Hello! Welcome! The name is Lynch, Laurie Lynch. You can call me Laurie.
I'm here because I'm creating a show, "Charistmatic Megafauna." This show is all about the history of the early GLBT Rights Movement. Which maybe still doesn't explain the title. Ok, ok - Charismatic Megafuana are large animals with popular appeal that environmentalists use to bring awareness to the environment as a whole. You know, the giant polar bear and her adorable cubs, or the majestic elephant being targeted for his tusks - the animals who end up on tote bags and t-shirts when you make a donation to the World Wildlife Fund. So what does this have to do with GLBT rights? Well, I would posit to say that the many people in the history of the GLBT Rights Movement are Charismatic Megafauna. They have brought awareness to the GLBT Community, through their strength, power, personality and appeal.
Why am I creating this piece? In June 2010, I went to Denver's Gay Pride weekend and saw a common scene at modern Pride celebrations: A party. And I thought to myself, "what is the point of this 'party?' This couldn't be the way Pride started out!" I walked around an event that is held with corporate sponsorship from a beer company and I witnessed a lot of people who seemed lost in a mayhem of alcohol, nudity, and consumption. What I was witnessing didn't seem to fit into the definition of pride - a word I understood to mean feeling respected and respectful, powerful and empowered. I decided to do some research about the beginning of Gay Pride celebrations. As I dove into the late 60's, I realized that there was so much history that I had no idea about. So, I kept digging back further into GLBT history, and what I found were pioneers of the GLBT Rights Movement. I found beautiful stories, and many heart wrenching tales as well. These stories helped me find pride in myself and my community. I want other people to know this history so that as a community, we can find a real sense of pride about the people who came before. I want these stories to be a part of how we reclaim the respect and power in our community that makes us truly proud.
I began writing a theatre piece about the stories I was finding, and in December of 2010 I held a workshop showing of this one-woman show. During these two nights, I asked my audiences to give me feedback: what they loved about the showing, and what they didn't understand. I received detailed feedback that helped make the show more focused and more applicable. I am currently in a second phase of research/rehearsal which will include tightening, adding, and cleaning things up. The next step is to do another workshop showing this winter 2011 to get feedback again. Following this second workshop showing, I will return to the editing phase one more time before finishing the writing and rehearsal process.
Once this show is completed, there will be a premier in Denver Colorado followed by a tour to New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, San Fransisco, Portland, Chicago and Indianapolis. (And before you knock Indy, you should know that I was born and raised there! And the midwest is home to plenty of Charismatic Megafauna, LGBTQ and otherwise)
This project gives viewers - LGBTQ, allies and those who are new to these stories - a glimpse
into the history of the GLBT Community.
This project will give our community a sense of lineage -
where we come from, the road
that was paved before - so we can acknowledge how far we have come as a
marginalized community and how much further we have to go.
For many people, the history of the GLBT rights movement is unknown. Many people don't have a connection to their lineage within the GLBT community. This show is important to help connect people with where they come from. Not only for Gay people, but this show is for everyone to learn and understand the struggles, to celebrate the triumphs, and to stand together as human beings for equality.
I believe that it is important to know where we come from, how our rights as a community are still in jeopardy. With this sense of lineage, I hope that people today will stand up and say, "Enough is enough!" As far as we have come, there are still issues that remain uncharted territory, and that demand attention from the LGBTQ community. The trails blazed by our ancestors have opened up possibility, but have also complicated the issues we face today.
This is a call to action! Knowing where we come from and how much further we
have to go, we can begin to do the hard and rewarding work of writing the next chapter of justice for all people!
As a theatre artist I am curious how this historical
content can be theatricalized, how these stories can be staged, distilled and translated for an audience. How
can I put on stage the people and stories that really happened? And how can I do so in a way that is genuine and authentic to the lived experiences of these very real people? I am interested in the intimate
connections between diverse audiences, the content, and myself as an artist. And how does this sense of lineage connect us, and also disrupt the ways in which we can connect? Where do we meet along this path?
What We Need & What You GetSo, now you know a little bit about why I'm here - now a little bit more about why you might be here!
Here is the Deal: I need $1,500.
That will do two things.
1. It will allow me to ask for more money from foundations and other funders via grants - funders like to see individual support before giving grants.
2. It will allow me to get started on making this show and tour a reality. For example:
$350 to go to Washington DC and visit the Library of Congress for research. They have a wonderful collection of stuff from the GLBT liberation movement throughout the years.
$300 for costumes, set pieces, and props:
-leather studded jock strap
-handle bar mustache
Stipends for other artists to collaborate with me on this project, for example a director, designer
And, what do you get? Besides that warm fuzzy feeling in your heart that says you did something good? Well, your donation is tax deductible to the extent permitted by law thanks to Fractured Atlas' 501 c3 status. And in this economy, we need all of the tax breaks we can get! Can I get an Amen?!
Other Ways You Can Help
What else can you do? Please pass this on to everyone you know via Facebook, other social connections, email, smoke signal or messenger pigeon! Pass on the excitement that this show is coming soon! Keep checking in to see how close we are to the goal! And the lookout for details on a workshop performance this winter!
Of course, your perspective, ideas, expertise or personal experience living through this history is invaluable as well!