The Del Shores Foundation presents a one-night-only celebration of the 20th anniversary of Del Shores’ GLAAD Award-winning play SOUTHERN BAPTIST SISSIES for a #SissiesLivestream. The reunion will be live streamed as a benefit fundraiser on YouTube and Facebook on Sunday, August 22 at 5pm Pacific/8pm Eastern, hosted and produced by Emerson Collins and Del Shores. The reunion will feature cast members from the original 2000 play, the 2002 revival, the 2006 national tour and the 2013 feature film adaptation. The proceeds will be split with fifty percent to support the launch of the inaugural DEL SHORES FOUNDATION WRITERS SEARCH and fifty percent to 25 theatre companies who are associated partners of the Del Shores Foundation. Donations to the benefit can be made at www.delshoresfoundation.org.
“When I wrote this play twenty years ago, I always imagined it becoming a period piece. But, I still get letters every week from a young person who has just been moved by the film because there are still pastors, churches and religious organizations spewing hate at our community,” explains Shores. “Sissies is about the impact those words still have on the impressionable LGBTQ+ youth locked in those pews and hearing that they are less than or unworthy.” Del Shores Foundation Executive Director Allison Bergman adds, “That leads us to the Foundation’s mission. The Writers Search is our first program and opportunity to provide exposure to writers who, like Del, are LGBTQ+ and Southern and have unique stories to tell. We want to help them get their stories told.”
SOUTHERN BAPTIST SISSIES is the story of four gay boys growing up in the Southern Baptist church. It explores the conflict between the caustic rhetoric of dogmatic religion and the fragile development of adolescent homosexuality while challenging hypocrisy, exposing damage and offering hope. It reveals the complicated emotions from all sides – the confused child, the struggling adolescent and the angry and damaged adult.
The anniversary celebration of SOUTHERN BAPTIST SISSIES will feature the film cast (in alphabetical order): NEWELL ALEXANDER (“August: Osage County”), ROSEMARY ALEXANDER (“Sordid Lives”), WILLAM BELLI (“RuPaul’s Drag Race”), EMERSON COLLINS (“RENT” on FOX, “The People’s Couch”), DALE DICKEY (“Winter’s Bone”, “Them”), BOBBIE EAKES (“The Bold and The Beautiful”), LESLIE JORDAN (“Will & Grace,” “Call Me Kat”), LUKE STRATTE-McCLURE (“Castle”), MATTHEW SCOTT MONTGOMERY (“So Random”), JOE PATRICK WARD and ANN WALKER (“Sordid Lives.”)
There will also be appearances by cast of the original GLAAD Award-winning play ROBERT LEWIS STEPHENSON (“The Thomas Crown Affair”), MICHAEL TAYLOR GRAY (“Pretty the Series”), TED DETWILER (“Sordid Lives: The Series”), SCOTT PRESLEY (“Sordid Lives: The Series”), TOMMY WOELFEL (“Will & Grace”), Del Shores Foundation Executive Director ALLISON BERGMAN and performances from the film soundtrack by DEBBY HOLIDAY (“Blues For Willadean”) and Tony winner LEVI KREIS (“Million Dollar Quartet.”)
THE DEL SHORES FOUNDATION WRITERS SEARCH
The Del Shores Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit with a mission to find and facilitate the development of unknown southern queer artistic voices. The Foundation’s first program is the inaugural Del Shores Foundation Writers Search, and it is open to writers who identify as LGBTQ+ and are Southern. Submissions are open via FilmFreeway.com August 1-December 31, 2021 (see rules and guidelines) with cash awards given to the winning writer in the categories of Screenwriting, Playwriting and Short Film/Web Series. Additionally, the Del Shores Foundation is creating grants to support the development and production of each winner’s work. These include a grant to the budget of the first professional theatre company to produce the winning play, a grant to the budget for producing the winning short film/web series and a grant to support the winning screenplay writer’s introduction to film production companies.
SOUTHERN BAPTIST SISSIES HISTORY
In 2000, Del Shores premiered his play SOUTHERN BAPTIST SISSIES to a ten-month, sold-out run in Los Angeles. In 2002, it had another six-month, sold-out run. Shores received the
LA Weekly, Robby and Maddy Awards for Best Direction and the Backstage West Garland, Robby and Maddy Awards for Best Writing. The play was also won the GLAAD Award for Outstanding Production of the Year. In 2006, a National Tour was headlined by Leslie Jordan and Delta Burke. In 2013, Beard Collins Shores Productions successfully crowdfunded the budget of the feature film adaptation as a hybrid of film and the live theatre experience. The film had its world premiere at Outfest and sold-out screenings at 24 film festivals, winning thirteen awards including eight Best Feature Audience Awards, before opening in limited release in ten cities. It is distributed by Breaking Glass Pictures, available on DVD and iTunes and streaming on BroadwayHD, Peacock and Amazon Prime.
ABOUT THE TEAM
DEL SHORES (Playwright/Director/Producer) is the writer/director/producer of the films “Sordid Lives,” “Blues for Willadean,” “Southern Baptist Sissies” and “A Very Sordid Wedding.” He wrote and executive produced the MGM feature “Daddy's Dyin'...Who's Got The Will?” He has written eight previous plays, all published by Samuel French, with four adapted for the screen which have run collectively for over seven years in Los Angeles. Southern Baptist Sissies won the GLAAD Award, The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife won the NAACP Theatre Award, and both Yellow and Trailer Trash won the LADCC Award for Best Original Play and Best Production. In television, Del wrote, directed, executive produced and created the LOGO series, “Sordid Lives: The Series.” He also wrote and executive produced on Showtime's “Queer As Folk.” Shores has performed standup in three national tours, all filmed for DVD. His one-man play Six Characters In Search Of A Play won three film festival awards and is now a film available on BroadwayHD. Lifetime Achievement Awards from FilmOut San Diego and LA Weekly. www.delshores.com
EMERSON COLLINS (Producer/Host) is an actor, producer and director best known for four seasons of BRAVO’s “The People’s Couch” and “RENT” on FOX. He produced and starred in the films “A Very Sordid Wedding” and “Southern Baptist Sissies,” winning Best Actor at the Red Dirt International Film Festival for Sissies. He produced and starred in the national tour of Sissies and produced the national tour of Sordid Lives. Emerson won the Desert Theatre League Award for Best Actor in a Comedy for the regional premiere of the one-man show Buyer & Cellar. Collins co-produced and recurred in LOGO’s “Sordid Lives: The Series” and produced “Blues For Willadean.” He directed all three of Del Shores’ standup comedy DVD specials and directed Shores’ one-man play “Six Characters In Search Of a Play” on stage and for film. Emerson regularly appears nationally and internationally at film festivals and as a speaker on LGBTQ+ representation in film. www.emersoncollins.com
ABOUT THE SCHEDULE
SOUTHERN BAPTIST SISSIES 20th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION will live stream Sunday, August 22 at 5pm Pacific/8pm Eastern.
The livestream is free and reminders can be set for the livestream on
YouTube here: https://youtu.be/oje23ZIzAHc
Facebook here: This link will be available Monday, August 15.
For more information on the benefit and the Del Shores Foundation Writers Search, please visit www.delshoresfoundation.org
Enter the Del Shores Foundation Writers Search here: www.filmfreeway.com/DelShoresFoundationWritersSearch
For more information and press interviews with Del Shores and Emerson Collins, please contact Brian Geldin, BGPR, firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOUTHERN BAPTIST SISSIES FILM trailer: https://youtu.be/hvjJxHeftRA