A staged reading of the play Beebo Brinker Comes to Town will be at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 13, in the Center for the Visual Arts, room 151. Admission is free.

The play, written by Illinois State Associate Professor of English Paula Ressler and directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre Duane Boutté, is based on Ann Bannon’s 1962 lesbian pulp fiction novel Beebo Brinker. The play focuses on lesbian life in the 1950s during the time of the Cold War, the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement, and with the Women’s and Gay Liberation movements on the horizon.

Ressler is the author of several original plays, a number of dramatic literary adaptations and the award-winning book, Dramatic Changes, which addresses incorporating LGBTQ issues into teacher education through drama. She has appeared locally in a reading of Irene Taylor’s play Tapestries at New Route Theatre and a staged reading of Dear Harvey by Patricia Loughrey sponsored by Prairie Pride Coalition.

Boutté, an actor/director with New York City professional roots, has appeared in the films Stonewall and Brother to Brother, and was in the original Broadway companies of Parade and the 1994 revival of Carousel.  He portrayed the gay, civil rights activist Bayard Rustin in the play Civil Sex, produced at New York City’s Public Theatre and other theatres across the country. Most recently he directed the School of Theatre and Dance’s production of Cabaret and Prairie Pride Coalition’s staged reading of Peter Macklin’s gay-themed play, A Different Time.

The staged reading is funded partly through a grant from the Town of Normal Harmon Arts Grant. The event is sponsored by Prairie Pride Coalition, the ISU LGBT/Queer Studies and Services Institute, the Department of English and the School of Theatre and Dance.