Two seasoned professionals from New Yorkﾒs theater scene are now in Los Angeles helping to mount "Rise Up and Shout! Voices of the Next Gay Generation" to be held October 24th.
Two seasoned professionals from New York’s theater scene are now in Los Angeles helping to mount “Rise Up and Shout! Voices of the Next Gay Generation.” The LGBT youth talent showcase was first produced in 2006 at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre, where it will return this year on Saturday, October 24. A sold-out crowd is once again expected.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the fantastic array of singers, dancers, poets, rappers, and other artists on tap for this year’s show,” says Rise Up! producer Brian Gleason. He was a member of the all-volunteer group of community organizers who formed three years ago to host the show and its mentorship program. Gleason documented the entire yearlong process in an award-winning film that has since been seen around the world on cable networks and the Sundance Channel.
He is joined again by New York stage director Jim Pentecost, who has been involved with the Broadway productions of La Cage Aux Folles, Gypsy (with Tyne Daly), Crimes of the Heart, and Nick and Nora. Pentecost is also the producer of the Disney animated film Pocahontas and the Stephen Schwartz television musical Geppetto.
This year’s stunning “Rise Up and Shout!” poster is created by famed illustrator David Edward Bryd, who is widely known for his iconic graphic images for Broadway shows such as Follies, Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell, Little Shop of Horrors and many others. Bryd’s work has also adorned the covers of numerous books and records, and most recently posters for the Batman films and style-guides for the Harry Potter movies.
“Rise Up and Shout!” was first developed by Los Angeles Gay Center co-founder Don Kilhefner and former Advocate Senior Editor Mark Thompson as a way to address the growing “generation gap” in the gay community and to provide means for intergeneration contact and dialogue. They were joined by Episcopal priest Malcolm Boyd and many other teachers, therapists, and activists in the community as the project grew. The 2006 show was a great success, with all proceeds returned to the 25 participating youth in the form of direct scholarships. In years following, many of the young cast members have reported enhanced feelings of self-esteem and personal motivation.
“This is what ‘Rise Up and Shout!’ is really all about,” says Gleason, a psychotherapist who specializes in working with at risk youth. “It provides a gateway for gay youth to be seen and heard by their elders, and for guidance and support in realizing their goals and dreams to be returned in kind.”
Tickets for the one-night-only performance are available for $25 at BGTtix.com.
Early reservations are suggested for the 7 p.m. show on Oct. 24, 2009, at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., in Hollywood.
Additional information about the program can be found at riseupandshout.org, or by calling (323) 823-3171.