SheFest – A celebration of queer women through art

“SheFest is one of my favorite times of the theatre season,” says SheFest producer Iris Sowlat, “There’s something very special about a talented, diverse group of queer women celebrating their life experiences through art.”

SheFest (formerly LezFest) is Pride Arts Center’s’ semi-annual celebration of Chicago’s queer female and non-binary artists. SheFest showcases the diverse range of queer female and non-binary artists in Chicago as well as the diverse stories and experiences of queer femininity. The sixth installment of the festival, this year’s SheFest will be hosted by stand-up comedian Shannon Noll, and will feature spoken word poetry, Moth-style stories, comedy, clowning, a fire act, and dance.

Highlights include the clown act “All of My Enemies” by Chicago actress and clown Molly Brennan, a fire act by interdisciplinary performance artist Tamale Sepp, original spoken word by Quare Square founder Niki Gee, dance by Jade, and more!

Additionally, this SheFest will include American Sign Language Interpretation for patrons who are Deaf and Audio Description for patrons who are blind- a first for the Pride Arts Center! Sowlat says, “I’m really looking forward to having these accessibility services implemented at SheFest. It’s great that the Pride Arts Center- and the Chicago theatre community overall- is taking amazing steps towards being even more inclusive to all. As a queer, legally blind theatremaker, this is something I value.”

Proceeds from SheFest will be put towards Pride Films & Plays’ LezPlay writing contest and workshop program. The contest is set to enhance the visibility and advance the viability of lesbian-centered stories for stage and screen. To that end, LezPlay honors excellence in storytelling by women-identified writers who present lesbian characters and themes—past, present, and future—in a pivotal, positive way. For more information on how you can enter the contest, please check out Further proceeds raised from SheFest go directly to help queer female playwrights, directors, and actors produce work during the 2017-18 season!

The performance will be: June 12 at 7:30pm at the Pride Arts Center’s Broadway Theatre, located at 4139 N. Broadway Ave., Chicago.

Performers will include Molly Brennan, Tamale Sepp, Ada Cheng, Khloe Janel, Anna Wolfe, Alex Seligsohn, Jade, June Thiele, Shannon Leigh Webber, Niki Gee, Michelle Zacarias, and Terri Hudson, and Jessica Martin. SheFest is produced by Iris Sowlat and Julia Rufo, and stage-managed by Daiva Paulis.

SheFest will also feature delicious treats from the new Klein’s Bakery and Cafe (located at 4155 North Broadway) and chances to win amazing door prizes from American Theater Company, Women and Children First and Dinner Detective, to name a few.

Pricing: General Admission tickets cost $10 and can be purchased either online or at the door. VIP tickets cost $15. Pride Films & Plays is also offering an “Adopt A Performer” sponsorship option, as well as other levels of sponsorship.


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