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NCTC Audience Back for Interlude


I am so excited and so honored to be on the Board of NCTC in San Francisco and even more excited that I have tickets in hand, and after 18 months in our COVID corners, ready to take my beloved on our first ever big post COVID-19 NIGHT OUT!

Before COVID-19, NCTC provided a platform to AHRC for a series speaking engagements about the impact of the trajectory of Uganda's "Kill the Gays Bill" - when I spoke after several performances of The Cardboard Piano. Being able to go back post COVID-19 and support Interlude means so much! Hope to see those of you who are local, there. And to all who are forcibly displaced, let's keep working hard for pipelines and progress- toward a better future!

In October, New Conservatory Theatre Center is thrilled to celebrate 40 years of serving the Bay Area LGBTQ+ community and its long-awaited return to live performances with the inaugural production of their benchmark 21-22 Season, Interlude by Harrison David Rivers.

A world premiere stage adaptation of the critically acclaimed radio play, Interlude is a gripping reflection of a gay Black man’s experience during the transformative events of 2020, and tells a story of hope, healing, and the power of coming home. Jesse Howard’s life looks nothing like it used to. Forced by a national pandemic to return to his childhood home in Kansas with his Conservative parents, he finds himself standing still for the first time.

As Jesse battles his writer’s block in a country that no longer feels like home, his mother struggles to reach out to the son she never really knew.

Adapted for the stage from NCTC’s critically-acclaimed audio drama, Interlude is a personal and tender snapshot of one man’s search for connection.

As part of NCTC’s continued commitment to deepen and enrich relationships within the local Queer BIPOC community, this production will partner with the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center, the first holistic wellness center in California founded and led by Black LGBTQ+ people in support of the entire LGBTQ+ community.

At every performance, audience members will have the opportunity to donate directly to Oakland LGBTQ Community Center through NCTC’s new Share the Love donation bucket in the lobby.

To ease our audiences back to being in the theatre, this is a performance with a small cast of just two people in the larger Decker theatre with limited seat capacity. All guests older than 12 years of age will be required to present proof of vaccination and wear masks while at the theatre.

NCTC also requires all actors, staff, and volunteers to be fully vaccinated, and all front of house staff will be masked during performances.

There are limited exemptions to vaccination requirements such as religious beliefs and qualifying medical reasons and those guests must present a negative COVID-19 test that was taken no more than 72 hours prior to the performance date.

Lastly, while there will be an intermission, Mason’s Bar will not be open during the run of Interlude. If we've learned anything in the last year, it is that the panoply of safety recommendations can shift rapidly and we will continue to shift alongside them as we prepare for opening our doors in October.

Interlude is the first show in NCTC’s 40th anniversary season, which highlights a diverse array of playwrights and performers, exceptional transformative tales, and the type of groundbreaking theatre patrons have come to expect from NCTC.

Since 1981, NCTC’s mission has been to effect personal & societal growth, and bring enlightenment and change for youth, artists, and the queer & allied communities.

NCTC has grown into a pillar of the local LGBTQ+ community, starting the nation’s first theatre program to develop/present AIDS education productions for youth in 1986, and launching New Voices/New Work, a program which has expanded the canon of LGBTQ-themed plays since its inception in 2002, of which Interlude is the newest production.

Playing October 13 – November 7, 2021. Interlude’s Opening Night is Saturday, October 16, 2021 at 8pm. Tickets are $25–55 and will be available at, by emailing or by calling (415) 861-8972. and HERE.

Onstage Insight, Post-Show Discussion featuring the cast, and moderated by the director will take place after the performance on Sunday, Oct. 24 at 2pm.

“...A beautifully written and spoken audio drama” declares Broadway World. “...A simple, yet deeply incisive memory-play about the power of reflection and loneliness” acclaims Theatrius. (visit website for more amazing review commentary)

Playwright Harrison David Rivers is the winner of the 2018 Relentless Award for The Bandaged Place. His other plays include When Last We Flew (GLAAD Media Award), Sweet (AUDELCO nomination), Where Storms Are Born (Berkshire Theatre Award nomination, Edgerton Foundation New Play Award), This Bitter Earth (NCTC World Premiere, MN Theatre Award for Exceptional New Work, Lavender Magazine citation for Outstanding New Playwriting), Five Points (MN Theatre Award for Exceptional New Work, BroadwayWorld Minneapolis Award for Best New Work, Lavender Magazine citation for Outstanding New Playwriting), and Broadbend, Arkansas (Broadway Black’s Antonyo Award nomination for Best Book of a Musical, Times Square Chronicles citation for Best New Off-Broadway Musical and Outstanding Book of a Musical). Harrison was named a Runner-up for the 2018 Artist of the Year by the Star Tribune and a 2017 Artist of the Year by City Pages.

Director ShawnJ West is a California-based director and actor. West relocated to the Bay Area almost nine years ago after 16 years in Seattle, WA where he directed productions of the Seattle cult hit Sex In Seattle: Episodes 15, 16, 17 & 18 with SIS Productions; ReAct’s production of WELL; and the 2009 West Coast premiere of Illyria and The Seven Year Itch with Redwood Theatre. His Bay Area directing credits include the Playwright Center San Francisco’s shorts and showcase, the African American Shakespeare Company’s production of Cinderella, A Soulful Christmas with Lorraine Hansberry Theatre as well as assistant director on Macbeth also with the African American Shakespeare Company.

The cast of Interlude: includes Donald Ray Antoine (Jesse) and Jan Hunter (Sheryl).

Artistic Director: Ed Decker and Executive Producer: Barbara Hodgen

The Interlude creative team includes technical direction, set design, and projection co-design by Carlos Aceves, projection co-design by William Campbell, production management & casting coordination by Stephanie Desnoyers, costume design by Corrida Godbold, dramaturgy by Jewelle Gomez, props design by Jorge R. Hernández, lighting design by Kevin Myrick, stage management by Elspeth Sweatman, and sound design by Kalon Thibodeaux.

New Conservatory Theatre Center has been San Francisco’s premier LGBTQ+ and Allied performing arts institution and progressive arts education conservatory since 1981. NCTC is renowned for its diverse range of innovative, high-quality productions, touring productions and shows for young audiences; its foundational anti-bullying work with youth and educators through YouthAware; and its commitment to developing new plays to continue expanding the canon of queer and allied dramatic work. Supported in part by The Bernard Osher Foundation, Horizons Foundation, Grants for the Arts and the generosity of NCTC's individual donors.



P.S. Mel and Carol will see you there Sat Night OCT 23rd!

By Melanie Nathan African Human Rights Coalition ( Executive Director Speaker: Blog: Oblogdee.Blog


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