Powerful and Extraordinary One-Woman Show THE PINK UNICORN to Travel the Carolinas

SPARTANBURG, SC – The award-winning Proud Mary Theatre Company is proud to announce their forthcoming one-woman show THE PINK UNICORN is now available for booking at theatres, college campuses. high schools, churches, and other venues across the Carolinas April through June 2020.

In this heart-wrenching play by Elise Forier Edie recently produced Off-Broadway with Tony-winner Alice Ripley (Next to Normal) and. starring the playwright, as the keynote address at the 2019 South Carolina Theatre Association conference in Florence, SC, Trisha Lee’s life and faith as a Christian widow in a conservative Southern town is suddenly upended when her 14-year-old daughter Jolene announces she is “gender queer” and garners national media attention after starting a Gay and Straight Alliance chapter at her high school.

Proud Mary Theatre Company is a community theatre based at the Artists Collective Spartanburg and is South Carolina’s only LGBTQ+ theatre company.

Esteemed Greenville director, actor and educator Anne Tromsness directs the South Carolina premiere of The Pink Unicorn starring Upstate actor Kelly Davis February 7-16 in Spartanburg and Greenville, before the act goes on the road to spread this message of love an acceptance.

Tromsness is a frequent actor and director at The Warehouse Theatre and faculty member at The Fine Arts Center of Greenville County Schools, and a passionate, longtime ally and advocate for LGBTQI rights. In 2014 she was awarded the SC Equality Community Champions Award for the Upstate.

“When I watched the video of Elise’s show, I just burst into tears – that fierce and unconditional mama love and support, those Southern voices standing up for equality in their conservative community,” said Tromsness, who also serves on the board of directors for the SC Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

“This is a play that I think will resonate in our community, prompt conversation, and perhaps remind us that no matter how futile things may seem, love contains boundless power, and that our children, if we listen to them, accept them, and love them, can elevate our understanding of the world beyond our own imaginings and create the capacity for change,” she added.

Originally from New York, Davis (Helen Bechdel in Proud Mary Theatre’s musical Fun Home in June 2019) has worked with companies such as Theatre for the New City, NYC Fringe Festival,  Astoria Performing Arts Center, Rising Sun Theatre Company, and Emerging Artists Theatre, and locally with the Mill Town Players, Centre Stage, and Upstate Shakespeare Festival.

“I am so honored to embody Elise Forier Edie’s words and to tell this story of a mother’s struggle to honor her own faith while supporting her child’s coming out as gender queer,” said Davis, who currently serves as a teaching artist in Greenville Schools through both the Warehouse Theatre and SmartARTS, and teaches musical theatre at Upstate Carolina Dance Center. 

The Pink Unicorn made its Off-Broadway debut in 2019, and was originally produced in Ellensburg, Washington by DogTown Theatre in 2013. The Pink Unicorn has been performed throughout the U.S. and Canada including a run at United Solo Theatre Festival in New York, where Edie won Best Storyteller.

For booking information, please call Sandy Staggs at (864) 580-8385 or email sandy@proudmarytheatre.com.

Anne Tromsness to Direct Proud Mary Theatre’s ‘The Pink Unicorn’

Kelly Davis Headlines One-Woman-Show February 7-16

Proud Mary Theatre Company is proud to announce esteemed Greenville director, actor and educator Anne Tromsness will direct our next production The Pink Unicorn, the hit one-woman show starring Upstate actor Kelly Davis February 7-16 in Spartanburg and Greenville.

In this heart-wrenching play by Elise Forier Edie that was recently produced Off-Broadway with Tony-winner Alice Ripley (Next to Normal), Trisha Lee’s life and faith as a Christian widow in a conservative Southern town is suddenly upended when her 14-year-old daughter Jolene announces she is “gender queer” and starting a chapter of the Gay and Straight Alliance at Spartan High School.

Tromsness – a frequent actor (catch her now with husband Jayce Tromsness in Furman University Theatre’s world premiere Ding Dong Merrily on High) and director at The Warehouse Theatre and faculty member at The Fine Arts Center of Greenville County Schools – has been a Proud Mary fan since its founding (she consulted on our very first production) and a passionate, longtime ally and advocate for LGBTQI rights. In 2014 she was awarded the SC Equality Community Champions Award for the Upstate.

“When I watched the video of Elise’s show, I just burst into tears – that fierce and unconditional mama love and support, those Southern voices standing up for equality in their conservative community,” said Tromsness, who also serves on the board of directors for the SC Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

“This is a play that I think will resonate in our community, prompt conversation, and perhaps remind us that no matter how futile things may seem, love contains boundless power, and that our children, if we listen to them, accept them, and love them, can elevate our understanding of the world beyond our own imaginings and create the capacity for change,” she added.

Originally from New York, Davis (Helen Bechdel in Proud Mary Theatre’s musical Fun Home in June 2019) has worked with companies such as Theatre for the New City, NYC Fringe Festival,  Astoria Performing Arts Center, Rising Sun Theatre Company, and Emerging Artists Theatre, and locally with the Mill Town Players (where she is currently rehearsing Smoky Mountain Christmas), Centre Stage, and Upstate Shakespeare Festival.

“I am so honored to embody Elise Forier Edie’s words and to tell this story of a mother’s struggle to honor her own faith while supporting her child’s coming out as gender queer,” said Davis, who currently serves as a teaching artist in Greenville Schools through both the Warehouse Theatre and SmartARTS, and teaches musical theatre at Upstate Carolina Dance Center. 

“So many of us are struggling to find some common ground in our families.  Diversity is hard, and I hope that this play sparks a conversation about how we can all do better by each other, as fellow Americans and as people of faith,” she said.

Though The Pink Unicorn made its Off-Broadway debut in 2019, the play was originally produced in Ellensburg, Washington by DogTown Theatre in 2013 and has been performed throughout the U.S. and Canada including a run at United Solo Theatre Festival in New York, where Edie won Best Storyteller.

THE PINK UNICORN SHOW DATES:

SPARTANBURG: Artists Collective Spartanburg, 578 West Main St.
(formerly the West Main Artists Co-Op)
Fridays – Saturdays @ 8 p.m.
February 7-8 & 14-15, 2020
Sundays at 3 p.m.
February 9 & 16, 2020

GREENVILLE: Coffee Underground, 1 East Coffee St.
Tuesday – Wednesday @ 8 p.m.
February 11-12, 2020

Tickets for all shows are $15 General and $12 for students. Doors open 30 minutes prior to performance and galleries open 1 hour before performances. For tickets or more information, visit http://www.proudmarytheatre.com/tickets.

BOYS IN THE BAND Nominated for Four Broadway World Awards

It’s award season and Proud Mary is proud to be nominated again for several Broadway World Regional Awards covering the entire state of South Carolina.

VOTE HERE: https://www.broadwayworld.com/south-carolina/voteregion.cfm?fbclid=IwAR0JU8stb2_-nbXGoamTwOQLukI0k8BUtKLNsiF6Set0UEsskmIx6Sd13Ss

Our best shot is with THE BOYS IN THE BAND which is a leading contender for both :
Best Play (non-professional)
Brady Coyle-Smith – Best Actor in a Musical or Play (non-professional)

https://www.broadwayworld.com/south-carolina/voteregion.cfm?fbclid=IwAR0JU8stb2_-nbXGoamTwOQLukI0k8BUtKLNsiF6Set0UEsskmIx6Sd13Ss

Also nominated are:
Jon Kilpatrick – Best Supporting Actor in a Musical or Play (non-professional)
Luke Browder – Best Supporting Actor in a Musical or Play (non-professional

FUN HOME is nominated for:
Best Musical – (non-professional)
Samantha Jemmott – Best Actress in a Musical or Play (non-professional)
Page Vasel – Best Supporting Actress in a Musical or Play (non-professional)
Noah Fitzer – Best Supporting Actor in a Musical or Play (non-professional)

BOY is nominated for:
Best Play – (non-professional)
Noah Fitzer – Best Actor in a Musical or Play (non-professional)
Elizabeth Colson – Best Supporting Actress in a Musical or Play (non-professional)

Please vote at this LINK: https://www.broadwayworld.com/south-carolina/voteregion.cfm?fbclid=IwAR0JU8stb2_-nbXGoamTwOQLukI0k8BUtKLNsiF6Set0UEsskmIx6Sd13Ss



BOY Receives 3 Broadway World Award Nominations

It’s award season and Proud Mary is proud to be nominated again for several Broadway World Regional Awards covering the entire state of South Carolina.

VOTE HERE: https://www.broadwayworld.com/south-carolina/voteregion.cfm?fbclid=IwAR0JU8stb2_-nbXGoamTwOQLukI0k8BUtKLNsiF6Set0UEsskmIx6Sd13Ss

Our best shot is with THE BOYS IN THE BAND which is a leading contender for both :
Best Play (non-professional)
Brady Coyle-Smith – Best Actor in a Musical or Play (non-professional)

https://www.broadwayworld.com/south-carolina/voteregion.cfm?fbclid=IwAR0JU8stb2_-nbXGoamTwOQLukI0k8BUtKLNsiF6Set0UEsskmIx6Sd13Ss

Also nominated are:
Jon Kilpatrick – Best Supporting Actor in a Musical or Play (non-professional)
Luke Browder – Best Supporting Actor in a Musical or Play (non-professional

FUN HOME is nominated for:
Best Musical – (non-professional)
Samantha Jemmott – Best Actress in a Musical or Play (non-professional)
Page Vasel – Best Supporting Actress in a Musical or Play (non-professional)
Noah Fitzer – Best Supporting Actor in a Musical or Play (non-professional)

BOY is nominated for:
Best Play – (non-professional)
Noah Fitzer – Best Actor in a Musical or Play (non-professional)
Elizabeth Colson – Best Supporting Actress in a Musical or Play (non-professional)

Please vote at this LINK: https://www.broadwayworld.com/south-carolina/voteregion.cfm?fbclid=IwAR0JU8stb2_-nbXGoamTwOQLukI0k8BUtKLNsiF6Set0UEsskmIx6Sd13Ss

Fun Home nominated for Broadway World Awards

It’s award season and Proud Mary is proud to be nominated again for several Broadway World Regional Awards covering the entire state of South Carolina.

VOTE HERE: https://www.broadwayworld.com/south-carolina/voteregion.cfm?fbclid=IwAR0JU8stb2_-nbXGoamTwOQLukI0k8BUtKLNsiF6Set0UEsskmIx6Sd13Ss

Our best shot is with THE BOYS IN THE BAND which is a leading contender for both :
Best Play (non-professional)
Brady Coyle-Smith – Best Actor in a Musical or Play (non-professional)

https://www.broadwayworld.com/south-carolina/voteregion.cfm?fbclid=IwAR0JU8stb2_-nbXGoamTwOQLukI0k8BUtKLNsiF6Set0UEsskmIx6Sd13Ss

Also nominated are:
Jon Kilpatrick – Best Supporting Actor in a Musical or Play (non-professional)
Luke Browder – Best Supporting Actor in a Musical or Play (non-professional

FUN HOME is nominated for:
Best Musical – (non-professional)
Samantha Jemmott – Best Actress in a Musical or Play (non-professional)
Page Vasel – Best Supporting Actress in a Musical or Play (non-professional)
Noah Fitzer – Best Supporting Actor in a Musical or Play (non-professional)

BOY is nominated for:
Best Play – (non-professional)
Noah Fitzer – Best Actor in a Musical or Play (non-professional)
Elizabeth Colson – Best Supporting Actress in a Musical or Play (non-professional)

Please vote at this LINK: https://www.broadwayworld.com/south-carolina/voteregion.cfm?fbclid=IwAR0JU8stb2_-nbXGoamTwOQLukI0k8BUtKLNsiF6Set0UEsskmIx6Sd13Ss

Please Vote Boys in the Band for Best Play, Best Actor

Please vote!!! THE BOYS IN THE BAND, BOY and FUN HOME nominated for BROADWAYWORLD REGIONAL AWARDS

It’s award season and Proud Mary is proud to be nominated again for several BroadwayWorld Regional Awards covering the entire state of South Carolina.

VOTE HERE: https://www.broadwayworld.com/south-carolina/voteregion.cfm?fbclid=IwAR0JU8stb2_-nbXGoamTwOQLukI0k8BUtKLNsiF6Set0UEsskmIx6Sd13Ss

Our best shot is with THE BOYS IN THE BAND which is a leader contender for both :
Best Play (non-professional)
Brady Coyle-Smith – Best Actor in a Musical or Play (non-professional)

https://www.broadwayworld.com/south-carolina/voteregion.cfm?fbclid=IwAR0JU8stb2_-nbXGoamTwOQLukI0k8BUtKLNsiF6Set0UEsskmIx6Sd13Ss

Also nominated are:
Jon Kilpatrick – Best Supporting Actor in a Musical or Play (non-professional)
Luke Browder – Best Supporting Actor in a Musical or Play (non-professional

FUN HOME is nominated for:
Best Musical – (non-professional)
Samantha Jemmott – Best Actress in a Musical or Play (non-professional)
Page Vasel – Best Supporting Actress in a Musical or Play (non-professional)
Noah Fitzer – Best Supporting Actor in a Musical or Play (non-professional)

BOY is nominated for:
Best Play – (non-professional)
Noah Fitzer – Best Actor in a Musical or Play (non-professional)
Elizabeth Colson – Best Supporting Actress in a Musical or Play (non-professional)

Please vote at this LINK: https://www.broadwayworld.com/south-carolina/voteregion.cfm?fbclid=IwAR0JU8stb2_-nbXGoamTwOQLukI0k8BUtKLNsiF6Set0UEsskmIx6Sd13Ss

Proud Mary Theatre Presents Off-Broadway Classic Vampire Lesbians of Sodom

SPARTANBURG, SC – Just in time for Halloween and in celebration of the 35th anniversary of the campy, vampy drag classic, Spartanburg’s award-winning Proud Mary Theatre Company presents the Upstate premiere of Vampire Lesbians of Sodom October 25 – November 2 at the West Main Artists Co-Operative.

One of the longest-running Off-Broadway plays ever, Vampire Lesbians of Sodom was written by renowned female impersonator and Tony-nominated playwright of The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife Charles Busch, who also penned dozens of other plays including the satirical comedies Psycho Beach Party and Die Mommie Die.

In this hilarious spoof of celebrity and stardom, two rival vampires cross paths over thousands of years beginning in the Biblical twin cities, and then again in Hollywood in the silent movie era, and finally, in seedy 1980s Las Vegas.

“The play may have a provocative title,” says Artistic Director Sandy Staggs, “But I assure you it is hardly blasphemous or anti-Christian. Vampire Lesbians is merely a hilarious comedy showcasing sophisticated camp at its best.”

David Raulston takes over Busch’s role of Madeleine Astarte while Brigitte Staggs plays her foe La Condesa. Gossip columnist Oatsie Carewe will be played by Jada LaShay Bell, with Sun Schwalm as
Hollywood starlet Renee Vain, Allen Shepard as King Carlisle, Kareem Johnson as Hujar/Zack, Trey Westbrook as Ali/PJ and Brock Davis as the butler Etienne/Danny.

Vampire Lesbians of Sodom is directed by Kevin Treu, who recently helmed Little Shop of Horrors at Centre Stage and will direct Lost Highway: The Hank Williams Story at Spartanburg Little Theatre in January.

Alyssia Chaplin is Stage Manager and Costume Designer.

Proud Mary will celebrate Halloween with a special Upstate Pride Night on Thursday, October 31 featuring a post-show reception and costume contest judged by our two Vampire Lesbians.

Vampire Lesbians of Sodom Dates & TimesFriday, October 25 @ 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. (LATE SHOW)
Saturday, October 26 @ 8 p.m.
Sunday, October 27 @ 3 p.m.
Thursday, October 31 @ 8 p.m. UPSTATE PRIDE NIGHT
Friday, November 1 @ 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. (LATE SHOW)
Saturday, November 2 @ 8 p.m.

All shows are at the West Main Artists Co-Operative, 578 West Main St. in Spartanburg.

Tickets are $15 General Admission and $12 for Students and available at the door or at www.proudmarytheatre.com/tickets.

Proud Mary Announces Cast Of Vampire Lesbians of Sodom

Proud Mary Theatre is pleased to announce the cast of Charles Busch’s “Vampire Lesbians of Sodom” running October 25- November 2.

The lesbian vampires LA CONDESA and MADELEINE ASTARTE will be played by Brigitte Staggs and David Raulston.

Vampire hunter OATSIE CAREWE will be played by Jada LaShay Bell, with Sun Schwalm as
RENEE VAIN, Allen Shepard as KING CARLISLE,
Kareem Johnson as HUJAR/ZACK, Trey Westbrook as ALI/PJ and Brock Davis as ETIENNE/DANNY.

Stage Manager/Costume Designer is Alyssia Chaplin and Kevin Treu will direct.

Meet the Team from BOY: Lighting Designer Kelly Crisp

Kelly Crisp (Lighting Designer) is a Inman, SC native that has recently graduated from USC Upstate with a B.A. in Theatre Production. Her most recent design credits are Stop Kiss by Diana Son and Betrayal by Harold Pinter as the scenographer and Keep This For Your Records by Ana Elliot as Technical Director. The next step in her career is graduate school for her M.F.A. in lighting design.

Proud Mary is Proud to Announce Kevin Treu as Director of Vampire Lesbians of Sodom

Kevin Treu

Proud Mary Theatre Company is pleased to officially announce our creative team for the classic Vamps and Tramps comedy Vampire Lesbians of Sodom.

Kevin Treu will direct this play by Charles Busch (Tony nominee for Tale of The Allergist’s Wife and author of Psycho Beach Party and Die Mommie Die).

Treu, chair of the Computer Science department at Furman University, is a longtime Upstate actor and director, most recently appearing in the farce Noises Off at Centre Stage in Greenville.

Since 2007, he has directed seven large-scale productions with the Greer Children’s Theatre, including six musicals and one non-musical comedy. He is also a regular director in the Centre Stage Fringe Series, and directed the critically-acclaimed comedy The Foreigner for the Mill Town Players in Pelzer.

He is currently directing Little Shop of Horrors at Centre Stage and after Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, will helm the country musical Lost Highway: The Hank Williams Story at Spartanburg Little Theatre in January.

Kevin first pitched the idea of Vampire Lesbians way back when I first launched Proud Mary Theatre in 2017 and I loved it,” said Artistic Director Sandy Staggs.

“I had admired his work for several years both on and back stage and had always assumed he was a conservative straight white man. But it turns out he is an ally of the LGBTQ+ community and he has attended most of our previous productions. We are thrilled to have him on board for this zany project with an outlandish title.”

One of the longest running Off-Broadway plays ever, this 1984 classic follows two lesbian vampires (one traditionally played by a man in drag) over millennia as their rivalry and paths cross in 1920s Hollywood and again in the 1980s on the Vegas strip.

“I love campy comedies, satirical send-ups of theatre performers, and time-shifting stories, so I’ve long been a fan of Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, and hoped to be a part of a production one day,” Treu said.

“I was introduced to the play by one of my theatre mentors, Doug McCoy, the founding director of Centre Stage in Greenville. He was directing Charles Busch’s The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife in 2003 and recommended that I also read Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, one of his favorites. I loved it! And now can’t wait to share it with Upstate audiences.”

Also on our fabulous creative time are Alyssia Chaplin as Costume Designer and Stage Manager and Kelly Crisp as Lighting Designer.

Vampire Lesbians of Sodom will run October 25-November 2 with two midnight shows at the West Main Artists Co-Op in Spartanburg. Halloween night, Thursday, October 31 is an Official Upstate Pride SC Event.