Gay Play Weekend at COH Features EnhFour New Plays, One New Musical

Via press release

Pride Films and Plays announces that five finalists have been named in the 2012 Great Gay Play and Musical Contest, as PFP continues to explore “What’s New and Who’s Next” in LGBT film and theater. The finalists are:
  • At The Flash, by Sean Chandler and David Leeper, Woodland Hills, CA
  • Lost in History, by Adam Siegel, Maplewood, NJ
  • Hello Norma Jeane, by Dylan Costello, London, UK
  • Mr. Teddy, by George Smart, Quincy, MA
  • Under A Rainbow Flag, a new musical, by Leo Schwartz, Chicago, IL

All five finalists will be performed as enhanced staged readings in the Gay Play Weekend April 13 to 15 at Center on Halsted, 3656 North Halsted. The readings use some stage movement, sound, and costuming to create the world of the plays.

“PFP fosters excellent writing for the stage and screen that speaks not only to the LGBT community, but is essential viewing for our friends, family, and co-workers,” says Executive Director David Zak. “And it is the range of these pieces that will make our Festival Weekend of staged readings extraordinary.”

“Hello Norma Jeane, a comedy about Marilyn Monroe, and Mr. Teddy, a very provocative look at a long-standing three-way role-playing relationship, are both so entertaining and thought-provoking. At The Flash is destined to be a classic solo tour-de-force performance piece illuminating 50 years of gay history, while Lost in History is a beautifully personal story about parents, aging, and much more. And our first musical to be named a finalist, Under A Rainbow Flag, is a charming real-life story of a WWII naval corpsman who still lives in Evanston, Illinois.”

Thanks to the support of Center on Halsted, Gay Play Weekend is April 13 to 15 with the following schedule:

  • Friday, April 13, 7:30 – Lost in History, starring Artistic Ensemble Member Patrick Rybarczyk, and featuring Fred Tumas and Jerry Miller, directed by Andrew Souders.
  • Saturday, April 14, 4:30 – Mr. Teddy, starring Artistic Ensemble Members Jude Hansen and Mark Smaglinski, and featuring Kyra Morris, Teddy Boone, Mark Boergers, and Alex Wolking, directed by Derek Bertelsen. 
  • Saturday, April 14, 7:30 – Hello Norma Jeane, starring Artistic Ensemble members Kris Hyland, Michelle McKenzie-Voigt, Chad Ryan, and Kelli Walker, and featuring Rachel Payne and David Geinosky, directed by John Nasca. 
  • Sunday, April 15, 1:30 – At The Flash, starring Artistic Ensemble member Lee Wichman, directed by David Zak.
  • Sunday, April 15, 4:30 – Under A Rainbow Flag, starring Artistic Ensemble Members Tom Chiola and Kris Hyland, and featuring Bobby Arnold, Jon Landvick, Meghan Murphy, Colin Sphar and Nick Stockwell. Robert Ollis is Musical Director, directed by David Zak.
Tickets for each reading are $10, and will be available February 1, at

At The Flash by Sean Chandler and David Leeper, Woodland Hills, CA

At The Flash is a multi-character history of a fictitious gay bar called The Flash as seen through the eyes of five specific, yet universal characters whose stories are told through a series of inter-woven scenes representing LGBT history from the 1960s to today. One actor plays all the roles in this theatrical tour-de-force.

Sean Chandler and David Leeper, legally married since 2008, reside in Woodland Hills, CA. Together and separately, their additional scripts include Kissing the Frog Prince, Radical Morality, Everyday Joseph, Make Mine a Double, and The Pack.

Lost in History by Adam Siegel, Maplewood, NJ
In Lost in History, we meet Ben Goldfarb, a man who is caring for his demanding father while trying to have a baby through a surrogate. When his father gets a new roommate at the nursing home where he is living, Benlearns it is Isaac Strauss – the famous psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor. What will Ben learn about his father, about Isaac, and about himself in this new powerful new drama of family and history?

Adam Siegel is the author of several plays, including The Legacy, winner of the 2008 New Play Festival at South Carolina’s Centre Stage. In addition, the play has had readings at regional theaters around the country and was a semifinalist for the O’Neill Playwrights Conference.

Hello Norma Jeane by Dylan Costello, London, UK
Joe has his life turned upside-down when his grandmother admits her deepest secret – that she is in fact Marilyn Monroe, coming out of hiding 50 years after faking her death in 1962. Can Joe really be the gay grandson of Marilyn Monroe? Joe’s search for the truth, his self-worth, and his love for his grandmother are tested to the limit in this funny drama that is full of surprises.

Native Londoner Dylan Costello is a screenwriter and playwright. His debut movie Coronado is currently in pre-production in Hollywood and his first two plays were produced in London in 2010. His short climate change film Edge of Existence was also shown at the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit in December 2009.

Mr. Teddy by George Smart, Quincy, MA
Mr. Teddy explores the sexy and complex dynamics of a long-term relationship between three gay men who are a part of the gay subculture where role playing is the norm and a way of life.   ‘Daddies’ Alex and Marc have enjoyed 10 years together with their ‘son’ Teddy, until their friend Joan instigates a confrontation that tests the very definition of family.

George Smart, a Boston-based playwright, enjoys exploring the world as seen from a gay perspective in his writing. Produced 10-minute plays include IDWYT, Bottom And The Big Bad Bat, You Don’t?, and It Doesn’t. Full-length plays include A Dog and His Boys and Charlote’s Crossing.

Under A Rainbow Flag by Leo Schwartz, Chicago, IL
Navy Medical Corpsman Jon Philips finds himself in the company of other gay men, both stateside and on the battlefield in World War II. As we follow Jon and his friends from 1943 to 1951, we learn of love, joy, and loss in this brand-new musical. Under A Rainbow Flag is inspired by the life of Navy corpsman, Jon Philips, resident of Evanston, Illinois, and is the first musical to be named a finalist in this competition. 

Leo Schwartz is a multi-award winning composer of musical theatre, film, concert music, and jazz. In 2011, he won a Gold Medal for Film Scoring at the Park City Film Music Festival. His works have been performed off-Broadway, in Europe, on the radio, and in concert halls across the United States.