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 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.
For More Info: worldchannel.org

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.
For More Info: gaylepitman.com

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.
For More Info: inspirationgatherings.org

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)
For Info & Tix: everymantheatre.org