Arts, Dining & Entertainment

Chandler’s Vermont Pride Theater Festival continues to break new ground

July 18-20 — RANDOLPH — The fourth annual Vermont Pride Theater summer festival will again showcase performances of two Vermont premieres and a world premiere in Chandler Music Hall on July 18-20 and July 25-27. Adding to the level of activity this year will be youth-oriented events on July 22 and 23, a film and a poetry reading to benefit the Matthew Shepard Foundation, in the Esther Mesh Room of Chandler’s Upper Gallery.
On Friday, July 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 27 at 7 p.m., Jeanne Beckwith will direct Jane Chambers’ 1980 play Last Summer at Bluefish Cove, on the surprising outcomes of a straight woman’s encounter with a lesbian community. When the play opened in New York, Wisdom’s Child commented: “Jane Chambers’ moving drama can be appreciated by men and women, straight and gay alike, because it takes for its theme the universal search for love, commitment and personal fulfillment…a ground-breaking play.”
At 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 19 and Friday, July 25, Richard Waterhouse will direct Douglas Carter Beane’s 2006 play The Little Dog Laughed. In this script, a hot young Hollywood actor is up for the role of a lifetime and his agent Diane will do anything in her power to keep his “slight recurring case of homosexuality” under wraps.
On Sunday, July 20 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, July 26 at 7:30 p.m., David Zak will direct his new stage adaptation of Will Fellows’ book Farm Boys. When the book was published, a reviewer wrote: “Homosexuality is often seen as a purely urban experience, far removed from rural and small-town life. ‘Farm Boys’ undermines that cliché by telling the stories of more than three dozen gay men, ranging in age from 24 to 84, who grew up in farm families in the midwestern United States. Whether painful, funny or matter-of-fact, these plain-spoken accounts will move and educate any reader, gay or not, farm or city.” The stories of gay men growing up in rural communities are rarely presented on stage or screen, and Chandler’s Pride Advisory Committee is delighted to present this new work.
Advance tickets are for sale on-line at and
New additions to the Festival’s traditional three-play weekends in the Music Hall are two Upper Gallery events benefiting the Matthew Shepard Foundation. On Tuesday, July 22 at 7 p.m., Moises Kaufman’s acclaimed HBO film version of his play The Laramie Project will be shown. On Wednesday, July 23 at 7 p.m., an ensemble of young people from the region will present a dramatic reading of Leslea Newman’s October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard. Admission to both events is by donation at the door, with proceeds to the Foundation.
For more info, call 802-728-6464.

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