The fourth and all-new Rise Up & Shout! hits the boards of the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre on Saturday, March 16, at 7 p.m.
The benefit show highlights the talents of “the next generation” of LGBTQ youth. It is now in its eighth year and has involved dozens of community volunteers and gay youth seeking a place to make their voices known.
Singers, dancers, hip-hop artists, classical musicians, comics and spoken word artists take part in what co-producer Richard Neely calls “a unique community forum, for one all, including the audience.” Each of the three shows presented so far have been sold out, with those attending as much a part of the spirited evening as the talent on stage. This year’s show will once again be hosted by internationally acclaimed performer Prince Poppycock.
A new addition to the Rise Up team is John Coppola, a seasoned director in the Los Angeles community. “I am honored to be the director for this great project,” he says. “The LGBT voice grows stronger and stronger throughout the nation. It’s an exciting time to be witness to the voice of the next generation.” Also signed on are well-known local performance artists Jason Jenn and Ian McKinnon, who will also bring their expertise and guidance to the project.
Another fresh take on this year’s presentation is the show’s poster. Previous images were contributed by famed theatrical illustrator David Edward Bryd and renowned portraitist Don Bachardy. The 2014 show takes a nod almost seventy years to the past, with an image of two ballet dancers drawn by prolific Los Angeles artist Sidney Bronstein, who was incarcerated in a state penitentiary in the late-1940s for being gay. “It is our tribute to an artist whose life was cut short” says Rise Up producer Brian Gleason, “but also an acknowledgement of the tragic circumstances for most gay and lesbian people during that time.” Indeed, continues Gleason, one of the central purposes of Rise Up & Shout! is to create a bridge between the gay generations and to provide wisdom and mentoring between young and old.
One of the features of the program is a series of workshops in the weeks leading up to the event designed to enhance the youths’ self-esteem and sense of life purpose.
Early ticket purchase for the March 16 show is encouraged; advance tickets are $25–$30 if available at the door—and can be obtained at www.riseupandshout.org.
A reception will follow the show, allowing the performers to mingle with their family and friends. The Barnsdall Gallery Theatre is located at 4800 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90027.
Rise Up And Shout! tells the story of four generations of creative gay voices in Los Angeles who unite to create a theatrical showcase for gay youth on September 9, 2006. In the process, a unique community is created made up of young and old, black and white, shy and loud — including an 83 year-old priest and an 18 year old former prostitute and poet.
See a trailer for the film here…