Del Shores Foundation celebrates 20 years of 'Sissies'

The Del Shores Foundation is presenting a 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, 2021, 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 going 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.

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.

“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,” explained 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.”

A Who’s Who of Southern Baptist Sissies comes out to support the Del Shores Foundation’s mission

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 from 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 pro

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 at  or on Facebook! For more information on the benefit and the Del Shores Foundation Writers Search, please visit www.delshoresfoundation.org.

Photo courtesy of Joe Eats World

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