Arts, Dining & Entertainment

Vermont Pride Theater’s eighth annual summer festival starts Friday

July 20-22—RANDOLPH—Vermont Pride Theater at Chandler is slated to run Friday, July 20 through Sunday, July 29. The lineup for the eighth annual summer pride festival includes a world premiere, the screwball farce “Aunt Jack”; a northeastern premiere, the late-in-life sexual-identity drama “A Perfect Fit”; and a New England premiere, the long-term relationship study “Bright Half Life.” The 10-day festival will also feature a benefit screening of the film Philadelphia and a showcase of Gabriel Q’s visual artistry.’

About “Aunt Jack”: In S.P. Monahan’s screwball comedy, Norman’s grown a little distant lately. After a sudden series of anxiety attacks, he broke up with his long-time boyfriend Ian and moved clear across the country, leaving his fathers George and Jack in a tizzy. With George – a prominent gay activist – in failing health, Norman has returned home to make things right and to introduce them to his new partner, Andy. Let’s just say she’s not what they expected. Directed by Gene Heinrich (St. Albans), the play features Randolph resident Jeff Tolbert in the title role, plus Tristan Goding (Rochester), Susan Loynd (Fayston), Joshua Huffman (Randolph), Nimue Washburn (Rochester), and Bob Carmody (Charlotte).

About “A Perfect Fit”: Lia Romeo’s story is about Nicole, a college sophomore involved in her first lesbian relationship, and her mother Janet. Nicole’s exploration of her sexuality has caused her mother to begin questioning her own marriage and her own assumptions. “A Perfect Fit” asks what it takes to be happy as a woman in the 21st century. Directed by Cher Laston (Williamstown), the play casts Leah Romano (Norwich), Marissa Mattogno (Williamstown), Rae Merrill (Brookfield), Lindsay Stratton (Hanover, N.H.), and Andra Kisler (Northfield).

About “Bright Half Life”: Taking place over a 45-year period, this play movingly explores the stages of a relationship between two lesbians. In a non-linear way, the audience comes to understand how the women met, why they married, how they lived as a couple, and how their marriage came to end in divorce. The New Yorker described it as “a well-written, engaging portrayal of smart women finding themselves, and each other.” Written by Tanya Barfield and directed by Kim Ward (Montpelier), the cast consists of Carly Bennet (Burlington) and Fabienne Nadeau (Milton).

Performances will all go on at 7:30 p.m. and all are followed by a talkback and a reception: “Aunt Jack” will be held Friday, July 20 and Sunday, July 28;“A Perfect Fit” will be held Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 29; and “Bright Half Life” will be held Sunday, July 22 and Friday, July 27.

On Wednesday, July 25 at 7 p.m., a free 25th-anniversary showing of Jonathan Demme’s Oscar-winning “Philadelphia” will be screened, with donations accepted to Vermont CARES and the HIV/HCV Resource Center

Acclaimed visual artist Gabriel Q. will exhibit his puppets, masks, and costumes throughout the festival period. A pre-film reception for this exhibit will take place on Wednesday, July 25.

Festival ticket prices are: adults, $20 advance or $22 at the door; students up to age 17, $15 advance or $17 at the door. Three-ticket pride passes are available. For info or tickets, visit

Chandler Center for the Arts is located at 71-73 Main Street, Randolph.

Photo courtesy Chandler Center for the Arts
In “A Perfect Fit,” college student Nicole explores her sexuality – leading her mother to begin questioning her own marriage and assumptions.

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