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SheFest, performance art celebrates Chicago's queer female, non-binary artists
From a press release
2017-05-10

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SheFest ( formerly LezFest ) is Pride Arts Center's' semi-annual celebration of Chicago's queer female and non-binary artists. SheFest showcases the diverse range of queer female and non-binary artists in Chicago as well as the diverse stories and experiences of queer femininity. The sixth installment of the festival, this year's SheFest, will be hosted by stand-up comedian Shannon Noll, and will feature spoken word poetry, Moth-style stories, comedy, clowning, a fire act, and dance.

The performance will be: June 12 at 7:30pm at the Broadway, Pride Arts Center ,located at 4139 N. Broadway Ave., Chicago.

Performers will include Molly Brennan, Tamale Sepp, Ada Cheng, Khloe Janel, Anna Wolfe, Alex Seligsohn, Jade, June Thiele, Shannon Leigh Webber, Niki Gee, Michelle Zacarias, and Terri Hudson, and Jessica Martin. SheFest is produced by Iris Sowlat and Julia Rufo, and stage-managed by Daiva Paulis.

Pricing: General Admission tickets cost $10 and can be purchased either online or at the door. VIP tickets cost $15. Pride Films & Plays is also offering an "Adopt A Performer" sponsorship option, as well as other levels of sponsorship.

Proceeds from ShetFest will be put towards Pride Films & Plays' LezPlay writing contest and workshop program. The contest is set to enhance the visibility and advance the viability of lesbian-centered stories for stage and screen. To that end, LezPlay honors excellence in storytelling by women-identified writers who present lesbian characters and themes—past, present, and future—in a pivotal, positive way. For more information on how you can enter the contest, please check outwww.filmfreeway.com/festival/lezplay. Further proceeds raised from SheFest go directly to help queer female playwrights, directors, and actors produce work during the 2017-18 season!

All five past installments of SheFest ( or LezFest ) have been sold out, and Pride Arts Center is looking forward to another sold out house!

ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES

Shannon Noll

Shannon Noll: Shannon Noll brings playfulness to their humor about gender, sexuality, and odd jobs. Currently they can be seen performing all over Chicago including at The Revival, The Laugh Factory, The Annoyance, as a producer/host of the shameful story-telling show We Still Like You, and as a writer/voice actor for the podcast The Koch Brothers' Mystery Show ( Cards Against Humanity ).

Shannon is also a proud member of the queer improv team Baby Wine ( The Annoyance ) and producer/host of the queer variety show SPACE ( The Revival ). In the past Shannon has opened for Beth Stelling, performed at CYSK, iO Theater, ComedySportz, Impress These Apes, Hell Yes Fest ( New Orleans ), Bird City Comedy Festival ( Phoenix ), Arch City ( Columbus ), and the Chicago Comedy Expo.

Molly Brennan

Molly Brennan: Molly Brennan has been professionally putting on funny hats and falling down for the nice people since 1993. In Chicago, she has performed at Lookingglass, Goodman, Steppenwolf, Neo-Futurists, About Face, Lifeline, Second City, Lyric Opera, House, Factory, and 500 Clown. She has toured the U.S. extensively as well, most notably Denver Arts Center, PS 122 in NYC, the Arsht in Miami, Alliance in Atlanta, and the Kennedy Center.

She recently appeared with her p( ART )ner Malic White for "Picnic" at ATC, directed by Will Davis. Molly teaches Clown and Physical Theatre at the Actors Gymnasium and hangs around Salonathon on the regular. She is a member of AEA and represented by Paonessa Talent. Photo by Joe Mazza, Brave-lux.

Molly Brennan's SheFest piece is a clowning exploration "Any of My Enemies," a music and physical theatre piece.

Tamale Sepp

Tamale Sepp: Tamale Sepp trained in improv at I.O. Chicago, Second City's Conservatory Program, and Annoyance Theater, and has performed burlesque with the Sissy Butch Brothers Burlesque, Lavender Cabaret, Angela Eve, and Varietease Cabaret.

She travelled with the international gender performance troupe, Windy City Blenders and began performing drag with members of the Chicago Kings at events like the International Drag King Extravaganza ( IDKE ) and The Great Big International Drag King Show ( "The Great Big" ). Somewhere along the way, she picked up fire dancing, performing with members of SPUNN, Pyrotechnique, and Temple of Poi.

Ada Chang

Ada Cheng: Ada Cheng is a professor-turned storyteller. She has been featured in storytelling shows in Chicago, Atlanta, New York, and Cedar Rapids. She will be performing her solo show, Asian Woman by Desire, at The Public House Theater on June 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd. She will be taking her solo show on national tours to National Storytelling Conference fringe, Capital Fringe Festival, Minnesota Fringe Festival, and Boulder International Fringe Festival in July and August.

Anna Wolfe

Anna Rose Wolfe: Anna Rose Wolfe is a Jewish, 'baby queer,' writer, performer and teaching artist. Anna is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago, where she earned a BA in Acting and a minor in Gender Studies. She is the co-founder of Scout & Birdie, an online literary magazine and podcast.

Anna has been featured in Fillet of Solo, Greenhouse Theater's Solo Celebration, Abbie Fest, Greenhouse Theater's SoloPerformance Lab, and The Election Monologues. She has performed with The LIVINGroom, The Plagiarists, National Cool Shorts, and most recently Miss Spoken.

Anna will be performing an original solo performance piece.

Khloe Janel

Khloe Janel: Khloe Janel is a proud queer poet, actor, singer, and voice actor of color! They have performed original spoken word around Chicago and recently was crowned the winner of National Vans College Open Mic Series. Khloe has performed at Steppenwolf Theatre, Broadway Playhouse, Greenhouse Theater, and Madison Street Theater. They also recently co-starred on an episode of Empire and can be heard in various animations and commercials around the Chicago area. Khloejanel.com

Khloe is performing an original spoken word.

Alex Seligsohn

Alex Seligsohn: Alex Seligsohn is a stand-up comic based in Chicago. Her comedy performances have been described as a "one-woman mosh pit." She is a writer and producer for the hit variety show "Secrets, Lies & Alibis" in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. Alex is also a Notary.

June Thiele

June Thiele: June Thiele is a queer, two-spirited, Native American actor, writer, and performance artist. Indigenous to Alaska she travelled to Chicago 10 years ago to study at Columbia College. She's been fortunate enough to have worked with some awesome theatre companies including Kinematics, LiveWire, Nothing Without a Company, Ensolo and others.

June Thiele will be performing an original Solo Performance piece.

Niki Gee

Niki Gee: Niki Gee is currently the President of Quare Square, a 501c3 collective for Queer artist of color in the Midwest. Since her debut on the spoken word circuit in Chicago, she has been in several independent films and has been a featured artist for Homolatte, Salonathon, Beast Women Rising, Global Girls Anniversary Celebration, Foreplay, Punany Poets, and Dyke March, where she served as the host. She formerly co- hosted The Quare Square open mic.

Niki Gee will be performing an original spoken word piece

Jessi Jade Paul

Jade: Jessi "Jade" Paul is a student at Columbia College Chicago majoring in Creative Non-Fiction Writing; with plans to work with LGBTQIA+ [black] youth as an Arts Therapist. She is active in her role within intersecting communities of her identity; as a lesbian/queer, Christian, black, woman and artist of various forms.

She is passionate in her activism for causes including Breast Cancer Awareness, Mental Health Awareness, and the Black [Queer] Lives Matter Movement.

"This is for the brown lesbians and queer womyn who've tried loving themselves when the world hates too much. You are beautiful. Don't change, unless you want to..." - Jade

Jade will be performing a solo piece to the song "Love on the Brain" by Rihanna.

Shannon Webber

Shannon Leigh Webber: Shannon Leigh Webber is actor and fun-writer from a small town in Georgia and recently celebrated her 3rd Anniversary in the big city. Shannon is an Artistic Associate with Random Acts Chicago. Her recent credits include: The Dingdong ( TheatreSquared ), For the Love Of ( PFP ), Resolution ( PFP ), Crimes of the Heart ( Step Up Productions ) and Hell's Kitchen ( Arc Theatre ). "If you think you can, you can." - Meryl Streep.

Shannon will be performing an original piece about life, love and the pursuit of happiness.

Michelle Zacarias

Michelle Zacarias: Michelle Zacarias is a writer, activist, and cancer survivor. Michelle has performed at the Chicago Home Theater Festival, as well as the 2016 production of Queer ILL & Okay, where she wrote and starred in "An Intro To Slut-Shaming." She has since returned to her love of performance art and poetry. Michelle self-identifies as multi-marginalized: and considers her experiences as a Queer, Latinx, woman, with disabilities a major facet in influencing her creative medium.

Jessica Martin: Jessica Martin is a writer, choreographer, dancer, public speaker, improviser and producer whose work includes poetry, improvisational movement and true life experience. She has been a member of the MOMENTA Dance Company- located in Oak Park, IL and has studied with both AXIS Dance Company - located in San Francisco, California and Dancing Wheels Co. and School-located in Cleveland, Ohio. She has also worked with Ayako Kato in Chicago. She is a firm believer that everyone can dance despite their limitations, and if used in the right way their limitations can help their artwork to enhance their stories. Therefore, she has created a project called "Exploration" in which she includes all dancers. For more information about this project Jessica can be reached by email at JLMartin02@comcast.net

Terri Lynne Hudson

Terri Hudson: Terri Lynne Hudson is an actor, improviser and performance artist. She is a graduate of the Second City Training Center and Under the Gun Apprentice program. She has most recently appeared in Eclipse Theatre's staged reading "Come Down Burning" and in Ghostlight Theatre's "Six Authors in Search of a Character".

LISTING INFORMATION

SheFest

Monday, June 12, 2017 - 7:30 pm

The Broadway, Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway

Tickets - $15 VIP, $10 general admission

For tickets, visit www.prideartscenter.com or call tel: ( 800 )-737-0984

ABOUT PRIDE FILMS AND PLAYS

Pride Films and Plays changes 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." The company acquired its two performance spaces at 4139 and 4147 N. Broadway in July 2016, renaming the spaces the Pride Arts Center.

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, the AmazonSmile Foundation, Arts and Business Foundation, Tap Root Foundation and Alphawood Foundation.

PFP is a member of the Smart Growth Program of the Chicago Community Trust. Pride Films and Plays is a member of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois and The League of Chicago Theatres.

For more information, visit www.pridefilmsandplays.com or call 1.800.737.0984 .

ABOUT PRIDE ARTS CENTER

Pride Arts Center ( PAC ) opened in 2016 and consists of two performance spaces: The Buena at 4147 N. Broadway which has 50 seats and The Broadway at 4139 N. Broadway which has 85 seats, and it is run by Pride Films and Plays. PAC has become an important part of the arts environment in the Buena Park neighborhood and beyond by hosting events including After Orlando, Bechdel Fest, SheFest and the 525,600 Minutes Cabaret. Additional tenants in 2017 include Walkabout Theater, New American Folk Theater, Cor Productions, Underscore Music Theater, 20% Productions, About Face Youth Theater, Another Door Productions, and of course Pride Films and Plays. For the Love Of ( Or The Roller Derby Play ) is currently being performed in The Buena.

For more information about space at Pride Arts Center, visit www.prideartscenter.com, or www.pridefilmsandplays.com .


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