On Sunday, Nov. 13 at 2 p.m., the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University will present a screening of the award-winning landmark film Brokeback Mountain, followed by two events, a panel discussion with Chicago historian and film experts and Beyond Brokeback, staged readings of messages, essays, poetry and music inspired by the film.
The show is being directed by Roosevelt's Theatre Conservatory instructor David Zak; Roosevelt professors Lawrence Howe and Chris Chulos will participate in a panel discussion; the cast includes Chicago College of Performing Arts alumna Amanda Batterson; and star of the show is actor Darryl Stephens (pictured above).
Tickets are now on sale at www.ticketmaster.com or at the box office of the Auditorium Theatre at Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago. Tickets are available for $5 for Roosevelt students and $10 for faculty and staff. There is no ticket limit for this performance, but you must show a valid Roosevelt ID. For more information, call 312-922-2110.
“Beyond Brokeback is a comprehensive oral history of the rural gay west,” said playwright Gregory Hinton. “Brokeback Mountain eloquently teaches us what not to do. Beyond Brokeback leads us out of our isolation and into the open – to communities many crave and all deserve.”
Members of The Ultimate Brokeback Forum are expected to descend on Chicago for the Midwest premier of Beyond Brokeback, flying in from as far as Sweden. Devotees of Brokeback Mountain, they call themselves “Brokies,” (akin to the “Trekkie” fans of Star Trek) and travel to Brokeback events all over the world.
“It has been a little more than five years since Brokeback Mountain captured our nation’s conscience and imagination. With this production of Beyond Brokeback, we are not only remembering the movie, but we are also embracing its impact and a desire to be inclusive, which is in keeping with Roosevelt University’s historic mission of social justice,” said Brett Batterson, executive director of the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.
The day-long program begins with the movie at 2 p.m. The panel discussion is at 4:35 p.m. and Beyond Brokeback is at 5:35 p.m. Attendees are invited to come and go as they like.
Hinton adapted Beyond Brokeback from the book Beyond Brokeback: The Impact of a Film written by members of The Ultimate Brokeback Forum. The book was drawn from the website “The Ultimate Brokeback Forum,” which received more than 500,000 posts in the year following the release of the film. Beyond Brokeback includes excerpts of poignant and humorous messages, essays and poetry by writers who are young and old, male and female, gay and straight.
The panel discussion to be held before Beyond Brokeback will feature the following experts: Jean de St. Aubin, executive director of the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Bruce Jenkins, professor in the Department of Film, Video and New Media at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and Lawrence Howe, professor of English in the Department of Language and Literature at Roosevelt University. Chris Chulos, associate professor of history at Roosevelt University, will moderate the panel discussion.
Beyond Brokeback is directed by David Zak, an instructor in the Theatre Conservatory at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts, the executive director of Pride Films and Plays and the founder and former artistic director of the Bailiwick Repertory in Chicago. The cast features:
American actor Darryl Stephens, who has worked with the University of California at Berkeley-based theater troupe Sassymouth in San Francisco, taking the hit show Medea, The Musical to HBO’s Aspen Comedy Festival. Stephens played Noah on Logo Network’s groundbreaking series Noah’s Arc and has starred in feature films including Boy Culture, Another Gay Movie and Noah’s Arc;
Mary Gearen, who won two Gay Chicago After Dark awards for her performances in Son of Fire and Wuthering Heights at the Bailiwick and was nominated for best director and best musical production Jeff Awards for the Bailiwick’s 2008 finale production of SchoThe Christmas Schooner;
Chicagoan Liz Pazik, who has won critical acclaim for her portrayal of Mrs. Zero in Milwaukee’s Skylight Opera Theatre musical, Adding Machine, and has performed at a wide variety of Chicago theatres, including in The Adventures of Pinocchio at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre on Navy Pier and most recently in The Sound of Music at Drury Lane Oakbrook;
Composer, singer and pianist Shawn Kirchner, a member of the Los Angeles Master Chorale and a regular performer with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the singer and songwriter of the bluegrass/country album, Meet Me on the Mountain, which was inspired by the film Brokeback Mountain. Music from the CD will accompany the Chicago premier staged reading.
Ryan Harrison, an award-winning vocalist from southern Californian whose versatile stylistic range includes jazz, folk, country, gospel, sacred and pop. He has won national acclaim for songs on his recent album It’s True, and collaborated with Kirchner on Meet Me on the Mountain.
Harmonica player Bob Kessler, who is a founding member of Bakelite 78, an original group informed by Old Time, Vaudeville, the American Songbook, Blues, Folk and Country and which was awarded a city of Chicago Artist Assistance grant. He is currently a member of the all-acoustic Americana group, The BlackWilloughbys.
Aurora resident Amanda Batterson, a recent graduate of Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts and the co-founder of a new Chicago theater company, Times Three Theatre. Batterson regularly plays the fiddle around town with The LakeShore Band.
Gregory Hinton’s Beyond Brokeback was first developed and performed at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles last December as part of its acclaimed Out West at the Autry series and in commemoration of the fifth anniversary of Brokeback Mountain. Beyond Brokeback was most recently performed by the Theatre and Dance Department of the University of Wyoming, Laramie for the Shepard Symposium of Social Justice in April, the City of West Hollywood’s One City/One Pride Culture Series in June, and most recently in October in Bozeman, Mont. After Chicago, Beyond Brokeback heads to Las Vegas in February 2012.
430 S. Michigan Ave.Chicago, IL 60605(312) 341-3500
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1400 N. Roosevelt Blvd.Schaumburg, IL 60173(847) 619-7300
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