Dear Harvey | May 2017 | Archive
 

Press Release
Readings of the play Dear Harvey celebrate Harvey Milk
April 25, 2017
“My name is Harvey Milk and I want to recruit you. Recruit you into the fight for democracy. The Anita Bryants and the John Briggs are trying to constitutionalize bigotry. We will not allow that to happen. You must make your commitment. Without it you are just occupying space.” Harvey Milk, circa 1977
CHARLOTTE – LGBT icon Harvey Milk will be celebrated in Charlotte with four readings of the play Dear Harvey - Stories of Harvey Milk. The play tells intimate, surprising stories based on interviews with Harvey's nephew Stuart Milk, campaign manager Anne Kronenberg, AIDS Quilt founder Cleve Jones and other activists. This spirited tribute reaffirms his impact and the continued relevance of his campaign towards equality, almost four decades after his assassination. Harvey Milk Day is celebrated on his birthday, May 22; Harvey would have been 87 this year.
Readings will be held Monday, May 22 at Levine Museum of the New South, Theatre Charlotte, and Chickspeare will do the first-ever all-female reading at NoDa Brewery. A reading will also be held on Wednesday, May 24 at the Levine Jewish Community Center. The readings are being produced by Dan Kirsch of Green Hair Creative. The play, by Patricia Loughrey, with music by Thomas Hodges, premiered in April 2009 at Diversionary Theatre, San Diego’s LGBT Theatre, formerly run by Kirsch. There have been more than 40 full productions or readings across the United States since the premiere.
Harvey Milk was the first openly gay elected official in California. His vision, his passion, his joy and his death were all to become legend through various films, plays, musicals, an opera, books and stories. “These stories about Harvey Milk are from the people he knew and the lives he changed,” said playwright Loughrey. “We lost Harvey too soon, but in these stories, we get to hear the impact of his love and courage.” The play also uses historical materials the Harvey Milk Archives-Scott Smith Collection, James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center, San Francisco Public Library, the Bay Area Reporter, and many photos by San Francisco LGBT photographer Daniel Nicoletta.
Kirsch lived and worked in Charlotte from 1989-2004, and after arts management stints in San Diego and Fairfax, Virginia, returned to Charlotte last summer. In January, he attended The Ghostlight Project rally outside Theatre Charlotte, a national response by theatre artists to the inauguration of the new President. The Project asks that artists and communities make or renew a pledge to stand for and protect the values of inclusion, participation, and compassion for everyone, together creating “light” for challenging times ahead.
“That was my call to action,” said Kirsch, who had commissioned and directed the play at Diversionary. “The Ghostlight Project’s mission was similar to Harvey’s vision, which was to dream for a better tomorrow filled with the hope for equality and a world without hate. These readings were something I could do within the community to continue Harvey’s vision.” Kirsch launched Green Hair Creative to imagine, advocate and produce work that highlight the stories of LGBT pioneers.
Green Hair Creative? “It’s from a line in the play,” said Kirsch. "Don't hide your green hair, they can see it anyway," said Morris Milk to his grandson Harvey, as remembered by Stuart Milk. “I would not be able to do this project without the support of the host sites, the artists, and other arts and social justice organizations.” Kirsch is using the event to bring attention to LGBT seniors. “Part of the any proceeds will go towards calling an LGBT Town Meeting this summer to talk about forming a SAGE Charlotte Chapter (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders),” stated Kirsch. SAGE works to achieve a high quality of life for LGBT older adults, supports and advocates for their rights, fosters a greater understanding of aging in all communities, and promotes positive images of LGBT life in later years.
Dear Harvey Readings
Levine Museum of the New South | Monday, May 22, Noon-1:15pm. 200 E. 7th Street, Charlotte. Lunch-and-learn event. Featuring: Polly Adkins, Charlton Alicea, Frances Bendert, Dennis Delamar, Christopher Jones, Zach Radhuber. Director – Dan Kirsch; Production Manager – Vito Abate. Admission $8; includes 30-35 minutes of the play, access to the Museum exhibition K(NO)W Justice | K(NO)W Peace, and facilitated conversation with Joshua Burford, Assistant Director for Sexual & Gender Diversity at UNC Charlotte, and archivist with the Donaldson King, Sue Henry, Black Brockington Community LGBTQ Archive. 
Theatre Charlotte | Monday, May 22, 7:30pm. 501 Queens Road, Charlotte. Free Admission with a pass-the-hat ask to benefit the formation of SAGE Charlotte Chapter. Featuring: Polly Adkins, Charlton Alicea, Frances Bendert, Veda Covington, Dennis Delamar, Christopher Jones, Zach Radhuber, Hank West. Director – Dan Kirsch; Production Manager – Vito Abate; Accompanist – Zachary Tarlton. Includes facilitated conversation about LGBT history with Jason Edward Black, Ph.D., Chair & Professor, Department of Communication Studies at UNC Charlotte, and co-editor of the An Archive of Hope: Harvey Milk’s Speeches and Writings.
Chickspeare at NoDa Brewery, Monday, May 22, 7:30pm. 2921 N. Tryon Street, Charlotte. Free Admission with a pass-the-hat ask to benefit the formation of SAGE Charlotte Chapter. Featuring: Nicia Carla, Joanna Gerdy, Andrea King, Anne Lambert, Lane Morris, Sheila Proctor, Sarah Provencal, Karina Roberts, Gina Stewart. Includes facilitated conversation about LGBT history. Outdoor Reading/Bring your Lawn Chair.
Levine Jewish Community Center, Wednesday, May 24, 7:30pm. 5007 Providence Road, Charlotte. Free Admission with a pass-the-hat ask to benefit the formation of SAGE Charlotte Chapter. Featuring: Polly Adkins, Charlton Alicea, Frances Bendert, Veda Covington, Dennis Delamar, Christopher Jones, Zach Radhuber. Director – Dan Kirsch; Production Manager – Vito Abate. Includes facilitated conversation about LGBT history with Jason Edward Black, Ph.D., Chair & Professor, Department of Communication Studies at UNC Charlotte, and co-editor of the An Archive of Hope: Harvey Milk’s Speeches and Writings.
Dear Harvey readings are being promoted by the host sites and Voices for Justice, arts and social justice organizations: Greenspon Center for Peace & Social Justice, Keshet Committee at Temple Beth El, Paperhouse Theatre, Theatre Charlotte, Three Bone Theatre and other Voices to be announced.
Pass-the-hat donations will be split between host organization, the formation of a SAGE Charlotte Chapter (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders), and Green Hair Creative. Donations are tax-deductible thru a fiscal sponsorship with Fractured Atlas. Reservations for tickets can be made after May 1, 2017. For more information, email Dan Kirsch at dearharvey@gmail.com or visit the website at www.greenhaircreative.org.
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Calendar Listing
Readings of the play Dear Harvey celebrate Harvey Milk
LGBT icon Harvey Milk will be celebrated in Charlotte with four readings of the play Dear Harvey - Stories of Harvey Milk. Harvey Milk was the first openly gay elected official in California. The play, by Patricia Loughrey, with music by Thomas Hodges, shares intimate, surprising stories based on interviews with Harvey's nephew Stuart Milk, campaign manager Anne Kronenberg, AIDS Quilt founder Cleve Jones and other activists. This spirited tribute reaffirms his impact and the continued relevance of his campaign towards equality, almost four decades after his assassination. Harvey Milk would have been 87 this year. Readings will be held Monday, May 22 at Levine Museum of the New South, Theatre Charlotte, and Chickspeare will do the first-ever all-female reading at NoDa Brewery. A reading will also be held on Wednesday, May 24 at the Levine Jewish Community Center. The readings are being produced by Dan Kirsch of Green Hair Creative; a portion of proceeds will benefit the formation of a SAGE Charlotte Chapter (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders). Tickets and Info: www.greenhaircreative.org. Email: dearharvey@gmail.com.

Resources
Harvey Milk Foundation
http://milkfoundation.org/
Green Hair Creative
https://www.greenhaircreative.org/
The Ghostlight Project
https://theghostlightproject.com/action-statement/

Harvey Milk, 1978
"Somewhere in Des Moines or San Antonio there is a young gay person who all of a sudden realizes that he or she is gay; knows that if their parents find out they will be tossed out of the house, their classmates will taunt the child, and the Anita Bryant's and John Briggs' are doing their part on TV. And that child has several options: staying in the closet, and suicide. And then one day that child might open the paper that says "Homosexual elected in San Francisco" and there are two new options: the option is to go to California, or stay in San Antonio and fight. Two days after I was elected I got a phone call and the voice was quite young. It was from Altoona, Pennsylvania. And the person said "Thanks". And you've got to elect gay people; so that thousands upon thousands like that child know that there is hope for a better world; there is hope for a better tomorrow. Without hope, not only gays, but those who are blacks, the Asians, the disabled, the seniors, the us's; without hope the us's give up. I know that you can't live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. And you, and you, and you, and you have got to give them hope."
Listen to this speech at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9vol-8HYEc

Credits
Dear Harvey graphic by HenzelDesign