 19 and Friday, May 20 at 7:00PM. The press opening is Sat, May 21 at 7:00PM. Thereafter, the performances schedule Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:00PM and Sunday at 5:00PM. Closing is July 2. Please note there are NO performances on Sunday June 5, Friday June 10, Saturday June 11, Sunday June 12, and Sunday June 26. There are additional performances scheduled on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday June 6, 7, and 8 at 7:00PM. Tickets are $25 for Monday through Thursday performances and $30 for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. There are discounts for students and seniors. And PFP also offers a Four Play Pass to see four shows for $80. Purchase tickets or passes at www.pridefilmsandplays.com or by calling 1 800 737 0984.

Designs are by Kristina Papadatos ( costumes ), Mitch Anthony ( set ), and Andrew Lehmkuhl ( lights ). Production Stage Manager is Patrick Murphy, and AK Miller is assistant director.

Jason Mitchell is thrilled that The Boys Upstairs is continuing to reach new audiences. It premiered in 2009 New York International Fringe Festival and since has played the Celebration Theatre in Los Angeles and the Above the Stag Theatre in London. Jason's first play, The Red Box, is a love story of a different genre that premiered in '06 at Walkerspace. It continues to be presented in university settings as it investigates the subject of homosexual persecution during the Holocaust, a subject Jason has studied and lectured on around the world. Jason is also a wedding planner and author having recently published his first book GETTING GROOMED: THE ULTIMATE WEDDING PLANNER FOR GAY GROOMS. Jason attended the conservatory New World School of the Arts in Miami and graduated magna cum laude with a B.F.A. in Theatre from the University of Florida. He currently works for Shiraz Events as their resident wedding planner. www.jasonmitchell.infoĻ

Shaun Baer ( Ashley ) has extensive credits for both film and stage. On film: Humane Resources, ( Creator/David ), "Scotty & Josh" short film trilogy ( Scotty ); Dudes ( Tyler ). On stage: The Nutcracker ( The House Theatre ), Animals Commit Suicide ( First Floor Theatre ), The Double ( Babes With Blades ), the title role in Pippin ( BoHo Theatre ), and Floyd Collins ( Theatre Latte Da ). www.shaunbaer.com

Gary Henderson ( Seth ) is excited to make his Pride Films and Plays debut. Previous Chicago credits include Clayton in Hound of the Baskervilles ( Idle Muse ), Montresor in The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe ( First Folio ), Octavius in Julius Caesar ( Muse of Fire ), and Ensemble in El Stories ( Waltzing Mechanics ). Thanks to Jason and David for this fun summertime excursion! Enjoy the show!

Luke Meierdiercks ( Ensemble ) is a Vermont native and graduate of the Second City Improv Conservatory. Recent credits include The Story of a Story ( Underscore Theatre ), The Boy From Oz, Boys In Briefs and The Book of Merman ( Pride Films & Plays ).

Nelson Rodriguez ( Josh ) returns to PFP after appearing in Men on the Verge of a His-Panic Breakdown and Some Men. Chicago credits include The Compass ( Steppenwolf ); Graveyard of Empires ( 16th Street ) and work with Chicago Dramatists, Signal Ensemble, Adventure Stage where he is an associate artist and others. Mr. Rodriguez is represented by Gray Talent Group.

Tristien M. Winfree ( Eric ) is grateful to be making his PFP debut. His past stage credits include The Elephant Man ( Alley Theatre ), A Few Good Men ( Alley Theatre ), A Soldiers Play ( Ensemble Theatre ), Smokey Joe's Cafe ( Okane Theatre ), Otello ( Houston Grand Opera ). Off stage credits A.D Two Trains Running ( Goodman Theatre ), A.D Women in the Pit ( Ensemble Theatre ).

About Pride Films and Plays

The mission of Pride Films and Plays is to change lives through the generation of diverse new work ( or work that is new to Chicago ) with LGBTQ+ characters or themes that is essential viewing for all audiences. We accomplish this mission through fully-staged productions, writing contests and staged readings, film screenings, and special events. We foster long term relationships with artists to create programming that is as diverse, unique, and complex as the community we represent. In 2015, Huffington Post called PFP "A powerful and empowering entity."

PFP's current season began with Ten Dollar House at Piccolo Theatre followed by the world premiere of David Valdes Greenwood's Raggedy And at Rivendell. The Boys Upstairs at Mary's Attic from May 21 to July 2, will be followed by the world premiere of BITE: A Pucking Queer Cabaret, Derek Van Barham's dazzling Midsummer Nights Dream fantasia. The year of main productions will conclude with the world premiere of Resolution, by Heather McNama and Nancy Nyman, winner of PFP's 2015 LezPlay Contest, at Rivendell October 20 to November 20.

In addition, our script and screenplay development programs continue throughout the year at Center on Halsted, including Gay Play Weekend ( April 22-24 ), LezPlay ( October 7-9 ) featuring plays and screenplays written by women with lesbian characters or themes, and Gay Film Weekend ( November 11-13 ) featuring LGBTQ+ screenplays and screenings.

Other special events include Boys in Briefs: At the Beach! on April 26 at Uptown Underground. Queer Bits AltReels is April 25 at Public House Theatre. Nominee Night which celebrates all Chicago theater is May 17 at Sidetrack. A History of Summer at Theatre Wit on June 28 and 29.

Pride Films and Plays is supported by The MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at The Richard Driehaus Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council, City of Chicago's City Arts Fund, the Elliott Fredland Charitable Trust, Proud to Run, and the AmazonSmile Foundation. PFP is a member of the Smart Growth Program of the Chicago Community Trust. Pride Films and Plays is a member of the Chicago Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and The League of Chicago Theaters.

For more information, visit www.pridefilmsandplays.com or call 1-800-737-0984 .


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