On July 20, 2016

Vermont Pride Theater presents sixth annual festival at Chandler

Courtesy of Chandler Center for the Arts

Chandler Center for the Arts presents six performances during Vermont Pride Theater festival, July 22-31.

July 22-31—RANDOLPH—In its sixth summer season, Vermont Pride Theater is presenting four thought-provoking performances: East Coast premieres of two new plays and two guest artists new to Vermont, featuring issues such as gender identity and presidential politics much in today’s news. With the chance to discuss these issues in post-performance talkbacks, plus receptions to mingle with the actors, directors, and talkback resource persons, each evening will be memorable.

Opening the festival on Friday, July 22 at 7:30 p.m. will be the East Coast premier of David Valdes Greenwood’s new play “Raggedy And.” In this fast-paced comedy directed by Joanne Greenberg, the perfect poet is needed for the January 2017 inauguration of America’s first female president. When trans woman Ondi Rivers is selected, her wife hits the roof and her son is torn about this invasion of the family’s privacy. Imagining the glare of the media spotlight on her family’s private life, will Ondi take the stage? Burlington singer Jennifer Lord stars as Ondi, and actor Andra Kisler (Northfield) is her construction-manager wife, Clem. Vincent Broderick (Montpelier) and William Wuttke (So. Royalton) complete the cast. “Raggedy And” will also be presented on Saturday, July 30 at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday, July 23 at 7:30 p.m., guest artist David Leeper brings to New England his riveting one-man show “At the Flash,” soon to be featured in the NYC Fringe Festival. Mr. Leeper and his co-author Sean Chandler take us on a multi-character story of a fictitious gay bar as seen through the experiences of five specific, yet universal, characters whose dramatic stories unravel through interwoven scenes covering five decades of gay history and beyond.

On Sunday, July 24 at 7 p.m. will be the East Coast premier of Marilynn Barner Anselmi’s new play “Mama’s Girls,” directed by Cher Laston. In her timely script, 11-year-old twins Amelia and Sammy argue about Barbies, sports, chores–everything except Sammy’s knowledge that she is a girl. Amelia fights everyone who opposes Sammy’s transition, including their father. The fallout from these conflicts brings Sammy’s decision and the fragility of her parents’ marriage to the fore. Montpelier’s Amanda Menard and Randolph’s Andy Mueller play the parents. Kiki Kenyon and Aakash Patrick, also from Randolph, debut as the twins. “Mama’s Girls” will also be presented on Friday, July 29 at 7:30 p.m.

On Sunday, July 31 at 7 p.m., Guillermo Reyes’ prize-winning “Men on the Verge of a His-panic Breakdown” closes the festival. Chicago-based guest artist Nelson Rodriguez shares this set of comedic monologues: the chronicles of gay Latino immigrants dealing with the shock of race and gender identity known as the “Hispanic breakdown.”

Tickets for adults are $17 advance, $20 day of show; for students, $12 advance, $15 day of show. A four-admission pass is available for $60  at chandler-arts.org or 802-728-6464. Chandler Center is located at 71-73 Main Street, Randolph.

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