This Many People: The LGBT Seniors Project
What does community mean for the first openly gay generation in the US? What do we know about the lives of those who came before us in the struggle for acceptance? How do different generations in the LGBT community learn about each other? OutLook Theater Project is an ensemble-based company that creates original performance about relevant issues from a queer perspective. The OutLook ensemble will perform excerpts of a world premiere play-in-progress focusing on issues of community and isolation in an aging LGBT population based upon the experiences and personal histories of Bay Area LGBT Seniors. Material from the play has been generated through OutLook’s collaboration with New Leaf Outreach to Elders and Lavender Seniors of the East Bay.
OutLook and the LGBT Seniors Project are generously supported by the San Francisco Arts Commission Cultural Equity Grants Program and the California Council for the Humanities California Story Fund.
OutLook is a member of the Intersection Incubator, a program of Intersection for the Arts providing fiscal sponsorship, incubation and consulting services to artists. Visit www.theintersection.org.
OutLook’s community partners for the LGBT Seniors Project are New Leaf Outreach to Elders and Lavender Seniors of the East Bay
The OutLook ensemble features:
Rebecca Schultz (Co-Founder and Director), an artist and educator dedicated to using theater as a tool for community dialogue and development. She has spent the last fourteen years creating original performance pieces about social issues as a performer, director, teacher and facilitator. Rebecca developed several solo performance pieces exploring issues of gender and identity, including the evening length “Passages” which was performed at several Bay Area venues and festivals, and has directed a number of community-based theater projects, including the Play it LOUD! project with LGBT youth, and Identified Queer Objects (a diverse group of LGBT writer-performers who created “Safer to Name”, a piece about gender dynamics in the queer community) which has appeared in several festivals, including the Queer Arts Festival. Rebecca co-founded Bay Area Theater of the Oppressed in 2003 and has facilitated a number of Theater of Oppressed workshops for diverse groups in the Bay Area and internationally since that time. She holds an MA in Education with a concentration in Community-Based Theater Education from San Francisco State University, and has studied theater with the San Francisco Mime Troupe, Headlines Theater, the Siti Company, Michael Rohd, Augusto Boal, FoolsFury, Leigh Fondakowski and Deborah Slater Dance Theater. With funding from Theater Communications Group, Rebecca traveled to Burkina Faso and South Africa in February and March 2008 to engage in an international exchange with colleagues using interactive theater to address social issues, and returned to Africa in July 2008 to teach a forum theater workshop for Réseau Arts Vivants, a network of theater companies in Niamey, Niger.
Lynn Johnson (Co-Founder and Director) an African American lesbian who has spent her entire life living in communities where she is identified as “other”, has shaped a career dedicated to using the art of theater to celebrate difference while building strong, diverse communities. Her work as a director, actor, and teacher started in Chicago where, after attaining a BFA in theater from Northwestern University, she co-founded TurnStyle Teen Theater, a multicultural teen ensemble using the process of creating original productions to explore themes central to the lives of its members such as transition and identity. After eight years of working in Chicago, she moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina where she created and designed many educational and community-based programs. Most notably, she produced and directed a work entitled “Wave When You Pass,” an investigation of notions of home amidst rapidly changing social demographics in collaboration with students from the University of North Carolina, professional artists from the StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance, and intergenerational residents of the neighboring rural Chatham County. Lynn moved to San Francisco in 2002 and in 2003, with her partner, Allison Kenny, founded Glitter & Razz Productions, a company based on her philosophy of and aesthetic for theater to support the creativity and learning of the modern family.
Kevin Rolston (founding ensemble member) recently made his A.C.T. debut with ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore and was seen at Magic Theatre in the world premieres of Monkey Room and Rebecca Gilman’s The Crowd You’re In With. He also recently toured with the San Francisco Mime Troupe in Making a Killing and Godfellas. While still in New York, he made his off-Broadway debut in Whose Family Values, directed by Philip Rose, the Broadway pioneer behind the original production of A Raisin in the Sun. As a company member of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (200003), he appeared in The Glass Menagerie, Enrico IV, Hamlet, Antony and Cleopatra, The Comedy of Errors, and Twelfth Night. His new play Crystal Christian (which he is co-writing with his partner, Ronald Palmer) had its first workshop production at the Magic Theatre in August 2008. Kevin also works as a Lead instructor with Each One, Reach One, teaching playwriting to incarcerated youth at juvenile justice centers in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Ida VSW Red (Collaborating Ensemble Member) a 76-year-old editor & librarian, retired from the Institute for Health & Aging Policy at UCSF, is a lifelong actor and writer. After years of community theater work in Virginia, she wrote and performed for twenty years with Mothertongue Feminist Theater Collective in San Francisco. For a number of years, Ida facilitated a women writers group for New Leaf Outreach to LGBT Elders. As a volunteer, she has sought women’s collections for the GLBT Historical Society Archives and recorded oral histories for Old Lesbians Organized for Change. Her writing has been published in Sinister Wisdom and several lesbian anthologies. Ida’s first film, Changeling: A Lesbian-Feminist Fable, was produced in Frameline’s 2008 Generations Workshop.
Anthony Williams (Collaborating Ensemble Member) recently appeared in “The Model Apartment” at the Traveling Jewish Theater and “After All, Part I” with the Erika Shuch Performance Project. He is a Co-Founder of GuyWriters, the Bay Area network for gay male writers, where he currently leads the biweekly poetry group. Anthony’s numerous creative adventures have included founding SHOUTOUT!: The Online Multicultural Literaray Magazine For College Students In The New York City Region; organizing multicultural poetry readings for “Men Of All Colors Together” (NYC); writing, producing and performing Army Of Love, a multimedia dance music piece that was included on the 1997 OUTMUSIC CD which toured New York City; starring as Belize in the Bard College production of Angels In America; and being a featured artist of the Chekhov Theater Ensemble in New York City.
Dick Hewetson (Collaborating Ensemble Member) served as an Episcopal priest in Minnesota and Wisconsin before leaving the church and coming out as an atheist in 1972. In 1983, Dick, with his former partner, founded the Quatrefoil Library, in St. Paul, Minnesota. It is one of the largest lending libraries and resource centers on and for sexual minorities in the United States. He moved to San Francisco after retirement in 1992 and since then has coordinated and facilitated programs for Elderhostels, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, New Leaf Outreach to Elders and the Center for Learning in Retirement. He has spoken on issues related to sexuality, religion and politics and has written a memoir of his life.