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 the upcoming SAG feature film En Algun Lugar. As a writer, he is a member of The Alliance of Latinx Theatre Artists’ playwrights circle: El Semillero. His play Snapshots has received public readings at Victory Gardens Theatre and Chicago Cultural Center. He is an honoree of Windy City Times’ 17th Annual “30 Under 30 Award” which recognized the best and brightest of the LGBTQQIA+ youth community. Mr. Rodriguez holds an MFA in Acting from The University of Southern Mississippi and a BA in Theatre from Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia.
“Being named Artistic Director at Pride Films and Plays is an absolute honor and thrill, “Rodriguez says. “I realized during my collegiate career that part of my personal mission includes telling, fostering, and championing queer stories and artists. Since moving to Chicago in 2011, PFP has given me a home to realize that part of my mission. It’s with great pleasure that I accept the opportunity to guide the company, its fantastic members, affiliated artists, our audiences and community to stories that reflect the diverse and vibrant LGBTQ+ community. I’m excited to lead with a strong focus on inclusivity and integrity and to learn from my fellow artistic leaders in the theatre community.”
Pride Films and Plays recently announced its acquisition of the performance spaces at 4139 and 4147 N. Broadway formerly occupied by Profiles Theatre, which have been renamed the Pride Arts Center. 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 of the venue, “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.
Pride Films and Plays 2016 season will conclude with the World Premiere of Resolution. Described as a “vintage queer thriller for the modern era,” the play by Nancy Nyman and Heather McNama will run from October 21 to November 20, 2016. Scheduled for a run at Rivendell before PFP acquired its new spaces on Broadway, Resolution will be the last Pride Films and Plays production outside of the Pride Arts Center.
ABOUT PRIDE FILMS AND PLAYS
The mission of Pride Films and Plays is to change lives through the generation of diverse new work (or work that is new to Chicago) with LGBTQ+ characters or themes that is essential viewing for all audiences. We accomplish this mission through fully-staged productions, writing contests and staged readings, film screenings, and special events. We foster long term relationships with artists to create programming that is as diverse, unique, and complex as the community we represent. In 2015, Huffington Post called PFP “A powerful and empowering entity.”
PFP’s 2016 began with Ten Dollar House at Piccolo Theatre followed by the world premiere of David Valdes Greenwood’s Raggedy And at Rivendell, and The Boys Upstairs at Mary’s Attic. The world premiere of BITE: A Pucking Queer Cabaret continues at Mary’s Attic until August 24. This year’s main productions will conclude with the world premiere of Resolution. The company acquired the performance spaces at 4139 and 4147 N. Broadway formerly occupied by Profiles Theatre in July 2016, renaming the spaces the Pride Arts Center.
Pride Films and Plays is supported by The MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at The Richard Driehaus Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council, City of Chicago’s City Arts Fund, the Elliott Fredland Charitable Trust, Proud to Run, and the AmazonSmile Foundation. PFP is a member of the Smart Growth Program of the Chicago Community Trust. Pride Films and Plays is a member of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois and The League of Chicago Theatres.
For more information, visit www.pridefilmsandplays.com or call 1.800.737.0984.