Friday, October 13, 2017

Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition Premier Event (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Cheryl Osimo Executive Director of the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition about the 20th anniversary of their premier fundraising event the Lesbians and Friends LGBTQ Dance Party For Prevention that takes place in Brookline, Massachusetts on October 21st. This year MBCC will be honoring Attorney Susan Wilson the founder of this dance event who has been an inspiration and supporter of MBCC for over two decades. MBCC’s annual fundraising events like the upcoming Lesbians and Friends LGBTQ Dance Party For Prevention helps subsidize crucial funding for its sister organization, Silent Spring Institute. Since 1994 Silent Spring Institute has conducted scientifically sound and environmentally focused breast cancer prevention research. The funding will be used to study exposure to toxic cancer-causing chemicals in drinking water and homes throughout Massachusetts. Unfortunately this year the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has radically decreased their funding to $25,000, a fraction of the $647,500 needed, making fundraising events like the Lesbians and Friends LGBTQ Dance Party For Prevention more important than ever.

We talked to Cheryl about MBCC’s vital work and her spin on our LGBTQ issues. When asked how she sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in a Trump administration Osimo stated, “I think that the LGBTQ community is stronger than ever. We cannot let this administration turn anything around in terms of how we have made progress, how we moved ahead. We need to stay strong as he would say and move to not let him derail us in anyway, shape or form. We’re going to be okay because we are strong and we’ve come so far and continue with our work, remain strong, stick together and not allow him to derail us. That’s the most important thing.”

Cheryl Osimo is a fierce LGBTQ ally and devoted breast cancer activist and advocate since 1991 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 41. She has been a catalyst in raising public awareness of the possible environmental links to breast cancer. Her commitment to breast cancer prevention and awareness will benefit women worldwide. The 20th Annual Lesbians and Friends LGBTQ Dance Party For Prevention takes place on Saturday October 21st from 8P to12A at the Brookline-Boston Holiday Inn located at 1200 Beacon Street in Brookline, MA. Hundreds of women will come together to celebrate and hope for a future free of breast cancer. Their goal is to raise at least $20,000. Directly before the event dance instructor Liz Nania will lead a free Merengue dance workshop for all interested participants from 7P to 8P. Refreshments including complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will also be provided to all attendees. There will be a silent auction with items donated from celebrities including Melissa Etheridge, Pink Martini, Ann Hampton Callaway, Liz Callaway, Patti Lupone, The Boston Pops and LGBTQ friendly businesses. Sponsors for this year’s event are Eastern Bank, Fenway Health, Lisa J. Drapkin & Debbie Lewis, Sue Wilson, Esq & Founder, Hy-Line Cruises, Kauffman Law Mediation, The Davis Group, Neiman & Associates Financial Services, LLC, Gonzalez & Associates, PC, OUT to DANCE, Estelle Disch Phototransformations, Ellen Janis & Josh Real Estate Team, Pure Haven Independent Consultant, The Meeting Point, South Cove Community Health, Stop & Shop and OUTTAKE™ LLC. DJ Triana will provide the music. Tickets are $45 in advance and $50 at the door.
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Friday, October 6, 2017

Provincetown Film Society To Honor Donna Deitch (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Director Donna Deitch about being honored by Provincetown Film Society on October 13th and the sequel to her classic film “Desert Hearts”. The Provincetown Film Society is presenting an exciting line-up of film screenings with special filmmaker appearances and events during Women’s Week that runs from October 6th to 15th. Among the highlights of the ten-day showcase of films made for, about and by women is the 31st anniversary re-release of Deitch’s groundbreaking film “Desert Hearts” that will have multiple screenings throughout the week. Deitch will be honored at the 3rd Annual Women Filmmaker’s Residency brunch on Friday, October 13th from 11A to 1P at Harbor Lounge, in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Other featured films in the series are Catherine Gund and Deresha Kyi’s “Chevala” based on the life of musical pioneer and queer icon Chevala Vargas who captured the heart of Frida Kahlo and the imagination of Pedro Almodovar. Also Robin Kampf’s short film “Love Wins” that tells the story of two women now in their eighties Jan and Emily who met and fell in love during a time when doing so was strictly taboo. They'd travel to Provincetown each year where for one week would be able to live their true lives. Actor Blaire Baron will also be on hand to present her provocative short titled “The Candidate” and local favorites Andrea Myerson’s “Clambake” and Maggie Rizzi’s “Ann Maguire: The Story of an American Hero” will also screen. We talked to Donna about the 31st anniversary re-release of “Desert Hearts” and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBTQ equality Deitch stated, “My personal commitment to LGBTQ equality is 100% but I think that I am most useful in terms of my commitment and my production to making that come about is just making movies that tell these stories.” Then when asked how she sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in this Trump administration Deitch added, “Well I think that’s a question that so many different communities are asking themselves. One thing that I feel is just so essential to survival is truth telling. So I believe that just subscribing to your local newspaper or another paper you value because that’s a way of keeping investigative journalism alive is essential to truth being told and resistance in whatever way works for you.”

After producing and directing “Desert Hearts” the landmark hit of the 1986 Sundance, Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals, Donna Deitch became an established TV director when Oprah Winfrey hired her to direct the ABC Emmy nominated 4-hour mini series “The Women of Brewster Place”. From there Donna directed movies for cable including HBO's “Prison Stories, Women on the Inside” and Showtime's “Devil's Arithmetic” starring Kirsten Dunst and Brittany Murphy for which she won an Emmy for her direction. For decades she has been directing the best of one hour television drama including numerous episodes of “Grey's Anatomy”, “Private Practice”, “NYPD Blue”, “ER”, “Law and Order: SVU”, “Heroes”, “Crossing Jordan”, “Murder One” and others. The Provincetown Film Society that is honoring Deitch on October 13th is a nonprofit dedicated to continuing the founding mission of the Provincetown Art Colony to provide a welcoming, nurturing, and inspiring environment for boundless and authentic creative exploration in film.
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Friday, September 29, 2017

WORLD Channel Premiere “Stories from the Stage” (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Liz Cheng, Co-Executive Producer of the new TV series “Stories from the Stage” that premieres on the WORLD Channel on Monday October 9th. This groundbreaking series is designed to explore the meaning and value of diversity in America by illustrating the power of real stories told by both masterful and first-time multicultural storytellers. Each of the 12 half-hour episodes will feature storytelling with an audience, interviews with tellers before and after performances as well as comments, reactions and short stories from the audience. The first episode entitled “Last Dance” begins with the story of Mark Lamb who shares his experience of growing up gay in a small Kentucky town and how he couldn’t wait to get out and start his career as a performing artist. Decades later as an established choreographer with his own dance company in New York City he was offered the opportunity to return home to teach a dance workshop in his former rural public school and tells what transpired in this heartfelt experience. “Last Dance” also features the stories of Sandi Marx who narrowly misses getting cast for Broadway’s A Chorus Line and Jean Appolon who dances his way out of a death sentence in Haiti. “Stories from the Stage” is co-executive produced by Liz and Patricia Alvarado Nuñez and hosted by humorists/storytellers Theresa Okokon and Wes Hazard. We talked to fierce LGBTQ ally Cheng about her inspiration of this fabulous new series and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

When asked how she sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in a Trump administration Cheng stated, “I’m hoping that we as a country will move back to center. Starting with the recognition of what transgender people and LGBTQ folks have been contributing to American life and the hope at least with these current challenges, the hope is that this recognition and that this groundswell of support challenges new directive for all armed forces. When you think about it among the first national organizations to try and in many cases to succeed in leading integration of differences in America has been in the armed forces. So I’m hoping that there’s a groundswell support for people who are doing good work.”

Liz Cheng is also General Manager for WGBH Television, overseeing local channels WGBH 2, WGBX 44, ’GBH Kids, Create and Boston Kids & Family TV as well as the national public television WORLD Channel. WORLD Channel is a 24/7 full service multicast channel featuring public television’s signature nonfiction documentary, science and news programming complemented by original content from emerging producers. Launched in 2007 WORLD is produced and distributed by WGBH, Boston, American Public Television (APT) and WNET, New York in association with Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA). WORLD is distributed by APT and is now carried by 69 licensees/151 stations representing 61.09% of U.S. TV households. WORLD is designed to provide viewers with independent voices telling personal stories from around the globe. Now more than ever “Stories from the Stage” hopes to amplify these personal voices that can create understanding, empathy and appreciation for people very different from ourselves to prove how much we all have in common.
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Friday, September 22, 2017

New Children’s Book Addresses LGBT History (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Dr. Gayle E. Pitman about her new children’s book entitled “When You Look Out the Window: How Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin Built a Community”. Published by Magination Press, which is the children’s book imprint of the American Psychological Association, the book is about the pioneering lesbian activists Lyon and Martin and is written for children ages 4 to 8 with beautiful illustrations by Christopher Lyles. “When You Look Out the Window” depicts Phyllis and Del pointing out landmarks throughout the city of San Francisco from the panoramic view from the window of their home. Each landmark tells a piece of the story of one of San Francisco’s most legendary couples and how their work for LGBT rights transformed their community and sending ripple effects around the world. As we approach LGBT History Month this October it is important for parents, caregivers and educators to provide information about our LGBTQ community’s history whose stories are far too often neglected or ignored. We talked to Dr. Pitman about her inspiration for writing “When You Look Out the Window: How Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin Built a Community” and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

When asked how she sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in a Trump administration Pitman stated, “I think Trump’s election was really a wake up call because I think for a lot of folks it was really easy to rest on our laurels and say ‘You know it’s so much better than it was. We’ve achieved marriage equality; we’ve achieved some transgender rights; we’ve got more visibility than ever. We have TV shows and movies all over the place, like life is pretty good. We have medications that help treat HIV that weren’t available a couple of decades ago’. I think it was really easy to just kind of sit back and say okay like we’re good you know like we’re in an okay place. I think that the election that took place last November really makes clear that no we can’t afford to stop. We can’t afford to rest because we can maybe delude ourselves into thinking there’s widespread universal acceptance of LGBTQ class people but I think what the Trump administration has done is embolden people to come out of the closet and further oppress people in a much more visible way. This may sound a little twisted but I think for our community that’s really an opportunity. An opportunity to see the writing on the wall and to say okay I can’t afford to be silent. I have to get involved, I need to say my peace or become active in some way, shape or form whatever way people can. I think there’s a variety of ways people can get involved in working toward social justice.”

Dr. Gayle E. Pitman teaches Psychology and Women/Gender Studies at Sacramento City College. Her teaching and writing focuses on gender and sexual orientation and she has worked extensively with our LGBTQ community. By night she writes children’s books and engages in other forms of rebellious creativity. Her debut picture book “This Day in June” won the 2015 ALA Stonewall Award and won the IRA’s 2014 Notable Books for a Global Society Award.
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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Fourth Annual Provincetown Inspiration Weekend (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Rev. Christie Hardwick about the fourth annual Provincetown Inspiration Weekend that takes place September 29th to October 1st in Provincetown, Massachusetts. From all over the world attendees come together for Provincetown’s Inspiration Weekend created by Rev. Hardwick to explore the power within to engaging the whole person, body, mind and spirit. This year’s theme is “Fierce Love”. In this challenging social and political climate many are having difficulties with anger, fear and resentment. Believing love is more powerful than hate, the theme invites our LGBTQ community to take inspirational action toward what we want rather than spend all our energy protesting what we don't want. There are five main sessions throughout the weekend held in various locations in scenic Provincetown. In addition there are many events including concerts, films, workshops, gallery receptions, yoga class, acupuncture sessions and more. This year Inspiration Gatherings will also honor local and national community members for their work to inspire positivity including Selisse Berry founder/CEO of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, Scott Allegretti local cultural philanthropist, Rick "Wave" Kaplan, Activist and Water Protector and Dian Hamilton, producer playwright and founder of Writers Voice Café. We talked to Christie about what she hoped to accomplish at this year’s Provincetown Inspiration Weekend and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

When asked how she sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in a Trump administration, Rev. Hardwick stated, “Well I see some very hopeful things. One is that we’re staying diligent about making sure whatever happens we call it into question. We rally everyone to make sure that they are aware of what’s happening so I found that our communication is very important. That we’re saying to people ‘Look this just happened and don’t get weary; let’s speak out.’ I love some of the tools that are available to us so we can automatically get to our Representatives and automatically sign a petition in moving forward. I think the movement has to stay focused on continually keeping things in front of us and helping us see the many different ways we can contribute. Whether it’s on the streets literally, whether it’s on the phone, whether it’s written or it’s some of our own talents, whether it’s about singing and doing writing. So I think in this particular environment staying engaged and doing what we can do on a daily basis is really required.”

Rev. Christie Hardwick is a master facilitator and has over 30 years of experience with Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations and grass root-organizing efforts. She holds a Masters degree in Organizational Development, is an American Leadership Forum Senior Fellow and a minister with International Centers for Spiritual living with a focus on leadership development. Hardwick served five years as an executive member of the Women’s Leadership Board for the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and was also a past president of the National Board of Directors for GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network). She is an inspirational speaker and facilitator in a variety of forums and provides strategic thinking and spiritual guidance services to clients across the United States. Christie resides in Provincetown, Massachusetts with her wife Jane Harper and enjoys their four adult children and one grandson.
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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Baltimore’s Everyman Theatre Performs “M. Butterfly” (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with actor Bruce Randolph Nelson about starring in “M. Butterfly” at Baltimore's Everyman Theatre from September 6th to October 8th. Based on an epic true story and celebrating its 30th anniversary of David Henry Hwang’s torrid and timeless Tony Award-winning play, “M. Butterfly” is a masterful probe of truth, illusion, culture and gender. The play tells the story of French diplomat Rene Gallimard (Bruce Randolph Nelson) who becomes enchanted with divine Peking opera star Song Liling (Everyman newcomer Vichet Chum) but this diva is hiding more than her true identity. Converging fact with fiction this gender-bender addresses East and West tensions onstage as “M. Butterfly” delivers the allure of fantasy and the power of obsession that are a recipe for betrayal that takes place in the closeted Beijing and Paris in the 1960’s. What’s even more curious is that Everyman’s Founding Artistic Director Vincent M. Lancisi who directs this fabulous production of “M. Butterfly” actually experienced art-imitating-reality when he met Bernard Boursicot the French Diplomat which the character René Gallimard is based on in a chance meeting in France. Weeks later he traveled accompanied by Nelson to join the former diplomat for an illuminating six-hour conversation that provided unrestricted access to Boursicot’s remarkable stories, personal photographs and candid perspective. We talked to Bruce about his encounter with Boursicot and his spin on our LGBTQ issues.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBTQ civil rights Nelson stated, “First and foremost I wish I was more involved with my time, with my money because I think it’s obviously vital and being a fifty-one-year old man and experiencing I guess going from a time when gay and lesbians were on my radar then to have the whole alphabet represented and the fluidity of it represented has been a little learning curve for me too. So my commitment personally is to certainly continue to learn and accept and remain open. I mean, my God it’s why I got involved with theatre in the first place as a safe welcoming place for people of all kinds to come and express themselves and it was my surrogate family when maybe my own family wasn’t a place where I could be fully myself. You know afternoon drama class was a place where I could not only be myself but all these other wild fabulous characters.”

Bruce Randolph Nelson has been a professional actor and teacher in the Baltimore-DC area for years. As a member of the Everyman Theatre in Baltimore he was recognized as Baltimore’s Best Actor in 2004 and 2012 by the City Paper. The Everyman Theatre is a professional Equity theatre company founded in 1990 by Vincent M. Lancisi. The theatre is dedicated to engaging the audience through a shared experience between actor and audience seeking connection and emotional truth in performance. Their production of “M. Butterfly” is sponsored in part by the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore with media support from The Baltimore Sun Media Group and WYPR. Everyman Theatre is supported in part by grants from the Maryland State Arts Council and the Baltimore County Commission on Arts and Sciences. (Photo credit: DJ Corey Photography)
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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

New Movie Takes On Marriage Equality Backlash (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with actor, producer Emerson Collins about his new film “A Very Sordid Wedding” he appears in and produced with award-winning writer/director Del Shores. The film reunites their all-star cast of iconic characters to explore the acceptance, conflict and bigotry following the Supreme Court Marriage Equality Decision. The ensemble cast of 32 actors is led by Bonnie Bedelia (“Parenthood”), Caroline Rhea (“Sabrina, the Teenage Witch”), Dale Dickey (Independent Spirit Award winner “Winter’s Bone”), Leslie Jordan (Emmy winner “Will & Grace”) with cast members from the original Sordid Lives film Newell Alexander (“August: Osage County”), Rosemary Alexander, Kirk Geiger, Sarah Hunley, Lorna Scott (“Wanted”) and Ann Walker. New additions Levi Kreis (Tony winner “Million Dollar Quartet”), Carole Cook (“Sixteen Candles”), Alec Mapa (“Ugly Betty”), Aleks Paunovic (“Van Helsing”), Katherine Bailess (“Hit The Floor”) and a cameo from Whoopi Goldberg. After premiering at the Palm Springs Film Festival the film went on to play in 31 cities across the U.S. in theatrical runs and festival screenings with 20 sold-out events with another fifteen markets scheduled. “A Very Sordid Wedding” will continue to travel around the country until its DVD release on October 17th. We talked to Emerson about the significance of his new film especially after the events in Charlottesville, Virginia and his spin on our LGBTQ issues.

When asked how he sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in a Trump administration Collins stated, “Vocally, persistently, daily, really I think about we must fight at every level. Fighting for equal rights ordinances against all legislations cropping up in so many places particularly targeting trans people and at the same time fighting for representation culturally. That way we target bigotry and all its form. We have to be accountable to fight for the equal treatment of all marginalized communities because as LGBTQ people we are part of all communities: Black Lives Matter, undocumented immigrants, we are members of every other community. Sort of as a white gay cis man if you only fight for your own rights that’s just self-interest. Then following the leadership of our national organizations that do such great work to inform us, GLAAD, PFLAG, Lambda Legal and the work that they are doing and those of us who have the ability to support them financially and to donate our time. We also have to celebrate the victories as they happen and to take care of ourselves. It is a long fight but we’re in for it. Staying together is how we can continue to push forward.”

Emerson Collins joined Del Shores Productions as Vice-President of Development and began as a producer on the revivals of “Sordid Lives”. He has also starred in four seasons of BRAVO’s hit social series “The People’s Couch”. Emerson won the Desert Theatre League for Best Actor in a Comedy in the first regional theatre production of Jonathan Tolins' one-man show “Buyer & Cellar” with Coyote Stage Works in Palm Springs, California. He returned to the role to close the 95th season of the historic Laguna Beach Playhouse in 2016. Emerson also produced and hosted "A Sordid Affair," the national tour variety and comedy show starring Rue McClanahan, Leslie Jordan, Del Shores and Caroline Rhea.
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