4th Annual ‘Briefs’ LGBT Plays Festival Features Work of Webster Alumni, Faculty, Students

| March 23, 2015
Briefs Festival

The 4th Annual Briefs Festival will be at the Rialto Ballroom March 27-29.

The work of Webster University alumni, students and professors will be on display at the 2015 Briefs: A Festival of Short LGBT Plays on March 27-29 at the Rialto Ballroom in Grand Center.

Co-produced by That Uppity Theatre Company and Vital Voice Media, the festival is in its fourth year and has attracted national attention. Founded by distinguished Webster alumna Joan Lipkin ’75, this year’s festival features the work of several Webster community members. Gad Guterman, assistant professor in the Conservatory of Theatre Arts, directs “Bread” by Michael Yichao, featuring Webster students Emmie McCabe ’18 and Brian Coats ’16. Michael Dewar ’15 performs in Lipkin’s new play, “Ferguson.”

Joan Lipkin

Lipkin ’75, founder of That Uppity Theatre Company, launched Briefs, a festival of short LGBT plays.

Guterman also served on the reading committee for the festival and as a dramaturg for Lipkin’s new play.  Tickets can be purchased at Brown Paper Tickets.

“I am delighted by Webster’s involvement,” Lipkin said. “Gad’s understanding of theatrical texts is exemplary and has been so helpful in my own work. It is also wonderful to have such talent available from theatre students at Webster. The quality of their work is very high, as evidenced by their training.

“We appreciate being able to give them opportunities to contribute to other cultural events in the community where they may also be exposed to more directors, actors and playwrights.”

Lipkin also launched the Ken Haller Playwriting Competition for LGBTQ and Allied Youth. Named for pediatrician, performer and longtime gay activist Ken Haller, this contest will provide a cash prize of $250 to the winning playwright and production at the festival. This year’s winner is John Schmidt, who is a senior and a Nemerov Scholar at Washington University in St Louis.

Events Schedule
  • Friday, March 27: Ken Haller Award Reception at 6:30 p.m. and performances at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 28: Performances at 4 and 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 29: Barefoot Bubble Brunch at 12 p.m. followed by performance at 2 p.m.
About Briefs

This year’s collection of eight plays have been selected from over 170 submissions from across the nation and include such stories as a gay mermaid looking for love, a Jewish mother who competitively wants her single son to have the biggest wedding, the stresses of sexual identity for LGBTQ adolescents, a lesbian version of Dr. Seuss, and a conflict between a gay male couple around involvement in Ferguson.

The playwrights will include acclaimed humorist Paul Rudnick, whose short play, “My Husband” was first seen in Standing on Ceremony: the Gay Marriage Plays, and produced in New York City, as well as “This Flight Tonight” by Wendy MacLeod, by special arrangement with Dramatist’s Play Service.

During its short history, Briefs has attracted some of the most experienced directors in St Louis.

Previous Briefs directors Christopher Limber, Lee Ann Matthews, Marty Stanberry, Joan Lipkin and Michael Perkins are joined this year by Todd Schaefer, Gad Guterman and Philip Boehm. The festival also provides an excellent opportunity for younger directors and actors to gain valuable experience and exposure.

Several of the plays that appeared at previous Briefs have gone on to numerous productions, including Lipkin’s play “Are You Married?,” which debuted at Briefs 2013 and has since been produced at six theaters. That play, which she also directed, was performed as a keynote for the Healthy Lives, Healthy Communities Conference in Columbia last April and her play, “Ready,” first seen at Briefs last year was performed at the Wild Project in New York City in July as part of the Fresh Fruit Festival.

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Category: Alumni, Faculty, Student Affairs and News, The Arts, Webster Events

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