Del Shores Presents #SordidLiveStream with Original Cast Members

The Del Shores Foundation presents a one-night-only benefit reading of the original SORDID LIVES play by Del Shores for a #SordidLiveStream. The reading will be live streamed on YouTube and Facebook on Sunday, May 31 at 5pm Pacific/8pm Eastern, hosted and produced by Emerson Collins and Del Shores.

The reading will star cast from the original 1996 play, the cult-hit 2000 film, LOGO’s 2008 “Sordid Lives: The Series” and the 2017 marriage equality-themed film sequel “A Very Sordid Wedding.”

The free live stream reading and accompanying auction of Sordid Lives memorabilia is a benefit fundraiser for twenty-three live theatre companies including Prouyd Mary Theatre Company, who are associated partners of the Del Shores Foundation and support its mission to find and facilitate the development of new southern queer artistic voices. All of the artists are donating their time and 100% of proceeds will go to the theatre companies. Donations to the benefit can be made at

SORDID LIVES is a black comedy about white trash as a gay actor struggles to come out to his eccentric, dysfunctional Texas family. When the family matriarch trips over the two wooden legs of her lover in a seedy motel room, her funeral brings three generations of the family back together in a story about learning to love the family you have as they are, not as you wish them to be.

The reading cast of SORDID LIVES will feature (in alphabetical order): NEWELL ALEXANDER (“August: Osage County”), ROSEMARY ALEXANDER (“Sordid Lives”), BONNIE BEDELIA (“Designated Survivor,” “Parenthood,”), BEAU BRIDGES (“Homeland,” “Messiah”), EMERSON COLLINS (“RENT” on FOX, “The People’s Couch”), DALE DICKEY (“Unbelievable”, “Claws”), DAVID COWGILL (“Sordid Lives: The Series”), BETH GRANT (“Dollface,” “The Mindy Project”), DEBBY HOLIDAY (“Blues For Willadean”), LESLIE JORDAN (“Will & Grace,” “The Cool Kids”), CAROLINE RHEA (“Sydney To The Max,” “Sabrina, The Teenage Witch”), DEL SHORES (“Six Characters In Search Of A Play”) and ANN WALKER (“Sordid Lives.”)

There will also be live stream appearances by other celebrities from the SORDID LIVES franchise including CARSON KRESSLEY (“RuPaul’s Drag Race”), GEORGETTE JONES (“Sordid Lives: The Series), ALEC MAPA (“Ugly Betty,” “Doom Patrol”), ALEKS PAUNOVIC (“Van Helsing,” “War for the Planet of the Apes”), DAVID STEEN (“Django Unchained”), a performance by Tony winner LEVI KREIS (“Million Dollar Quartet”) and a special message from OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN.


At twenty-four years old, The SORDID LIVES franchise is one of the longest running LGBTQ franchises, and the cult-classic film celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year. It began as a play in a sixty-four seat theatre named Theatre/Theater in Los Angeles in 1996. The play starred Leslie Jordan, Beth Grant, Rosemary Alexander, Newell Alexander and Ann Walker and ran thirteen sold-out months with thirteen Critic’s Choice Awards. The play has been produced by over 300 theatre companies nationwide. In 2000, the film adaption added Bonnie Bedelia, Beau Bridges, Delta Burke and Olivia Newton-John and won many film festival awards with thirteen Audience Awards. The film became a cult-hit as it ran in limited release in theatres for almost three years before selling over 300,000 DVDs. In 2006, the play was revived in Los Angeles before launching a national tour. In 2008, the prequel “Sordid Lives: The Series” welcomed Caroline Rhea and Rue McClanahan and was released on LOGO and syndicated in seventeen countries. In 2017, the marriage-equality themed sequel reunited cast from the film and series in “A Very Sordid Wedding” with a cameo from Whoopi Goldberg and twelve out LGBTQ actors including Emerson Collins, Alec Mapa and Levi Kreis. It opened as number one at the limited release box office before playing more than 60 cities and is now streaming on Hulu and Amazon Prime.


The Del Shores Foundation is a new 501c3 non-profit with a mission to find and facilitate the development of new southern queer artistic voices through bringing together artists and working professionals, amplifying new work and connecting artists to platforms for the creation of the work. The Board of Directors, Executive Director Del Shores and Program Director Emerson Collins decided to halt all fundraising and event planning efforts during the pandemic to support the fundraising efforts of those in need. Foundation events will resume in the future.


DEL SHORES (Playwright/Director/Executive Producer) is the writer/director/producer of the films “Sordid Lives,” “Blues for Willadean,” “Southern Baptist Sissies” and “A Very Sordid Wedding.” He wrote and executive produced the MGM feature “Daddy’s Dyin’…Who’s Got The Will?” He has written seven previous plays, all published by Samuel French, produced thousands of times worldwide with four adapted for the screen which have run collectively for over seven years in Los Angeles. Southern Baptist Sissies won the GLAAD Award, The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife won the NAACP Theatre Award, and both Yellow and Trailer Trash won the LADCC Award for Best Original Play and Best Production. In television, Del wrote, directed, executive produced and created the LOGO series, “Sordid Lives: The Series.” He also wrote and executive produced on the last three seasons of Showtime’s “Queer As Folk,” and wrote and produced for “Dharma & Greg” and “Ned & Stacey.” Shores has performed in hundreds of standup gigs in three national tours, all filmed for DVD. His new one-man play Six Characters In Search Of A Play has performed in 33 cities, seven film festivals and won three film festival awards and is now a film available on BroadwayHD. Lifetime Achievement Awards from FilmOut San Diego and LA Weekly.

EMERSON COLLINS (Executive Producer/Host) is an actor, producer and director best known for four seasons of BRAVO’s “The People’s Couch” and “RENT” on FOX.  He produced and starred in the films “A Very Sordid Wedding” and “Southern Baptist Sissies,” winning Best Actor at the Red Dirt International Film Festival for Sissies. He produced and starred in the national tour of the play of Sissies and produced the national tour of Sordid Lives. Emerson won the Desert Theatre League Award for Best Actor in a Comedy for the regional premiere of the one-man show Buyer & Cellar. Collins co-produced and recurred in LOGO’s “Sordid Lives: The Series” and produced “Blues For Willadean.” He directed all three of Del Shores’ standup comedy DVD specials and directed Shores’ one-man play “Six Characters In Search Of a Play” on stage and for film where it won awards at three film festivals. He has produced countless variety show and event nights across the country. Emerson regularly appears nationally and internationally at film festivals and as a speaker on LGBTQ representation in film.

For more information, donations and auction items, please visit

Cast, New Dates for SORDID LIVES Announced

SHOW DATES: AUGUST 14-23, 2020

Bitsy Mae Harling – Leslie Hendon
Noleta Nethercott – Jada LaShay Bell
LaVonda DuPree – Lori Bell Guthrie
Sissy Hickey – Lori Lee
Latrelle Williamson – Samona McMillan
Juanita Bartlett – Caitlyn Keefer
Earl ‘Brother Boy’ Ingram – Scott Waddell
Wardell ‘Bubba’ Owens – Ken Snart
Odell Owens/Rev. Barnes – Brock Davis

Sordid Lives Video Auditions

Due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, SORDID LIVES AUDITIONS will be held via VIDEO ONLY.
Please note not all characters have “monologues” so just submit 1-2 minutes of lines.

Please EMAIL VIDEO LINK, Resume, Headshot & conflicts from April 20-June 21, 2020 to Sandy Staggs at

APRIL 20 – JUNE 4, 2020 (approximate & may begin virtual)
JUNE 5-14, 2020 (may be moved 1 week later)

In this cult classic play by Del Shores, a colorful family from a small Texas town must come to grips with the accidental death of the elderly family matriarch during a clandestine meeting in a seedy motel room with her much-younger married neighbor. The woman’s family must deal with their own demons while preparing for what could be an embarrassing funeral. Did we mention this play includes a coming-out story, a Tammy Wynette drag queen trying to be de-homosexualized by a horny psychiatrist, a guitar playing muse, a guy with wooden legs, and a funeral?


Bitsy Mae Harling – A local singer with “a reputation”; Peggy’s good friend. MUST PLAY GUITAR

Ty Williamson – Latrelle’s son, a closeted 20-something gay man who left his small Southern Baptist Texas hometown and moved to West Hollywood to become an actor.

Sissy Hickey – Peggy’s much-younger sister; aunt to Brother Boy, Lavonda, and Latrelle; she just wants to stop smoking.

Noleta Nethercott – Peggy’s much-younger sister; aunt to Brother Boy, Lavonda, and Latrelle; she just wants to stop smoking.

Latrelle Williamson – Ty’s mother and Peggy’s elder daughter, who is primarily concerned with keeping up appearances.

Earl ‘Brother Boy’ Ingram – A fan of the women of country music, Brother Boy has been institutionalized for 23 years by his parents for being a cross-dressing homosexual.

LaVonda DuPree – Peggy’s younger daughter, a free spirit who is also Noleta’s best friend.

Dr. Eve Bolinger – “Doctor Evil” wants to dehomosexualize Brother Boy so she can write a book, appear on the Oprah television show, and quit her psychiatrist job at the mental institution.

Wardell ‘Bubba’ Owens – Bar Owner & G.W.’s friend; object of Brother Boy’s affection.

Odell Owens/Rev. Barnes – Bubba’s brother, who is scarred for life by a pig-bloating incident.

G.W. Nethercott – Noleta’s unfaithful husband, who feels responsible for Peggy’s death.

Juanita Bartlett – Wardell’s short-term-memory friend, a regular patron (the town drunk) of Bubba’s Bar.