Meet the Playwright of ‘A Straightforward Scenario’: Hope Phillips

Celebrate National Give OUT Day June 30 and celebrate Gay Pride with Proud Mary Theatre Company and our Brand Spanking New Play Series with the world premiere of A Straightforward Scenario, a play in one act by Hope Phillips,

In this hilarious scenario, GenZers debate politics and try to balance their attempts to be PC with their thirst-quenching desire for that ever-so-delicately-breaded breast in a foil pouch.

This premiere stars Zachary Urban (THE BOYS IN THE BAND), Sun Jane Schwalm (LESBIAN VAMPIRES OF SODOM), Dexter Simmons (SOUTHERN BAPTIST SISSIES, THE KISS) and Lily Webb making her Proud Mary Theatre debut.\

Hope Phillips is a rising senior at USC Upstate, where she majors in theatre performance and minors in womens’ and gender studies. She enjoys working on both the technical and performance sides of the theatre world. Hilights from her time at USC Upstate include playing Honey in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Gertie in Fuddy Meers, Emma in Betrayal (Irene Ryan Award Nomination), and, most recently, Laura / Margie in Buried Over Lewis. Her technical highlights are assistant directing and stage managing for (Anon)ymous (Irene Ryan Award Nomination), stage managing Last Night and the Night Before, and directing Mary-Kate Olsen is in Love as part of the Advanced Directing One-Acts. She is ecstatic to be collaborating with Proud Mary for the first time for this reading!

Donations to South Carolina’s Queer Theatre Company can be made on our website at proudmarytheatre.com

LIVE on our FACEBOOK PAGE Tonite @ 8 p.m.

Proud Mary Theatre Reveals Choir Boy in 2020-21 Season

Proud Mary Theatre Company today announces another of our 2020-21 plays: The Tony-nominated Choir Boy in 2020-21 Season.

For half a century, the Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys has been dedicated to the education of strong, ethical black men. One talented student has been waiting for years to take his rightful place as the leader of the legendary gospel choir. But can he make his way through the hallowed halls of this institution if he sings in his own key.
Now, we’re thrilled to bring this soaring music-filled work to Broadway. Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney is an Oscar®-winning screenwriter of Moonlight and a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship Grant. 

“We are ecstatic to bring this powerful and extremely timely play with music to the Upstate,” said Artistic Director Sandy Staggs.

Production and audition dates will be announced soon.

Proud Mary Casts ‘A Straightforward Scenario’

Celebrate National Give OUT Day June 30 and celebrate Gay Pride with Proud Mary Theatre Company and our Brand Spanking New Play Series with the world premiere of A Straightforward Scenario, a play in one act by Hope Phillips/.

In this hilarious scenario, GenZers debate politics and try to balance their attempts to be PC with their thirst-quenching desire for that ever-so-delicately-breaded breast in a foil pouch.

This premiere stars Zachary Urban (THE BOYS IN THE BAND), Sun Jane Schwalm (LESBIAN VAMPIRES OF SODOM), Dexter Simmons (SOUTHERN BAPTIST SISSIES, THE KISS) and Lily Webb making her Proud Mary Theatre debut.

Donations to South Carolina’s Queer Theatre Company can be made on our website at proudmarytheatre.com

LIVE on our FACEBOOK PAGE @ 8 p.m.

Ben Dawkins to Helm ‘The Laramie Project’

THE LARAMIE PROJECT (20th Anniversary Production)
By Moisés Kaufman & Tectonic Theater Project
October 9-18, 2020

On October 6, 1998 in the middle of the prairie outside Laramie, Wyoming, Matthew Shepard, a 21 year old student at the University of Wyoming, was tied to a fence post, severely beaten, robbed, , tortured and left, alone, to die. His body — battered, bloody, barely clinging to life — was discovered eighteen hours later. He was rushed to the hospital and put on life support. He died five days later. The reason for this brutal crime? Matthew Shepard was gay.

The hate crime attracted vast attention worldwide, bringing sexual discrimination and violence to the forefront of public discourse. Based on interviews, journal entries, and found texts, The Laramie Project was born. Starring 8 actors in some 60 roles, The Laramie Project is hailed as one of the most captivating and encompassing pieces of contemporary theatre. The play shocks, challenges, and moves all who watch it as it reveals the lowest depths of hatred and greatest heights of compassion that lies within all human beings in any seemingly average community.

BEN DAWKINS (Director), singer/actor/director living in Spartanburg, is making his Upstate directorial debut!  He graduated in 2014 with his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in voice performance from the University of Georgia.  Since moving to Spartanburg, he has performed with the Spartanburg Little Theatre, Proud Mary Theatre, Gaffney Little Theatre, Limestone College Theatre, Centre Stage.  As a director, he has worked with the Heritage High Patriot Players, Sandersville Community Theatre, Athena Grand Opera, and the UGA Opera Theatre.  Directing highlights include:  Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Our Town, Trouble in Tahiti, and The Old Maid and the Thief.  Local performance highlights include: BOY (Peter and the Starcatcher (Alf), Guys and Dolls (Nathan Detroit), Spamalot (Historian, Minstrel, Not-dead-Fred, French Taunter, and Prince Herbert), and Avenue Q (Nickie/Trekki Monster).  Regional highlights include leading roles in My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof, The Mikado, Pirates of Penzance, and several roles as a repertory artist for the International Festival of the Aegean in Ermoupolis, Greece.  Special thanks to his wife Blair for her constant support and to Proud Mary for the opportunity to help tell this important and timely story!

Meet the cast of C’est la Vie: Joel Perkin

Jol Perkin

Meet the cast of C’est la Vie (or Smiling at Life): Joel Perkin

Proud Mary Theatre Company continues its ground-breaking Brand New Spanking Play Series with C’est ls Vie (or Smiling at Life), a collection of four interconnected one-act plays by Upstate playwright C. Robert Jones, debuting LIVE on FACEBOOK on Tuesday, June 9 @ 8 p.m.

C’est la Vie is directed by Aaron Pennington and starring three brilliant Upstate actors: Libby Riggins, Joel Perkin and J.R. Bloomer.

Joel has been doing theater for 25 years, mostly acting in musicals and Shakespeare, and loves that he has a chance to help blaze a trail in virtual theater. Favorite roles include Jesus in Godspell, Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet, the Beast in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Michael in Dancing at Lughnasa, and Man in Chair in The Drowsy Chaperone. In March he performed as Daddy Cane in Bright Star at Tryon Little Theater. He’s also directed several shows, most recently Almost, Maine and The Humans at Tryon Little Theater. When not helping teachers increase student achievement, Joel runs lines with his cats in Landrum. He is excited to be a part of his third Zoom Reading with the Proud Mary Theatre after Blue Camp and The Vultures.

Our BRAND SPANKING NEW VIRTUAL PLAY SERIES streams on Tuesday nights with a new work read by some of the Upstate’s most amazing actors. Explore some new playwrights, characters, voices, and social issues with us. Some of these plays are being considered for future production and your comments and input are encouraged.

We know times are tough during the COVID-19 pandemic, but if you enjoy this play, support our efforts to keep the Lights On at Proud Mary Theatre Company, South Carolina’s only LGBTQIA+ theatre company at proudmarytheatre.com

#spankingbrandnewplays #proudmarytheatre #cestlavie

Meet the Cast of THE VULTURES: Jada Lashay Bell

Jada Lashay Bell

Meet the Cast of THE VULTURES, a new gay murder mystery by Mark Ridge and part of our BRAND SPANKING NEW PLAY Series on Tuesday evenings. Jada Lashay Bell plays PAUL JONES, a sweet, gentle accountant.

The Vultures premiered Tuesday, June 2 and is now available on our YouTube Channel.

In the vein of And Then There Were None, Clue and Murder by Death, The Vultures puts a modern, comedic, gay spin on the haunted house/ mystery genre.

Jada LaShay Bell made her Proud Mary debut with the Vampire Lesbians of Sodom and will play Noleta in the upcoming Sordid Lives. She has a BFA in Theatre from Limestone College. Some of her favorite acting credits include Mattie Fae in August: Osage County, Penny in You Can’t Take It With You, Poppy in Noises Off, and Jimmy Wyvette in The Red Velvet Cake War. She has directed numerous shows at the Gaffney Little Theatre, where she serves as a board member.

The story takes place at Westmount Estate, on the 20th anniversary of the death of publishing magnate Simon West. As his six remaining relatives gather for the reading of his will, the mysterious housekeeper declares, “The relatives are swooping in like a wake of vultures ready to pick the carcass clean.”

Who will ultimately inherit the fortune? Will it be the charming realtor, the handsome male model, the dimwitted nail technician, the bitter old woman, the gay hairdresser, or the mild mannered accountant?

Throw in a priceless pocket watch, an androgynous housekeeper, an escaped mental patient, and a pair of reunited lovers and the result is murder, with a hefty dose of laughs

This reading is made possible by the generosity and permission of Mark Ridge and Heuer Publishing.

Based on works by John Willard, Mary Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood.

Our BRAND SPANKING NEW VIRTUAL PLAY SERIES streams on Tuesday nights with a new work read by some of the Upstate’s most amazing actors. Explore some new playwrights, characters, voices, and social issues with us. Some of these plays are being considered for future production and your comments are encouraged.

We know times are tough during the COVID-19 pandemic, but if you enjoy this play, support our efforts to keep the Lights On at Proud Mary Theatre Company, South Carolina’s only LGBTQIA+ theatre company at proudmarytheatre.com

Meet the Cast of The Vultures: Jonathan Davis

Meet the Cast of THE VULTURES, a new gay murder mystery by Mark Ridge and part of our BRAND SPANKING NEW PLAY Series on Tuesday evenings. Jonathan Davis plays the mild-mannered realtor CHARLES WILLARD.

The Vultures premieres Tuesday, June 2 @ 9 p.m. on our Facebook Page.

In the vein of And Then There Were None, Clue and Murder by Death, The Vultures puts a modern, comedic, gay spin on the haunted house/ mystery genre.

Jonathan can usually be found in local Shakespeare performances, including last summers Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest , and has been acting in the area since 1997 in various productions. He also enjoys the odd film role now and again. When not acting, he spends his time reading and painting.

The story takes place at Westmount Estate, on the 20th anniversary of the death of publishing magnate Simon West. As his six remaining relatives gather for the reading of his will, the mysterious housekeeper declares, “The relatives are swooping in like a wake of vultures ready to pick the carcass clean.”

Who will ultimately inherit the fortune? Will it be the charming realtor, the handsome male model, the dimwitted nail technician, the bitter old woman, the gay hairdresser, or the mild mannered accountant?

Throw in a priceless pocket watch, an androgynous housekeeper, an escaped mental patient, and a pair of reunited lovers and the result is murder, with a hefty dose of laughs

This reading is made possible by the generosity and permission of Mark Ridge and Heuer Publishing.

Based on works by John Willard, Mary Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood.

Meet the Cast of The Vultures: J.R. Bloomer

JR-Bloomer
JR-Bloomer

Meet the Cast of THE VULTURES, a new gay murder mystery by Mark Ridge and part of our BRAND SPANKING NEW PLAY Series on Tuesday evenings. J.R. Bloomer plays HARRISON BLYTHE, a tall, handsome male model with an amazing body.

The Vultures premieres Tuesday, June 2 @ 9 p.m. on our Facebook Page.

In the vein of And Then There Were None, Clue and Murder by Death, The Vultures puts a modern, comedic, gay spin on the haunted house/ mystery genre.

J.R. is a recent BFA Musical Theatre graduate at Limestone College. Recent credits include Dan in Next to Normal, Ernie Mac in Puffs, and Angelo on Measure for Measure at Limestone College Theatre. He has also appeared as Hysterium in A Funny Thing… Forum and Frank in Rock of Ages with the Spartanburg Little Theatre. J.R. is excited to be a part of his second Zoom Reading with the Proud Mary Theatre after Blue Camp earlier this month.

The story takes place at Westmount Estate, on the 20th anniversary of the death of publishing magnate Simon West. As his six remaining relatives gather for the reading of his will, the mysterious housekeeper declares, “The relatives are swooping in like a wake of vultures ready to pick the carcass clean.”

Who will ultimately inherit the fortune? Will it be the charming realtor, the handsome male model, the dimwitted nail technician, the bitter old woman, the gay hairdresser, or the mild mannered accountant?

Throw in a priceless pocket watch, an androgynous housekeeper, an escaped mental patient, and a pair of reunited lovers and the result is murder, with a hefty dose of laughs

This reading is made possible by the generosity and permission of Mark Ridge and Heuer Publishing.

Based on works by John Willard, Mary Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood.

Meet the Cast of The Vultures: Alex Poteat

Alex Poteat

Meet the Cast of THE VULTURES, a new gay murder mystery by Mark Ridge and part of our BRAND SPANKING NEW PLAY Series on Tuesday evenings. Alex Poteat plays HUNTER WEST, nice, charming young hairdresser.

The Vultures premieres Tuesday, June 2 @ 9 p.m. on our Facebook Page.

In the vein of And Then There Were None, Clue and Murder by Death, The Vultures puts a modern, comedic, gay spin on the haunted house/ mystery genre.

Alexander Poteat is currently a sophomore Interdisciplinary Arts & Performance major at Arizona State University through their online program. His past roles include: The Little Mermaid as the Pilot/Chef/Courtier (Boiling Springs High School), One Mad Night as Doctor Bunn (Boiling Springs High School), Sister Act as the Pope/Assistant Stage Manager (Boiling Springs High School) Father of the Bride as Mr. Banks (Boiling Springs High School), The Addams Family as the Conquistador/Assistant Student Director (Boiling Springs High School), Mamma Mia as a member of the ensemble (Spartanburg Little Theatre), Tick, Tick… Boom! as Michael’s Understudy (USC Upstate), and Bright Star as a featured ensemble member (Tryon Little Theatre). He is currently working on the Spartanburg Little Theatre’s production of Sister Act, in which he will be portraying the cop and also as a member of the ensemble. His aspirations include being involved in the staff of a local theatre, hopefully as a director, and he also plans to continue being a cast member in local theatre as well. Theatre is a huge passion in his life, and he is so humbled to be portraying Hunter West in The Vultures with the Proud Mary Theatre. He most recently portrayed the role of Barry in the Proud Mary Virtual Play, Blue Camp.

The story takes place at Westmount Estate, on the 20th anniversary of the death of publishing magnate Simon West. As his six remaining relatives gather for the reading of his will, the mysterious housekeeper declares, “The relatives are swooping in like a wake of vultures ready to pick the carcass clean.”

Who will ultimately inherit the fortune? Will it be the charming realtor, the handsome male model, the dimwitted nail technician, the bitter old woman, the gay hairdresser, or the mild mannered accountant?

Throw in a priceless pocket watch, an androgynous housekeeper, an escaped mental patient, and a pair of reunited lovers and the result is murder, with a hefty dose of laughs

This reading is made possible by the generosity and permission of Mark Ridge and Heuer Publishing.

Based on works by John Willard, Mary Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood.

Meet the Cast of The Little Pony: Brigitte Staggs

Brigitte Staggs

The Little Pony by Paco Bezerra and translated by Spartanburg native Marion Peter Holt premieres TUESDAY, MAY 12 @ 8 p.m. and follows a young couple grappling with their son’s traumatic bullying because of his My Little Pony backpack.

Brigitte Staggs directs this reading of The Little Pony starring Upstate actors Libby Riggins and Ryan Hewitt.

Brigitte is a graduate from USC Upstate and majored in theatre. Previous productions include Vampire Lesbians of Sodom and Southern Baptist Sissies as Odette with the Proud Mary Theatre, productions at USC Upstate include Midnight Pillow, Let the Right One In, The Great American Trailer Park Musical as assistant director, Don’t Drink the Water as Marion Hollander (Irene Ryan Acting Award Nomination), All’s Well That Ends Love’s Labours, a devised pieced which was taken to the International Youth Arts Festival in London, England.

Our BRAND SPANKING NEW VIRTUAL PLAY SERIES streams every Tuesday night with a new work read by some of the Upstate’s most amazing actors. Explore some new playwrights, characters, voices, and social issues with us. Some of these plays are being considered for future production and your comments and input are encouraged

The Little Pony was inspired by events that took place in North Carolina in 2014

Michael Morones, age eleven, was brought to the emergency room after attempting to hang himself from the bunk in his room because he could no longer endure the insults and attacks of his schoolmates. During the suicide attempt, Michael was without oxygen for several minutes, suffered permanent brain damage, and is in a semi-vegetative state. He was a fan of the animated series My Little Pony.

A month later, Grayson Bruce, nine years old, was forbidden entry into his school for carrying a My Little Pony backpack. The school principal considered it “inviting bullying” if the minor came to school with the backpack, even accusing the boy of having provoked “disorder in the classroom.”

Our Virtual Play Readings are TOTALLY FREE, but we will be accepting Donations on our website at proudmarytheatre.com/donate

#spankingbrandnewplays #proudmarytheatre #thelittlepony