Dezart Performs Hosts Screening of Award-Winning Film The Lavender Scare
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Dezart Performs Hosts Screening of Award-Winning Film The Lavender Scare at The Camelot Theatre at the Palm Springs Cultural Center
One Night Only: Tuesday, January 22 at 7pm
Evening Benefits the LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert
& Cinema Diverse: the Palm Springs LGBTQ Film Festival
7 January 2019 – Palm Springs, CA: Once upon a time in America gay men and lesbians were harassed, humiliated and hounded from their jobs in the name of national security. Sound familiar? On Tuesday, January 22 at 7pm at The Camelot Theatre at the Palm Springs Cultural Center, the acclaimed Dezart Performs of Palm Springs hosts a special one-night-only screening of The Lavender Scare, the searing documentary by Emmy Award-Winning Josh Howard that chronicles the anti-gay purges of the 1950s. Narrated by Glenn Close and featuring the voices of David Hyde Pierce, Cynthia Nixon, Zachary Quinto and T. R. Knight, The Lavender Scare is a “compelling, well-made” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “fascinating documentary about a missing piece of our history.” (KRCB San Francisco). Tickets for the screening are $ 15 and will benefit the LGBTQ Center of the Desert and Cinema Diverse: the Palm Springs LGBTQ Film Festival. Following the screening will be a panel discussion with the following: Michael Green, Founder / Artistic Director, Palm Springs Cultural Center; Jean-Marie Navetta, Director of Learning & Inclusion for PFLAG; Alexis Ortega, Director of Community Engagement, LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert; David Perry (moderator), Founder, Rainbow Honor Walk / 10 Percent TV
The screening’s timing is not a coincidence. Currently, Dezart Performs is in preparation for its production of the stage play Perfect Arrangement by Topher Payne. Running January 11 – 20 in Palm Springs, the play deals, in fictionalized form, with the same issues dealt with in Howard’s documentary: the systemic and systematic discrimination of homosexuals in the employment of the United States government.
“In a time when the President of the United States and many states are trying to roll back hard-fought gains for the LGBT Community,” said Michael Shaw, founding artistic director of Dezart Performs. “Lavender Scare is more pertinent than ever.”
In 1953, President Eisenhower declared gay men and lesbians to be a threat to the security of the country and therefore unfit for government service. In doing so, he triggered the longest witch hunt in American history. Over the next four decades, tens of thousands of government workers would lose their jobs for no reason other than their sexual orientation. However, the actions of the government had an unintended effect. They inadvertently helped ignite the gay rights movement. In 1957, after thousands had lost their jobs, a Harvard-trained astronomer named Frank Kameny became the first person to fight his dismissal. His attempts to regain his job evolved into a lifelong fight for the rights of LGBT people.
“The Lavender Scare is more than a compelling story of one man’s fight for justice,” says Shaw. “It is a chilling reminder of how easy it can be, during a time of fear and uncertainty, to trample the rights of an entire class of people in the name of patriotism and national security.
Dezart Performs, one of the Coachella Valley’s preeminent theatre companies, recognizes that the performing arts enrich the life and culture of a community, promote greater understanding and provoke insightful discussion. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit theatre company, its mission is to provide an artistic home for bold and cutting–edge plays, creating an atmosphere of artistic growth for actors, writers, and directors who uniquely contribute to the diverse theatrical environment in the Coachella Valley.
Sponsors of Dezart Performs’ 2018/19 Season include The Riviera Palm Springs, Desert Care Network, Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge, Acqua at the River, TRIO Restaurant, Hotel Zoso and the Desert Sun.
Tickets for the screening of The Lavender Scare are $ 15 may be purchased online at www.dezartperforms.org or by phone at (760)322-0179.
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