That Uppity Theatre Company and the Vital VOICE are both known as advocates for inclusion and for using their organizations as platforms to promote diversity. Last year, at Briefs: A Festival of Short LGBTQ Plays, they raised and contributed to make a joint donation of approximately $1,000 to Metro Trans Umbrella Group. MTUG provides services and support to transgender people in the greater St. Louis metropolitan area.

This year, the Briefs team is focusing on The Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis and The International Institute of St. Louis.

“Given the current political climate, we feel it is essential that the LGBTQ and Allied communities stand with other marginalized communities to show our visible and concrete support. This is a time when the need for coalition building is crucial, especially in recognition of human rights,” said Joan Lipkin, Producing Artistic Director, That Uppity Theatre Company.

“This country has been good to me. I want to do whatever I can to give back,” said Darin Slyman, CEO and Partner, Vital VOICE. “My family is Syrian. I am hoping to volunteer at the International Institute to help mentor Syrian refugees and immigrants in their professional development and adjustment to life in St. Louis.”

About the Islamic Foundation and International Institute

The Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis is a non-profit organization, serving the local community with a variety of services, including regular congregational prayers, educational programs, workshops, burial preparations, as well as social events in accordance to the teachings of Islam.

The International Institute of St. Louis is also a non-profit organization which offers comprehensive adjustment services for refugees and immigrants in the community. The producers of Briefs will be collecting money for these two organizations at all four performances on March 9 – 11. Donations can also be made via the yellow button at the bottom left of That Uppity Theatre Company’s website.

Briefs Overview

This year Briefs will feature Gaga by Jon Fraser, Straight Up by Lisa Konoplisky, Twenty Questions by Shannon Geier, Our Friends by Joan Lipkin, When Oprah Says Goodbye by Dan Berkowitz, Danny Boy by Theresa Masters, Trial and Swear by McKenzie Moser, and Last Night at the Cherry Pie by Daniel Hirsch. All of the plays are in the ten-minute range.

Including these eight plays, That Uppity Theatre Company and the Vital VOICE have produced 50 new, short plays in St. Louis, many of which are world premieres. The sixth year of the festival will again celebrate the third annual Ken Haller Playwriting Competition for LGBTQ and Allied Youth. That Uppity Theatre Company and the Vital Voice will honor the Haller Award recipient and Webster University student McKenzie Moser, by producing her play Trial and Swear during the Briefs festival.

“We’re all responsible to create the community in which we want to live. Briefs is for everyone and we want everyone to feel welcome,” said Lipkin.

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