The Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation is pleased to announce three new production grants for February 2017:
- A grant to St Paul’s Arts Centre, London, to help support the world premiere production of Christopher Bryant’s play The Mutant Man. The play, which won an honorable mention in the foundation’s 2015 playwriting competition, is based on the true story of Australian transgender man Harry Crawford, who in 1920 was arrested for the murder of his wife, Annie Birkett. Crawford’s biological sex was discovered after his arrest, and he received an unfair trial focused more on questions of gender than on his guilt or innocence. The production will run for 12 performances, from March 28 through April 8, 2017, at The Space Arts Centre in London. For details, visit The Space’s website.
- A grant to Krazy Kat Theatre, Brighton, UK, to underwrite actor-writer Kinny Gardner’s development of a new solo theatrical experience based on a queer reading of T. S. Eliot’s poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” Krazy Kat Theatre frequently tours the UK with productions created for children and young adults who are deaf and hearing impaired. For more information on Krazy Kat’s work, go to its website.
- A grant to Grand Canyon Performing Arts, Phoenix, Ariz., to help support the Phoenix Metropolitan Men’s Chorus’s staging of the choral work Two Boys Kissing, by David Leviathan. Loosely based on the successful 2010 attempt by two gay college students to break the Guinness World Record for a continuous kiss, Two Boys Kissing tells the stories of LGBT youth discovering LGBT history. Performances will take place at the Phoenix Center for the Arts on March 24, 25, and 26, 2017.
Submission Rules Have Changed
Final Year for Competition
Guidelines for submitting work to the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation’s 2017 Playwriting Competition have been posted. Please read the guidelines carefully before submitting, as the rules have changed. The 2017 competition will be the foundation’s final playwriting contest.
The foundation is pleased to announce the award of a production grant to the Theater for the New City (New York, N.Y.) to help support the production of Barbara Kahn’s new play, Ghost Light Now & Then. According to playwright Kahn, “A ghost light is a single light left on onstage when a theater is otherwise dark. Although the light is primarily for safety, there is a superstition that every theater has ghosts and that ghost lights provide illumination for the ghosts to perform onstage, thus placating them. In Ghost Light Now & Then, New Yorkers Becky and Mandy are not immune to the homophobia that has threatened their marriage. During an inexplicable seismic event in 2017, they are flung through a window into the Greenwich Village Theater in the early twentieth century. Inspired by Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz, the play follows their efforts to find their way back home.” The play will run at the Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue, for 12 performances between March 2 and March 19. For more information, visit the theater’s website.
Filmmaker Tamara Shogaolu’s animated documentary short Half A Life will be shown during the Museum of Modern Art’s Doc Fortnight festival in February. The foundation helped underwrite post-production costs for the film, which concerns gay life in Egypt before, during, and after the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. Half A Life will be screened twice during the festival, on Thursday, February 23, at 7:00 pm, and again on Friday, February 24, at 4:00 pm. For more details, visit Half A Life’s Facebook page.
The foundation is pleased to announce the following grants for December:
- A grant to From the Heart Productions of Oxnard, Calif., to help fund filmmaker Erika Yeomans’s documentary The Bachelors of Broken Hill Farm, about the soap opera writing partners and actors Frank Provo and John Pickard. Provo and Pickard were in a relationship from the 1930s to the mid-1970s.
- A grant to Untitled Theater Company No. 61 to support the production of Edward Einhorn’s play The Marriage of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein. The play, which won a second prize in the foundation’s 2015 playwriting competition, will be performed at the HERE Arts Center in New York in May 2017. For details, visit Untitled Theater Company’s website.
The Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation extends congratulations to the winners of its 2016 playwriting competition. Of the 267 submissions to this year’s competition (the largest number AABBF has ever received), the judges have chosen the following award recipients:
- First Prize ($3,000): Donja R. Love, of Jersey City, N.J., for Sugar in Our Wounds. Set in the American South during the Civil War, this extraordinary play tells the tragic story of love between two slaves in the year before the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.
- Second Prize ($1,500): Sevan K. Greene, of New York, N.Y., for The House of In Between. Recounting the story of a hijra clan in Patna, India, the play examines the crisis faced by a trans community whose traditional, once-honored way of life is degraded and threatened by social and political change.
- Honorable Mention ($500): Daniel Loftman Hurewitz, of Brooklyn, N.Y., for Reclamation. A dramatized biography of Bayard Rustin, the play provides an inside look at power struggles within the African-American civil rights movement and the impact of homophobia on Rustin’s life and career.
- Honorable Mention ($500): T. Berto, of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, for ROW. The play focuses on Sonny, an Aboriginal boy consigned to Canada’s Residential School System; abused by the priests who run his school, Sonny later becomes a sex worker who struggles with his commodification as a “kept” man.
- Honorable Mention ($500): Will Snider, of Del Mar, Calif., for Strange Men. Set in Uganda following the murder of Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato in 2011, the play explores the fraught relationships between an Indian restaurant owner, his black African employee, and a white American Peace Corps volunteer in a dangerously homophobic environment.
- Honorable Mention ($500): Lachlan Philpott, of Stanmore, New South Wales, Australia, for The Trouble with Harry. The play is based on the true story of Eugenia Falleni, who for decades lived as Harry Crawford, a working-class man in early 20th-century Sydney. Scandal erupted when Crawford’s biological sex was revealed during his trial for the murder of his wife Annie Birkett.
In addition to the prizewinning playwrights, six others made it into the competition’s final round: John Barrow, for Lillian Paula Carson; Barry Brennessel, for Sideways Down the Sky; Catrin Fflur Huws, for To Kill a Machine; Robin Rice, for Alice in Black and White; Gene Franklin Smith, for Bachelor Hall; and Dale Turner, for Uncle Harold [The Naked Young Man].
The foundation is pleased to announce the following production grants for November 2016:
- A grant to Creative Ammo, Inc., of New York City, to support the Downtown Urban Arts Festival (DUAF) production of B-Boy Blues, by James Earl Hardy. Based on Hardy’s best-selling 1994 novel of the same name, the play will have a four-week run off-Broadway in June 2017. (Performances are currently slated for Greenwich Village’s Cherry Lane Theatre, but the venue may change.)
- A grant to On the Road Productions International, Inc., of New York City, to help enable the completion of director Rosemarie Reed’s documentary film Forgetting the Many: The Royal Pardon of Alan Turing, which focuses on the thousands of gay British men who, like Turing, were convicted of acts of “gross indecency” but have never received pardons from the British government. A rough trailer for the film can be viewed here.
- A grant to Overtime Theater, of San Antonio, Texas, to support the March 2017 production of The Last Days of Oscar Wilde, by Bernard J. Taylor. For more information on the company, visit Overtime’s website.
- A grant to TOSOS (The Other Side of Silence), of New York City, to assist in the production of Eirebrushed, by Brian Merriman. The play, which tells the hidden histories of queer heroes and heroines of the Irish Rebellion of 1916, runs from November 15–19 at Downtown Art, 70 East 4th Street, in Manhattan. Founded by gay playwright Doric Wilson, TOSOS is New York City’s oldest professional LGBTQ theater. For more information visit the TOSOS site.
The foundation extends congratulations to the following grant recipients for October 2016:
- Aubin Pictures, New York City, for the video series A Moving Body, now in post-production. The series of five 12-minute documentaries focuses on the lives and activism of residents of Cleveland, Ohio, who have been affected by police misconduct, social discrimination, and poverty and whose love for their hometown pushes them to bring about real change in one of the most racially divided cities in America. The AABBF grant will cover sound-mixing costs for the fourth episode, whose working title is “A Trans Activist Life.”
- CounterPULSE, San Francisco, for Seth Eisen’s Rainbow Logic: Arm in Arm with Remy Charlip. This transdisciplinary work about the life and legacy of the late gay dancer, mime, visual artist, and children’s book author Remy Charlip will premiere November 4–20, 2016. For more information and to buy tickets, visit the CounterPULSE website.
- MIX NYC, New York City, which is acting as fiscal agent for Public Square Films’ feature-length documentary Sylvia & Marsha. The film unpacks the nearly forgotten story of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, legendary drag queens and Stonewall veterans who, as cofounders of the trans-rights movement, set in motion today’s cultural dialogue about gender and identity. The film also investigates Marsha’s mysterious death and the ongoing epidemic of violence stalking the trans community.
In addition, the foundation will again be underwriting a playwriting workshop at Lambda Literary Foundation’s annual Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices. For information on the retreat, consult Lambda’s website.
The Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation is no longer receiving postal correspondence at its post office box, which has been closed. Please send any postal correspondence to the following address:
The Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation
c/o James Waller
500 West University Parkway, #16J
Baltimore, MD 21210
The foundation is pleased to announce six new grants:
- A grant to Aubin Pictures, New York City, to assist in the completion of Amor Puro y Duro, a feature-length documentary film exploring the life and career of the iconoclastic Mexican ranchera singer Chavela Vargas. Information about Aubin Pictures and its film projects can be found on the production company’s website.
- A grant to Dragon Theatre, Redwood City, California, to support the production of Caeneus and Poseidon, by Bridgette Dutta Portman. The play, styled on ancient Greek tragedy and written in blank verse, tells the story of Caenis, who becomes the world’s first trans man. Caeneus and Poseidon won an honorable mention award in the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation’s 2014 playwriting competition. The Dragon Theatre production is scheduled for spring 2017; for more information, visit the theatre’s website.
- A grant to the frank theatre co., Vancouver, British Columbia, to help fund the production of Walt Whitman’s Secret, by Sean O’Leary. The play will run from October 13 through 23 at Presentation House, in North Vancouver. For further details, go to the frank theatre’s website.
- A grant to HERE Arts Center, New York City, to help support the production of Sara Farrington’s play Life, Labor, Lust. The play, based on the life of American Gilded Age novelist Edith Wharton and focusing on her relationships with her closeted gay husband and bisexual lover, will be performed in 2017 at The Mount, Wharton’s country home in Lenox, Massachusetts.
- A grant to the Make a Difference Trust, London, U.K., to support a staged reading of Charles Leipart’s A Kind of Marriage. The play, which concerns novelist E. M. Forster’s longtime relationship with bisexual policeman Bob Buckingham and Buckingham’s wife, May, won an honorable mention award in the foundation’s 2015 playwriting competition. The reading will take place in London in November; date and venue have not yet been announced.
- A grant to St. Ann’s Warehouse, Brooklyn, New York, to support the subsidized ticket fund for trans performance artist Taylor Mac’s music-history extravaganza A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, which will run at St. Ann’s from September 15 through October 9. The last show in the run will be a marathon performance of the entire 24-hour-long piece. The subsidized ticket fund will offset the cost of attendance for young LGBT people with limited resources. For more information on the performance, visit St. Ann’s website.
In addition, the foundation is renewing its support for the Arch and Bruce Brown Fellowship program at the MacDowell Colony. The AABB fellowship, administered by MacDowell and awarded yearly, helps support a MacDowell resident pursuing performing-arts work that is LGBT-themed and historically inspired.