StageCo Carbondale holding auditions for ‘The Normal Heart’ this weekend

CARBONDALE — StageCo Carbondale is holding auditions for a staged reading of “The Normal Heart” at First Christian Chruch in Carbondale on Saturday, June 8. “The Normal Heart” is a mostly autobiographical play by Larry Kramer about the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s. From the Facebook event:
Auditions for The Stage Company’s staged reading production of “The Normal Heart.” When: Saturday June 8th from 2p-5p

Where: First Christian Church
306 W. Monroe St. Carbondale, IL

*Actors are asked to come with some knowledge of the show.

7th Annual Bisexual Book Awards are coming June 1

NEW YORK — The Bi Writers Association (BWA) is kicking off Pride Month with their 7th Annual Bisexual Book Awards, which are being held on Sat. June 1st at the Westbeth Community Room in New York City’s West Village. The awards will highlight a wide range of talented authors and artists that have creatively expressed bisexuality through their art. These authors have used their literature as a tool to debunk stereotypes about bisexuals, shine a light on issues facing the bi+ community, and show bi+ characters in a variety of settings not seen before in bi lit. Some readings are romantic, some rip their soul open on the page and some are angry.

GayCo Productions doing (P)ride (C)omedy (P)arty Pt. II during Chicago Pride Weekend

CHICAGO — GayCo Productions is bringing back their Pride comedy show for a second year with (P)ride (C)omedy (P)arty Pt. II. From GayCo’s press release:
In collaboration with the Russian government, GayCo productions proudly presents the hottest party in town — the Pride Comedy Party Part II! This June, let GayCo Productions launch you back into your carousing days where the world wasn’t so much of a sh%tstorm, as long as you were stuffed full of Pride! It’s as if “Whose Line is it Anyway” had a GAYBY with a frat house.

‘Grindr The Opera (An Unauthorized Parody)’ at Pride Arts Center June 23 – July 28

CHICAGO – Pride Films and Plays will mount a fully staged production this summer of “Grindr The Opera (An Unauthorized Parody)” – the satirical musical about the gay hookup app that changed the landscape of gay relationships. The musical was produced in the UK last year, in an extended, sold-out production at London’s Above the Stag Theatre (the UK’s only full-time professional LGBT+ theater), and won the 2019 Off West End Award (or OFFIE) for “Best New Musical” this past February. “Grindr The Opera,” by New York-based composer-lyricist-playwright Erik Ransom, was an entry in the 2018 Chicago Musical Theatre Festival following staged readings in New York in 2015 and 2017 and a full production in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in fall 2017. The Pride Films and Plays production will be directed by John Cardone with choreography, costume design, and co-direction by Shawn Quinlan.

Big Muddy Film Festival now accepting submissions for 2020

CARBONDALE — The Big Muddy Film Festival at Southern Illinois University is now accepting submissions for it’s 42nd annual event in 2020. The Big Muddy is a student-run film festival that has been going on at SIU since 1979 to encourage film making of all kinds. The festival takes place annually at the end of February or beginning of March in Carbondale. Films featured represent all genres and lengths and are submitted from all corners of the globe. Big Muddy has served as a platform to celebrate and showcase innovative, diverse, and culturally important independent cinema in the Southern Illinois region.

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis announces 2019 free fall programming

ST. LOUIS – The nationally-recognized Shakespeare in the Streets program will highlight the stories of not just one community, but two – Normandy, Missouri and Brussels, Illinois — for Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’ first urban-rural exchange Sept. 12-14. The performances will be inspired by the Bard’s play, “As You Like It.”

Audiences will choose whether to start in Normandy or Brussels — 45 minutes from one another — where Act One will begin at the same time in both locations.

Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis announces ‘The Night of the Iguana’ as the 2019 Main Stage production

ST. LOUIS – The Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis will present Tennessee Williams’ steamy and startling “The Night of the Iguana” as its main stage production at the Grandel Theatre on May 9-19. Jim Butz, Lavonne Byers, Nisi Sturgis, Elizabeth Townsend, and Harry Weber headline as Americans who are hiding—or seeking—or both—at a seedy Mexican hotel during the run-up to World War II. Tim Ocel will once again direct, having guided last year’s “A Streetcar Named Desire” to a record 11 award nominations by the St.

Cast announced for The Artistic Home’s ‘Ada and The Engine’

CHICAGO – The Artistic Home Ensemble this week announced the cast for its final production of the 2018-19 season – the Chicago premiere of Lauren Gunderson’s ADA AND THE ENGINE, which was given its world premiere by Central Works Theater Company of Berkeley, California in 2015. ADA AND THE ENGINE is an historical drama about Ada, the daughter of the poet Lord Byron, and Ada’s friend and soul-mate, Charles Babbage, inventor of the first mechanical computer. As the British Industrial Revolution dawns, young Ada Byron Lovelace (daughter of the flamboyant and notorious Lord Byron) sees the boundless creative potential in the “analytic engines” of her friend and soul-mate, Charles Babbage, inventor of the first mechanical computer. Ada envisions a whole new world where art and information converge – a world she might not live to see. A music-laced story of love, friendship, and the edgiest dreams of the future.

IWU grad publishes LGBTQ young adult novel

BLOOMINGTON — Illinois Wesleyan University alum Sabina Khan has just published a novel for Muslim LGBTQ youth. A press release from IWU said the book, The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali, follows the story of Rukhsana Ali, a Muslim American teenager in a secret relationship with her classmate Ariana. Her parents send her to Bangladesh in an effort to distance their daughter from Western influences. But she finds her grandmother’s diary and gets inspiration from it. “There are a hundred different versions of Rukhsana’s story out there and it would still be about a South Asian LGBTQ Muslim,” Khan told NBC in an interview.