We are back again this year with the 2nd annual
This year we are expanding to a two-day event teamed with other amazing organizations to bring you a diverse, incredible weekend of queer-positive theatre
in St. John’s, NL.
We are very honoured and insanely excited to make this announcement! Engine Productions are joining forces with The Arts and Culture Centre (ACC St. John’s) and For the Love of Learning to present NL’s first Queer Theatre Festival taking place July 19 and 20 in the ACC’s Barbara Barrett Theatre.
“We are excited about this partnership and are happy to be part of St. John’s Pride Celebrations once again this year,” said Aiden Flynn, manager of programming and partnerships at the Arts and Culture Centre.
Created by Jenn Brown, co-founder of Engine Productions, the Festival debuted as a pop-up show in 2012. The now-annual Queer Theatre Festival coincides with Pride Week (July 15-21) and celebrates the talents and stories of Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Gay and Transgendered (LBGT) artists and their contributions to the arts, culture and history of our province.
“Topics such as gender and sexual identity aren’t readily seen on our stages, nor are the voices of queer artists often shared, and what better place to embrace these important thoughts, stories, and experiences than on our stages,” said Brown.
Opening the festival on July 19th is the Queer Monologues, presented by For the Love of Learning (FTLOL). Accompanying the monologues is a performance by Spectrum – a queer vocal choir, and an opening reception. Gemma Hickey, FTLOL’s Executive Director said the monologues will include a range of topics intended to be broad in nature, while being inclusive and respectful of the diversity of personal experiences expressed by the individual.
“The Queer Monologues will provide a safe, inclusive space that allows the concerns, hopes and personal stories of LBGT youth to be shared,” Hickey said. “The LBGT community is marginalized and because of this LBGT youth are at a higher risk of suicide, addiction and homelessness than heterosexual youth. It is essential to give them a forum to share their discourses, while fostering an environment that promotes equality for all.”
Day two, July 20th, is Engine Production’s Short & Queer II, the follow up to last year’s debut festival show. Short & Queer II is a night of five original short plays written by LBGT playwrights and/or have a theme or relevance to the LBGT community.
The shorts this year include The Intervention by Robert Chafe, Two Dudes by Mark White, Adult Children by Liz Solo, In The Bedroom by Amy Anthony and Secret Learnings by Megan Coles. All pieces are performed and directed by an amazing cast of local actors and directors who will also share teaser readings with audiences of next year’s shorts, which include work by playwrights Meghan Greeley, Dave Sullivan, Philip Goodridge, Mitch McGee Herritt and Rory Lambert. Tickets for the Queer Theatre Festival are $25 per night or $20 per night in advance. For more information or to purchase tickets visit artsandculturecentre.com or call the ACC box office at 729-3900.
Mark your calendars for July 19-20, 2013!
The History of the QTF
Engine Productions’ co-founder, Jenn Brown created the Queer Theatre Festival, the first Queer Arts festival in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Coinciding with St. John’s Pride Week 2012, on July 20th, 2012 EP presented “Short & Queer”, a pop-up show consisting of readings of five new short pieces by a wide array of talented writers, the first of this annual festival. Governor General’s Award For Drama Winner, Robert Chafe, wrote a piece for the night, along with Megan Coles, Amy Anthony, Mark White and Liz Solo. The directors and cast created a moving show of rehearsed stage readings and put it up on it’s feet and flowed through the rooms of the alt-gallery, Ontop/Above. However, there were perimeters! Writers were given only one week to create their work- a short which could be five to ten minutes in duration, contain a maximum of four characters, and the pieces had to be written by LBGT playwrights and/or have a theme and relevance to the LBGT community.
For the actors/directors, they were given only one afternoon to rehearse and give these plays their first spark of life as brand spankin’ new creations, and then we all shared it with a warm, excited audience. The talents of Natalia Hennelly, Jenn Brown, Kimberley Drake, Ross Moore, Darren Ivany, Michael Smith, Emily Locke and Mitch McGee Herritt were the actors and directors on the floor, and all provided such range, energy and excitement to the night! The house was full, the rooms packed, and the first sharing of these plays were very well received and created a forceful evening of theatre and added a much-needed arts element to Pride Week. Thank you to the Newfoundland and Labrador Art’s Council along with the City of St. John’s for their funding contributions (our sincere gratitude!) and to everyone else who showed their support to our night and to Pride Week.
“What a fabulous night out…raw live theatre…Engine Productions, definitely some major talent to watch for…our next generation of theater greats!!”
-Rhonda Pelley (Audience Member, 2012)