God, Gays and Theatre
Check out THIS BEAUTIFUL CITY created by The Civilians, the award winning documentary theater company, and now playing at The Vineyard Theater in NYC. This play tackles issues pertinent to the Soulforce Community Forum and the LGBT push for equal rights and marriage equality.
THIS BEAUTIFUL CITY was created in Colorado Springs, CO in 2006 during the campaigning for Referendum I and Amendment 43 and, due to the passing of Prop 8, the content of THIS BEAUTIFUL CITY is still incredibly relevant. We originally set out to examine the Evangelical movement in Colorado Springs and how it shapes the political and social fabric of America (everyone from Evangelicals to Celtic Wiccans, the LGBT community to the members of New Life Church). Now, I am sure you have been following the somewhat clumsy fall from grace of Ted Haggard of New Life Church. The Civilians were in Colorado Springs doing interviews and research when Mr. Mike Jones made his fateful radio announcement revealing Mr. Haggard’s connection with (and affection for) male prostitutes and methamphetamine. Thus, THIS BEAUTIFUL CITY has become so much more than a comment on the Evangelical movement. It objectively looks at faith, power, sex, politics, and marriage (and did we mention it’s a musical!).
Please follow this link to the trailer for THIS BEAUTIFUL CITY created by The Vineyard Theater: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7n_qoD6NUwQ
Also – we will be creating a Civilians blog on the Vineyard Theater website with reviews, news stories, and other relevant updates involving THIS BEAUTIFUL CITY buzz.
The following are excerpts from the press release for THIS BEAUTIFUL CITY by The Vineyard Theater:
The Vineyard Theatre, in a co-production with L.A.'s Center Theatre Group,
present the NY Premiere of The Civilians'
THIS BEAUTIFUL CITY
New play with music about mega-church movement, New Life Church
and Ted Haggard scandal
in Colorado Springs 2006
Previews begin February 3, 2009
Opens February 22 at The Vineyard Theatre
Written by Steven Cosson and Jim Lewis, with music and lyrics by Michael Friedman, THIS BEAUTIFUL CITY is a provocative new play with music about the growth of the evangelical movement in Colorado Springs, created by the documentary theatre troupe The Civilians. While conducting interviews with people involved with or affected by the mega-church movement, scandal broke about New Life Church pastor Ted Haggard and shook the entire city of Colorado Springs, providing the play's creators with an unprecedented opportunity to capture an important event as it was taking place, and providing the people of Colorado Springs the opportunity to express their opinions and concerns as those events unfolded. THIS BEAUTIFUL CITY is a fascinating and timely look at faith and how it affects the American landscape.
THIS BEAUTIFUL CITY was created from interviews by Emily Ackerman, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Brad Heberlee, Stephen Plunkett, Alison Weller and the authors with actual persons over the course of 10 weeks in Colorado Springs. Every leading church in the area participated in the project, as did numerous civic organizations, progressive activists, and individuals from all walks of life.
The cast of THIS BEAUTIFUL CITY includes Emily Ackerman, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Brad Heberlee, Brandon Miller, Stephen Plunkett and Alison Weller, along with musicians Chris Biesterfeldt, Benjamin Campbell and Richard Huntley. Music direction is by Erik James.
Since its founding in 2001 by Artistic Director Steven Cosson, The Civilians have created seven original shows: CANARD, CANARD, GOOSE?; THE LADIES; PARIS COMMUNE; GONE MISSING; (I AM) NOBODY'S LUNCH; SHADOW OF HIMSELF; and THIS BEAUTIFUL CITY. The Civilians' work has produced throughout New York and at theaters nationally including A.R.T., La Jolla Playhouse, HBO's US Comedy Festival, and Actors Theatre of Louisville. The company has also toured nationally and internationally to universities, arts presenters and festivals. The Civilians received an Obie in 2004 in recognition of its accomplishments in its first two seasons of work.
Performances of THIS BEAUTIFUL CITY are set to run from February 3 through March 15. Performances are Tuesdays at 7pm, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8pm, and Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm. Tickets are $60. A limited number of student rush tickets are available for $20 each, two hours prior to the curtain at the box office, with a valid student ID (limit of 2 tickets per ID). For reservations and more information about The Vineyard Theatre, call 212-353-0303 or visit www.vineyardtheatre.org
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