Madison, Wisconsin — Proud Theater, Wisconsin’s premier LGBTQIA+ Youth Theater organization, in collaboration with Trinity United Methodist Church, PFLAG-Madison, and the First United Methodist Church of Madison, will hold its fourth annual LGBTQIA+ intergenerational conference, ‘Connections IV: Changing Times’. The event is open to members and allies of the LGBTQIA+ community, and will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2019, at the First United Methodist Church, 203 Wisconsin Avenue in Madison, Wisconsin, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
This year the event will also include a special encore performance of Ben Moffat’s engaging and original production of ‘Imperfect Gentlemen’, a one-person show that explores the real-life story of how a family reacts when their father comes out as transgender in the 1980’s. Moffat originally performed ‘Imperfect Gentlemen’ in Madison in 2018 and is returning once again as a special treat to celebrate the Connections event. The performance will be at 6:30 p.m. at the church after the Connections Conference and is a fundraiser for Proud Theater.
Designed to bring together multiple generations of the LGBTQIA+ community, Connections was developed in 2016 with the express purpose of building positive bonds among LGBTQIA+ community members of all ages. The conference is a laid-back day of fun, storytelling, and interactive activities that explore the intersectionality between LGBTQIA+ generations and promotes mutual sharing and understanding between all who attend. This year, the Connections conference will focus on building bridges between generations and focus on stories that define the LGBTQ+ community – both globally and personally. Lunch and snacks will be served throughout the day.
“We had a tremendous amount of fun at our last three conferences getting to know so many people in our community”, Proud Theater Executive Director Brian Wild commented recently. “The experience of hearing so many amazing life stories and having the youth and elders of our community bond through personal storytelling was incredibly inspiring. And we are thrilled to have actor and playwright Ben Moffat returning to do an encore performance of his one-person show ‘Imperfect Gentlemen’. It is a must-see production!”
Wild developed the idea of an LGBTQIA+ intergenerational conference through his work with the youth of Proud Theater. “I realized that, aside from the mentors of Proud Theater, many of our youth had no real connection to the generations that preceded them”, Wild stated. “Likewise, I started thinking about how much I, personally, have learned from the youth over the years and felt that other older members of the LGBTQIA+ community could not only get a chance to share their stories, but would also gain valuable insight and inspiration from the incredible work our youth are doing as they propel LGBTQIA+ equality forward. We all need role models, no matter how young or old we are.”
Registration for ‘Connections IV: Changing Times’ begins January 28, 2019, and registration forms can be requested by sending an email to [email protected]. Space is limited, and a donation between $5 and $20 dollars is suggested to attend.
Ben Moffat’s ‘Imperfect Gentlemen’ is open to the public, and those attending the Connections Conference will be able to attend as part of their Connections attendance donation. Those coming only for the performance only are asked for a suggested donation of $10 to $20 dollars to attend.
Parking is available at the Dayton/Pinckney Ramp across from the church; however, parking at the church is reserved for those with special mobility needs.
Event organizers are also looking for a diversity of volunteers to assist in the development of the conference, as well as to help out on the day of the event. If interested in volunteering or becoming part of the development team, send inquiries to [email protected]. If you would like to become a financial sponsor of the event, tax-deductible donations can be sent to Proud Theater-Connections at PO Box 6306, Monona WI 53716, or made through the link on the Proud Theater website. Various levels of sponsorship are available, and all donations should be specified for the Connections event when submitted.
For more information on ‘Connections IV: Changing Times’, visit www.proudtheater.org, the Proud Theater or Connections Facebook pages, or contact Proud Theater via email at [email protected] or by calling 608-222-9086.