‘Southern Baptist Sissies’ takes on the Bible Belt

After bursting onto the Music City theater scene in 2012 with the hard-hitting and shocking Mysterious Skin, KB Productions announces its follow up production, Southern Baptist Sissies, July 5 – 13 at the Darkhorse Theatre.

With its theme of religion clashing with sexuality, Sissies opened to stellar reviews during its original run in Los Angeles and was lauded by critics as “daring, heroic, and no-holds-barred hilarious.”  This is the first opportunity for Middle Tennessee audiences to see a live staging by a Nashville theatre company of this much talked about theatrical event.

Sissies is the unflinching story of four gay boys raised Southern Baptist. Each one confronts what it means to be gay versus what the church says about their homosexuality. No surprise, the church’s condemning nature presents a plethora of conflicting feelings for each of the characters.

The production’s director, Anne-Geri’ Fann and Justin Burgess (co-producer and assistant director) proposed the show because they believed that the story was relevant to the social struggles currently taking place regarding equality. While the societal and religious issues stood at the forefront of Sissies, the production team was also attracted to the razor sharp and often biting comedy found in the script. 

Bringing Sissies to Middle Tennessee has been a long time dream and goal for the show’s co-producer L.T. Kirk (Kirk).  “There couldn’t be a more perfect time for this play,” Kirk notes. “The climate between many churches and the gay community remains contentious and strained, and this play has the possibility of taking the dialogue to another level.”

For Kirk and Burgess, Southern Baptist Sissies is a perfect fit with their mission to present audiences with edgy and controversial works that often don’t find outlets in Nashville. Kirk, the son of a Baptist Minister, said the subject matter hit close to home. “I found myself being able to relate to almost every character on some level,” Kirk noted.  “I’ve felt all of their pain, frustration, anger, and resolve.”

Kirk, who portrays Andrew in the production, counts himself as a survivor of the Exodus program, the ex-gay movement that encourages members to refrain from homosexual behavior.

Kirk believes that an often quoted question from Sissies, “How do you stop the hate that is spewed in the name of the Lord?” will resonate with audiences throughout the mid-state.

The cast includes Nashville stage favorites Cinda McCain, Chuck Long, Danny Proctor, Daniel Vincent, Matt Smith, L.T. Kirk, Josh Stutts and Carl Goad. Anne-Geri’ Fann serves as director, while Justin Burgess is assistant director. Donald Powell and L. T. Kirk are the producers of the show.

Performance dates are July 5 – 7 and 11 – 13.  All performances begin at 7:30 pm except Sunday, July 7, which begins at 2:30 p.m.. The play will be presented at the Darkhorse Theater, 4610 Charlotte Ave.

Tickets are $12 (cash or check) at the door (Seniors $10).  Reservations can be made by calling 615-942-6211, or by email at tickets@kirkburgess.net. There are special buy one, get one free tickets on Opening Night, July 5.



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