Category: Company News

Company News

What is the Pride Arts Center?

ABOUT PRIDE ARTS CENTER Pride Arts Center (PAC) opened in 2016 and consists of two performance spaces: The Broadway at 4139 N. Broadway which has 85 seats, and The Buena at 4147 N. Broadway which has 50 seats. PAC is run by the primary tenant, Pride Films and Plays, a 501(c)3 organization in Chicago. PAC has become an important part of the arts environment in the Buena Park/Uptown neighborhoods and beyond by hosting events including After Orlando, Bechdel Fest, Unrehearsed Shakespeare, and various community meetings and events. PRIDE ARTS CENTER also produces one-night or limited run events that fall outside the mission of Pride Films and Plays. These have included Charles Busch in THAT BOY, THAT GIRL in January, the His & His Cabaret Series, and the late-night improv show 26. The PAC slate of events during celebrating Pride 2017 include SheFest, Queer Bits Film Fest, staged readings of THE BOYS IN THE BAND and new works.  The Pride Slate also includes limited runs of MUSICAL COMEDY WHORE and BEDS, a double bill of Robert Chesley’s JERKER and James Edwin Parker’s 2 BOYS IN A BED ON A COLD WINTER NIGHT. Red Tape and Underscore Music Theater, along with PFP,More…

Company News, Plays

PRISCILLA: Queen of the Desert Must Close March 12!

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert the Musical is the heartwarming, uplifting adventure of three friends, Tick, Bernadette and Adam, a glamorous Sydney-based performing trio who agree to take their show to the middle of the Australian outback. They hop aboard a battered old bus (nicknamed Priscilla) searching for love and friendship and end up finding more than they ever could have ever dreamed of. With a dazzling array of John Nasca costumes and a hit parade of dance floor favorites including “It’s Raining Men,” “I Will Survive,” Hot Stuff,” “Go West,” “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” and “I Love the Nightlife,” this wildly funny and touching musical is a journey to the heart of FABULOUS! Based on the smash-hit movie of the same name, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert enjoyed a 16-month run on Broadway. The performance is at The Broadway, part of the Pride Arts Center, at 4139 N Broadway. Honey West, Jordan Phelps, and Luke Meierdiercks lead a cast of 16 all-stars, and Music Director Robert Ollis will lead a band of 5! David Zak and Derek Van Barham co-direct, with choreography by Jon Martinez. TICKETING INFORMATION! Regular performances are on Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 7:30 and SundayMore…

Company News

Nelson Rodriguez Named PFP’s Artistic Director

Nelson Rodriguez, a Chicago-based actor and writer of Puerto Rican descent who has been an ensemble member of Pride Films and Plays since August 2012, has been named the company’s Artistic Director, Executive Director David Zak announced today. “Nelson’s contributions to the company as an actor, production manager and curator of our film programming have been enormous,” Zak said. “His work and reputation throughout the Chicago theatre community will a tremendous asset in growing the artistic product of Pride Films and Plays in this new phase of our company’s life.” Rodriguez has acted in the Pride Films and Plays productions of The Children’s Hour, Some Men, The Boys Upstairs, and Men on the Verge of a His-Panic Breakdown for which he received a 2016 Non-Equity Joseph Jefferson Award nomination in Solo Performance. He has overseen the film programming at PFP since 2013, serving as Production Manager for Gay Film Weekend and Curator and Programming Director for Queer Bits Film Festival. Rodriguez’s additional Chicago theatre credits include roles at Steppenwolf for Young Audiences, 16th Street Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Signal Ensemble Theatre, and Adventure Stage Chicago, where he is an Associate Artist. His on-camera credits include Easy Abby, Kissing Walls, Dudes and theMore…

Company News

PFP Announces Great New Season

2016-17 season to “Let in the Light” with Chicago premieres of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and The Nance, plus two world premieres Pride Films and Plays’ 2016-17 season will include two Chicago premieres of Tony Award nominated shows and two world premieres, Executive Director David Zak and Artistic Director Nelson Rodriguez announced today. Under the theme, “Let in the Light,” the season will open with the previously announced world premiere Resolution at Rivendell Theatre from October 21 to November 20, 2016. In January, the company will present the inaugural production in their two-stage Pride Arts Center, the first original Chicago staging of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. The musical will be performed in the center’s 85-seat Broadway stage, at 4139 N. Broadway. PFP will next christen its 50-seat Buena stage at 4157 N. Broadway in March with the world premiere of Gina Femia’s For the Love Of (or, the Roller Derby Play). The company will return to the Broadway stage in June for the Chicago premiere of Douglas Carter Beane’s The Nance. This year, PFP will offer $10 access tickets for 10% of the tickets for all shows, which can be used by artists, students, seniors, or others.  PurchaseMore…

Company News, Events

PFP to open Pride Arts Center!

Pride Films and Plays, the LGBTQ+ focused company founded in 2010, will take up residence in the two theaters at 4139 and 4147 N. Broadway in Uptown that were recently vacated by Profiles Theatre, Executive Director David Zak announced today. The 90-seat space at 4139 N. Broadway will serve as the primary venue for the company’s stage productions and will be named The Broadway. The 50-seat studio a few doors north at 4147 N. Broadway, to be dubbed The Buena, will serve chiefly as a rental venue. Zak says “We will welcome arts groups of all types – theaters, film fests, comics, musicians, performance artists – who share our mission to speak for the underrepresented populations of our community. The Pride Arts Center will be a safe and open place for all artists.” 46th Ward Alderman James Cappleman said, “We enthusiastically welcome Pride Films and Plays to Uptown. Performing arts organizations enhance the quality of life, bring economic activity and promote safety in our neighborhoods. We are thrilled to know that the tradition of live theatre on this block of Broadway will continue virtually uninterrupted.” The company’s next production, Resolution – a world premiere by Heather McNama and Nancy NymanMore…

Company News, Events

A History of Summer

Pride Films and Plays presents a special workshop of the glorious new musical A History of Summer, with music and lyrics by Jonathan Monro and book by Adam Mathias. Both of the authors have extensive credits (see full bios below) and will be coming to Chicago for one week to work with director David Zak, music director Robert Ollis, a cast of 16 and a five piece band for the reading. Performances are at 7:00 PM on Tuesday and Wednesday June 28 and 29 at Theater Wit, 1229 W Belmont. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here or 1 800 737 0984. A History of Summer covers the period between 1869 and the present day, following the stories of a number of friends, couples and siblings who journey to Fire Island for beachfront relaxation, romance and escape. Over the years, the Fire Island communities of Cherry Grove and the Pines develop into a hugely popular LGBT resort, with summer residents coming from New York City and beyond. The gorgeous songs in the show reflect the wide-ranging issues that confronted the gay community throughout these decades, from the closeted-repression and harassment of the forties and fifties, the romances of theMore…

Company News, Films, Screenplays


PFP’s first original short is Counting, directed by Dan Pal from a screenplay by Kari Morris. Counting features PFP Company Members Kenzie Siebert, Carolyn Reynolds, and Joan McGrath, and was shot on location in Chicago in July 2016. In 1951, Violet and Milly make a love promise over a penny. In 2015, the promise comes due, and Violet must face a heartbreaking reality. So far Counting has been selected for the Big as Texas Short Film Festival, where it is a nominee for Best LGBT Film, and the Equality Festival in Kiev, Ukraine. There will likely bemany more announced in January, and Dan Pal has submitted the film to festivals that have notifications as far ahead as next September. We wish Counting continued success on the festival circuit. Directed and Produced by Dan Pal Screenplay by Kari Morris Executive Producer   David Zak Milly    Kenzie Seibert Young Violet    Carolyn Reynolds Older Violet    Joan McGrath Director of Photography   Alan Dembek Costume Designer   John Nasca DIT/Editor   Don Diaz 1st Assistant Director   Kelsey O’Brien 2nd Assistant Director/Line Producer  David Collins Production Manager  Sam Bengtson Gaffer    Ian Battaglia Key Grip   J Wheeler White 1st Assistant Camera    Alex Naremore 2nd Assistant Camera    Jordan Blazak Sound Designer  More…

Company News, Events

Winter Memories 2!

Winter Memories is a showcase that will feature some of the best and brightest of Chicago’s LGBT talent and allies. The evening begins December 7th at 7:00pm at Twisted Vine, 3530 N Halsted, an intimate cabaret in the heart of Boystown. Directed by Jordan Phelps, Winter Memories will feature Chris Logan, James Nedrud, Kevin Webb, Scott Gryder, Donterrio Johnson, Desmond Gray, Naima Hebrail, Parker Haines, Delia Kropp, Justin LaForte and Robert Ollis. Tickets are $25 for reserved seats and $20 for general admission. Food is available from the Twisted Vine menu, and there is cash bar available. Each ticket holder gets entered in a drawing for holiday door prizes. Tickets can be purchased at 1 800 747 0984 or on line here.  

Company News

Parking at Rivendell, 5779 N. Ridge

So far, parking seems to be pretty easy to find at Rivendell. The side streets do not require permits, and there is free parking at the Senn High School Lot a few blocks away. The closest el stop is Bryn Mawr on the red line. Walk west to Broadway, then northwest up Ridge to 5779.  Convenient bus stops are at Broadway and Bryn Mawr, or Clark and Ridge. There is also free parking at the Senn High School lot, which can ONLY be accessed from Thorndale,  a one-way street running west. You can turn onto Thorndale from Broadway, just north of Moody’s Pub, or go north on Glenwood just east of Rivendell, and turn left onto Thorndale.  

Company News, Plays

The Boy From Oz

Pride Films and Plays will conclude its remarkable Summer Season with The Boy From Oz, the Broadway musical which tells the amazing life story of celebrated songwriter and performer Peter Allen. Featuring songs by Peter Allen, book by Martin Sherman and Nick Enright, Direction by David Zak, and Musical Direction by Robert Ollis, The Boy From Oz tells the exuberant yet heart-warming true story of a young Australian boy who loved to perform and ended up in the glamorous orbit of Judy Garland and her soon-to-be famous daughter Liza. The show is JEFF RECOMMENDED, and critics are calling it: “IMPRESSIVE… expertly cast and directed by David Zak.” – Recommended, Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times “MAGNETIC…This shimmering, splashy production absolutely lights up Belmont Avenue.” – Highly Recommended, Colin Douglas, Chicago Theater Review “INSPIRED… Chris Logan brings heartfelt immediacy to Allen’s final, anguished valedictory ballad “Once Before I Go” and precise pizzazz to such novelty numbers as “The Continental American,” “Sure Thing, Baby” and the self-promoting “Bi-Coastal” – Highly Recommended, Lawrence Bommer, Stage and Screen Regular performances are Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 and Sundays at 5 through August 30 only. Tickets are $25 Wednesday, $30 Thursdays and $40 on Friday,More…