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 2021-06-09
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
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 8417 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 8417 times since Wed Jun 30, 2010
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Chicago Filmmakers awards $100,000 to local social injustice digital media projects 2021-07-20
--From a press release - (July 20, 2021 — Chicago, IL) Chicago Filmmakers is pleased to announce that the Chicago Digital Media Production Fund (CDMPF) has awarded a total of $100,000 in grants to eight Chicago artists for the production of ...


Gay News

Billy Masters 2021-07-19
- "No excuses—I messed up. I'm a big sports fan. I'm like the guy at the end of the game who misses a free throw or a kick."—Spike Lee explains why he prematurely announced the winner of ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Ben Whishaw, non-binary actor, Cardi B, Obama, 'Grease' prequel 2021-07-18
- Out actor Ben Whishaw stars in the film Surge, which will debut Sept. 24 and On Demand, a press release announced. Whishaw portrays Joseph, who is trapped in a soulless job, living a life devoid of ...


Gay News

GLAAD Studio Responsibility Index shows more LGBTQ character screen time, not so for trans 2021-07-15
--From a press release - Los Angeles, CA - Thursday, July 15, 2021 - GLAAD, the world's largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today released its ninth annual Studio Responsibility Index (SRI), a study that maps the quantity, quality, and diversity of ...


Gay News

MOVIES 'In the Heights' available as soon as July 30 2021-07-14
- The 2021 musical film In the Heights will arrive on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on Aug. 31. However, it will arrive for Premium Digital Ownership at home on July 30. The film is directed by Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) ...


Gay News

Local film about Latinx community and COVID to screen July 22 2021-07-12
- On Thursday, July 22, at 6 p.m., the Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., will host a screening of the film Seguimos Aqui. This documentary tells four unique stories of the impact of COVID on ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Pray Away,' film contest, LGBTQ book, musicians, 'Star Trek' 2021-07-11
- The new Netflix Original Documentary Pray Away, from executive producers Ryan Murphy and Jason Blum, will make its global launch on the platform Aug. 3, a press release noted. In the film, former leaders of the ...


Gay News

AIDS ballet movie coming to Chicago on July 16 2021-07-07
- The movie Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones and D-Man in the Waters will open Friday, July 16, in virtual cinemas in Chicago at Gene Siskel Film Center and Music Box Theatre. "Can You Bring It"—co-directed by Rosalynde LeBlanc and ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Hedwig,' Oscars, Demi Lovato, GLAAD, Stevie Nicks 2021-07-04
- Following 2019's sold-out, three-night engagement at The Town Hall in New York City (and several postponements in 2020), Hedwig and the Angry Inch co-creators John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask are returning with a rock spectacle ...


Gay News

MOVIES 'Truman & Tennessee' opening July 2 at Music Box 2021-06-23
- The film Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation will open Friday, July 2, in physical and virtual theater in Chicago at Music Box Theatre. Actors Zachary Quinto and Jim Parsons make voiceover contributions in the film ...


Gay News

MUSIC 'Miley Cyrus Presents Stand by You' airing June 25 2021-06-18
- Peacock announced that the concert event Miley Cyrus Presents Stand by You will stream Friday, June 25 in celebration of Pride Month. The hour-long concert event, filmed in Nashville, will feature multi-platinum recording artist, songwriter and ...


Gay News

Sisters in Cinema presents Sister Outsider Juneteenth Celebration 2021-06-16
--From a press release - CHICAGO, IL- Sisters in Cinema, a Chicago-based 501(c)3 recently in the news for breaking ground on their new Media Arts Center, Is inviting all to participate in their inaugural Sister Outsider: Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June ...


Gay News

Music Box showing LGBTQ movie 'Summer of '85' on June 25 2021-06-16
- Music Box Theatre & Music Box Films, 3733 N. Southport Ave., will present out gay writer/director Francois Ozon's French love story Summer of '85, theatrically in 35mm, on Friday, June 25. Adapted by Ozon from Aidan ...


Gay News

Siskel Film Center to reopen Aug. 6 2021-06-16
- After closing its doors March 14, 2020 due to COVID-19, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's (SAIC) Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St., will reopen for in-person screenings Friday, Aug. 6. With ...


Gay News

Seb throws Carlos a quinceanero on 'High School Musical: The Musical: The Series' 2021-06-10
- High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is a streaming television show on Disney+ inspired by—you guessed it!—the High School Musical film series. It is set in East High School and has a unique storyline with ...


 



Copyright © 2021 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.