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Hudson Valley Premiere of FUN HOME at the CENTER for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck

Rhinebeck Theatre Society (RTS) is producing the regional premiere of the musical FUN HOME. Winner of the 2015 Tony award for best musical, this innovative show reinvents the classic coming-of-age story. Based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir of the same title, the musical follows her memories of her sexual awakening and her father’s suicide. The production runs now through June 24th at The CENTER for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck, on Fridays & Saturdays at 8 PM, and Sundays at 3 PM.

RTS is excited to debut the first-ever “Pay What You Will” Fridays, where patrons can pay as much or as little for a ticket with cash or check at the door. Tickets cost $27, with senior discount to $25; $20 student tickets are sold at the door with valid ID. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling call the box office at (845) 876-3080.

Fun Home traces the story of Alison Bechdel’s life as she struggles to write her own graphic autobiography. As Alison reflects on her past, she strugges to make sense of her relationship with her father, Bruce, a closeted gay man and owner of the family business, the Bechdel Funeral Home. As she watches her father’s self-loathing consume him, Alison recognizes her own experience of discovering, and ultimately embracing, her own identity as a lesbian. As Fun Home progresses, Alison is drawn deeper and deeper into her memories, desperate (but unable) to reverse her father’s self-destruction. A poignant and groundbreaking musical, Fun Home explores the haunting pull of memory and the power it has to shape our identity.

A 2015 report from the New York State LGBT Health and Human Services Network shows that LGBTQ people in the Hudson Valley also deal with limited or poor media representation, family estrangement, limited access to affirming healthcare, and severe social isolation. Fun Home’s honest representation of LGBTQ narratives is particularly impactful with a cast of nine local actors, many of whom identify as LGBTQ, especially for specially invited audiences of local high school Gay-Straight Alliances.

Alison Bechdel’s self-syndicated comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For became a subversive reference point in lesbian culture globally and an archive of lesbian history between 1983 to 2008. In 2006 she published Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, which Time named the Best Book of 2006.

With funding support from Arts Mid-Hudson and partnership with the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center, RTS is proud to engage the greater Rhinebeck community with this production. Fun Home is one of a series of plays with strong women protagonists in the RTS’s 2018 “Season of Women.” RTS invited area high schools’ Gay-Straight Alliances to attend the show and participate in a Q&A session. Oblong Books is sponsoring a promotional event and panel discussion, and has stocked plenty of copies of Bechdel’s graphic novel.

FUN HOME was written by Lisa Kron, Jeanine Tesori, and Alison Bechdel. The Rhinebeck Theatre Society production is directed by Dorothy Luongo and produced by Kirstin Horn. The CENTER for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck is located at 661 Route 308. For more information, contact Dorothy Luongo at dorothyluongo@gmail.com

 

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