May 2nd, 2015

andrew potter

Christopher Oram & Michael Grandage

Christopher Oram is a British theatre set and costume designer.

He trained at the West Sussex College of Art and Design (latterly Northbrook College) and at Wimbledon School of Art.

Early assisting work for designers Anthony Ward and Ian MacNeil, included "Assassins" at the Donmar Warehouse, "Oliver!" at the London Palladium and "An Inspector Calls" and "Machinal" at the National Theatre.

Having designed extensively on the fringe in London, he began a long term creative collaboration with the director Michael Grandage whom he met in 1995 when they first worked together on Arthur Miller's "The Last Yankee" in Colchester.

Their subsequent professional partnership at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield includes "As You Like It" with Victoria Hamilton (also Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith); "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" and "Richard III" with Kenneth Branagh; "Edward II" with Joseph Fiennes; "Suddenly Last Summer" with Victoria Hamilton and Diana Rigg (also Albery Theatre); "The Tempest" with Derek Jacobi (also Old Vic) and "Don Carlos" with Derek Jacobi (also Gielgud Theatre).

Collaborations at the Donmar Warehouse include "Good" with Charles Dance; "Passion Play", "Privates on Parade" with Roger Allam, "Caligula" with Michael Sheen; 'The Vortex"; "Merrily We Roll Along"; "Grand Hotel"; Pirandello's "Henry IV" with Ian McDiarmid, "Don Juan in Soho" with Rhys Ifans, "Frost/Nixon" with Frank Langella and Michael Sheen (also West End and Broadway), "Othello" with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Ewan McGregor, "Red" with Alfred Molina and Eddie Redmayne (which subsequently transferred to the Golden Theatre, Broadway) and "King Lear" with Derek Jacobi.


Evita – Opening – Christopher Oram - Michael Grandage
Christopher Oram is a British theatre set and costume designer. Having designed extensively on the fringe in London, he began a long term creative collaboration with the director Michael Grandage whom he met in 1995 when they first worked together on Arthur Miller's "The Last Yankee" in Colchester. Michael Grandage is a British theatre director and producer. He is currently Artistic Director of the Michael Grandage Company. From 2002 to 2012 he was Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse in London.


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Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Oram

Michael Grandage CBE (born 2 May 1962) is a British theatre director and producer. He is currently Artistic Director of the Michael Grandage Company. From 2002 to 2012 he was Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse in London.

Grandage was born in Yorkshire, England, and raised in Penzance, Cornwall where his parents ran a family business. He was educated at the Humphry Davy Grammar School before training as an actor at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama through 1984. He spent twelve years working as an actor for companies such as the Royal Exchange and the Royal Shakespeare Company and was also a member of National Youth Theatre before turning to directing. He made his directorial debut in 1996 with a production of Arthur Miller's The Last Yankee at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester. In 1998 he was invited by Sheffield Theatres to direct Twelfth Night, his first Shakespeare production. In the same year he made his London directorial debut at the Almeida Theatre with a production of Shaw's The Doctor's Dilemma. He lives in London and Cornwall with his partner, the award-winning British theatre designer Christopher Oram.

From 1999 to 2005 he was Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres where his high-profile productions included Edward II with Joseph Fiennes, Richard III with Kenneth Branagh, Suddenly Last Summer with Diana Rigg and Victoria Hamilton, The Tempest with Derek Jacobi and Don Carlos with Derek Jacobi. He produced over forty plays with predominantly young directors and designers. The Crucible was awarded Theatrical Management Association Theatre of the Year in 2001.

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Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Grandage

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andrew potter

Lillian Foster & Mabel Hampton

Mabel Hampton (May 2, 1902-October 26, 1989) was an American lesbian activist, a dancer during the Harlem Renaissance, and a philanthropist for both black and lesbian/gay organizations.

Born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on May 2, 1902, Hampton was only two months old when her mother died. She was then raised by her grandmother, who died when Hampton was seven years old.

In 1909, the seven-year-old Hampton was put on a train to New York City, where she went to live with her aunt and uncle. Within a year Hampton ran away from that home, having been raped by her uncle and treated poorly by the family.

From ages eight to 17, Hampton lived with a white family in New Jersey; during that time, she was wrongfully imprisoned for prostitution. Eventually, she found work as a dancer in an all-women's dance troupe on Coney Island, New York.

In the 1920s, Hampton danced in all-black productions for Harlem Renaissance notables, including Jackie "Moms" Mabley. This artistic, political and cultural milieu provided Hampton access to other dancers, artists, and gays and lesbians.

As dance work declined, Hampton left the chorus lines. As quoted by Erin Sexton-Sayler, Hampton explained, "I like to eat." At this point, Hampton began what was to be her longest career: a cleaning woman for white families in New York City. The daughter of one of these families went on to found the Lesbian Herstory Archives in New York City.


Mabel Hampton (May 2, 1902 - October 26, 1989) was an American lesbian activist, a dancer during the Harlem Renaissance, and a philanthropist for both black and lesbian/gay organizations. Mabel Hampton enjoyed a romantic and sexual relationship with Lillian Foster, whom Hampton met in 1932. The two remained a couple until Foster's death in 1978. Hampton volunteered for the New York Defense Recreation Committee (1943); she collected cigarettes and refreshments for American World War II soldiers.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mabel_Hampton

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Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1500563323
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325
Amazon: Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time

Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher


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andrew potter

Donna M. Smith & Valerie Jarrard

Donna May Smith was born on May 2, 1919, and was raised in Los Angeles, California. After graduating from high school, she found employment as a secretary in the offices of a union in the film industry. In 1939, she came out to a small group of lesbians and soon after she met her partner of 40 years, Valerie Jarrard. When Smith's mother learned of the relationship, she had her daughter arrested and committed to a mental institution. This experience was briefly documented in Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community (1985) and in Dorothy Engleman's Pride and Prejudice (1992).

In the early 1980s, Smith became increasingly involved in lesbian and gay, animal welfare, and environmental organizations. In her later years she freelanced as bookkeeper and used those skills as Treasurer of the International Gay & Lesbian Archives and of the Society of Senior Gay & Lesbian Citizens' Project Rainbow. She died in Santa Monica, California on February 22, 1992.

Her papers are held at ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives: Correspondence, photographs, vacation journals, and educational materials, 1940s to 1992, documenting the life of Donna M. Smith; her relationship with her partner of 40 years, Valerie Jarrard; her relationship to other friends, in particular Celia Hunter, Ruth Poirier and Doris Pressler; and her involvement with lesbian and gay rights, the environment, and animal welfare.

Source: www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt5w1025w1/

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Edward Albee & Jonathan Thomas

Edward Franklin Albee III (born March 12, 1928) is an American playwright who is best known for The Zoo Story (1958), The Sandbox (1959), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962), and a rewrite of the book for the unsuccessful musical version of Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's (1966). His works are considered well-crafted, often unsympathetic examinations of the modern condition. His early works reflect a mastery and Americanization of the Theatre of the Absurd that found its peak in works by European playwrights such as Jean Genet, Samuel Beckett, and Eugène Ionesco. Younger American playwrights, such as Paula Vogel, credit Albee's daring mix of theatricalism and biting dialogue with helping to reinvent the post-war American theatre in the early 1960s. Albee continues to experiment in new works, such as The Goat: or, Who Is Sylvia? (2002). (Picture: Edward Albee, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1961)

According to Magill's Survey of American Literature (2007), Edward Albee was born somewhere in Virginia (the popular belief is that he was born in Washington, D.C.). He was adopted two weeks later and taken to Larchmont, New York in Westchester County, where he grew up. Albee's adoptive father, Reed A. Albee, the wealthy son of vaudeville magnate Edward Franklin Albee II, owned several theaters. Here the young Edward first gained familiarity with the theatre as a child. His adoptive mother, Reed's third wife, Frances tried to raise Albee to fit into their social circles.

Albee attended the Clinton High School, then the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, from which he was expelled. He then was sent to Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, Pennsylvania, where he was dismissed in less than a year. He enrolled at The Choate School (now Choate Rosemary Hall) in Wallingford, Connecticut, graduating in 1946. His formal education continued at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where he was expelled in 1947 for skipping classes and refusing to attend compulsory chapel. In response to his expulsion, Albee's play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is believed to be based on his experiences at Trinity College.


Edward Albee is an American playwright who is best known for The Zoo Story, The Sandbox, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and a rewrite of the book for the musical version of Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's. Albee's longtime partner, Jonathan Thomas, a sculptor, died on May 2, 2005, from bladder cancer. Albee was a heavy drinker, but the problem became particularly acute in the early 70s. He stopped with the help of Jonathan Thomas, with whom he has been with since 1971 "I'd be dead without him"

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Albee

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Jonathan Thomas, a sculptor who exhibited widely in North America, died on May 2, 2005, at his home in New York. He was 59.

The cause was bladder cancer, said his long-time partner, the playwright Edward Albee. Albee was a heavy drinker, but the problem became particularly acute in the early 70s. He stopped with the help of Thomas, with whom he has been with since 1971 ("I'd be dead without him," he told Gussow), but suffered several spectacular falls off the wagon.

Mr. Thomas worked in wood, wood pulp, polymer resin and steel to create a series of abstract, African-inspired totems. He also exhibited related works called language robes, which were bannerlike constructions draped over armatures.

He was born in Hamilton, Ontario, and earned a bachelor's degree in science and mathematics in 1968 and another in art history in 1969, both from McMaster University in Ontario. He did graduate studies in art history at the University of Toronto.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/06/arts/design/06thomas.html?_r=1&

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andrew potter

Lisa A. Barnett & Melissa Scott

Melissa Scott was born (1960) and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas, with a brief excursion to Mississippi when she was 2. She got her AB from Harvard and her PhD from Brandeis in comparative history. She has always loved SF, and has sold more than 20 SF and fantasy novels, including Trouble and Her Friends, Dreamships, and Point of Dreams (and its prequel Points of Hope), these last two written with her late partner, Lisa Barnett, passed away in 2006

Melissa Scott is a science fiction and fantasy author noted for her science fiction novels featuring LGBT characters and elaborate settings.

She published her first novel in 1984, and has since written some two dozen science fiction and fantasy works, including three co-authored with her partner, Lisa A. Barnett.

Scott's work is known for the elaborate and well-constructed settings. While many of her protagonists are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender, this is perfectly integrated into the rest of the story and is rarely a major focus of the story. Shadow Man, alone among Scott's works, focuses explicitly on issues of sexuality and gender.

She won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in Science Fiction in 1986, and has won several Lambda Literary Awards.

In addition to writing, Scott also teaches writing, offering classes via her website and publishing a writing guide.

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Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melissa_Scott_(writer)

Lisa A. Barnett (ca. 1958 – May 2, 2006) was an American Lambda Literary Award winning science fiction writer.

Born and raised in Dorchester, Massachusetts, she attended the Girls' Latin School. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts, Boston with a bachelor's degree in English, Ms. Barnett worked at Baker's Plays before being hired as an editor at Heinemann publishing company in 1988.

She lived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with her partner of more than two decades, author Melissa Scott, until her death from breast cancer and brain cancer on May 2, 2006.

She was also survived by two sisters, a brother and two nephews.
Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisa_A._Barnett

Further Readings:

Point of Dreams: A Novel of Astreiant by Melissa Scott & Lisa A. Barnett
Paperback: 314 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press (March 9, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590213130
ISBN-13: 978-1590213131
Amazon: Point of Dreams: A Novel of Astreiant
Amazon Kindle: Point of Dreams: A Novel of Astreiant

The city of Astreiant has gone crazy with enthusiasm for a new play, ''The Drowned Island,'' a lurid farrago of melodrama and innuendo. Pointsman Nicolas Rathe is not amused, however, at a real dead body on stage and must investigate. A string of murders follow, perhaps related to the politically important masque that is to play on that same stage. Rathe must once again recruit the help of his lover, former soldier Philip Eslingen, whose knowledge of actors and the stage, and of the depths of human perversity and violence, blends well with Rathe's own hard-won experience with human greed and magical mayhem.

Their task is complicated by the season, for it is the time of year when the spirits of the dead haunt the city and influence everyone, and also by the change in their relationship when the loss of Philip's job forces him to move in with Nicolas. Mystery, political intrigue, floral magic, astrology, and romance--both theatrical and personal-- combine to make this a compelling read.

A winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Best LGBT Speculative Fiction!

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andrew potter

Nick Bienes & Rhea Gallaher

Judith Gould is a fictional American writer of romance novels, and is the pseudonym used by co-authors: Nicholas Peter "Nick" Bienes and Rhea Gallaher, who are actually both men. Gould is a New York Times bestselling author whose books have been translated into 22 languages.

In addition to being writing partners, Bienes and Gallaher are also involved romantically. They currently live together in room 600 of the famous Hotel Chelsea in New York City, regarded as the hotel's most luxurious suite.

Nick Bienes was born on January 9, 1952 in a small town in Austria, and baptized Klaus Peter Peer. After his biological father died he was adopted by his aunt, who had married a U.S. American serviceman, and consequently he was renamed Klaus Peter Bienes. He has lived in Austria, Yugoslavia, Germany and the United States. He is a native speaker of both German and English.

Rhea Gallager was born on May 22, 1945. He grew up in Harriman, Tennessee (a small town near Knoxville, Tennessee).

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_Gould

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andrew potter

Scott Blokker & Shaun T.

Shaun Thompson (born May 2, 1978) is an American fitness trainer and choreographer best known for his Insanity and Hip-Hop Abs home fitness programs for adults and children. Shaun is 6 feet 1 inch (185 cm) tall and weighs 175 pounds (79 kg). Shaun T. has been openly bisexual since October 2012 and is married to Scott Blokker.

Shaun T. was raised in Deptford, New Jersey and grew up playing football and baseball and running track. He attended Rowan University, where he received his BS in Sports Science and minored in Theater/Dance. While there he was initiated into Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. After gaining 50 pounds in his freshman year of college, Shaun changed his course of study and became interested in fitness. He now lives in New York City.

Shaun T's career began as a health and fitness specialist/personal trainer and health program manager at Wyeth, a multi-national pharmaceutical company. He also worked at a number of fitness chains, including Equinox Fitness. Shaun began dancing in college, when, at 21, he was required to teach an aerobics class as a part of his Sports Science degree and became an aerobics instructor. After graduating from Rowan University, he moved to Los Angeles to work as a choreographer, dancer and trainer. His first professional work as a dancer was for Mariah Carey. While Thompson was teaching a popular fitness class at Equinox Fitness, he was approached by representatives of Beachbody, LLC. and asked to submit a demo for a workout video.


Shaun Thompson (born May 2, 1978) is an American fitness trainer and choreographer best known for his Insanity and Hip-Hop Abs home fitness programs for adults and children. Shaun is 6 feet 1 inch (185 cm) tall and weighs 175 pounds (79 kg). Shaun T. has been openly bisexual since October 2012 and is married to Scott Blokker. Thompson's fitness programs, along with associated gear and nutritional supplements, are marketed by parent-company Beachbody, as well as through infomercials.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaun_T_%28fitness_trainer%29

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andrew potter

New anthology: A Pride of Poppies

Modern GLBTQI fiction of the Great War

Ten authors - in thirteen stories - explore the experiences of GLBTQI people during World War I. In what ways were their lives the same as or different from those of other people?

A London pub, an English village, a shell-hole on the Front, the outskirts of Thai Nguyen city, a ship in heavy weather off Zeebrugge, a civilian internment camp ... Loves and griefs that must remain unspoken, unexpected freedoms, the tensions between individuality and duty, and every now and then the relief of recognition. You'll find both heartaches and joys in this astonishing range of thought-provoking stories.

An anthology featuring authors:
  • Julie Bozza
  • Barry Brennessel
  • Charlie Cochrane
  • Sam Evans
  • Lou Faulkner
  • Adam Fitzroy
  • Wendy C. Fries
  • Z. McAspurren
  • Eleanor Musgrove
  • Jay Lewis Taylor

65,000 words/260 pages
$5.95

Publication 1 May 2015
For more information and story blurbs, visit the Manifold Press website.
Pre-order the e-books from:
Paperbacks will be available on launch day!

Please note: All proceeds will be donated to The Royal British Legion.

"The editing is superb and the writing exceedingly good to sublime. ... I could not believe the depth and breadth of storytelling in each individual story."
Review by Kazza K at On Top Down Under Book Reviews 11 April 2015



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