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After Orlando 

When: Dec. 12-13, 7 p.m. 2016
Price: Donations accepted

On June 12 of this year, the worst act of violence against the LGBTQ community in U.S. history occurred at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. Even those of us not directly connected to the tragedy were affected by it. In cities all over the world, including our own, people in mourning held vigils and spoke out against LGBTQ hate crimes.

New York-based Missing Bolts Productions, which develops and presents new works for theater and film, reached out in the aftermath of this tragedy, collecting short plays from all over the world that were written in response. They curated the submissions down to 70 and asked theater companies to present staged readings as part of After Orlando, an international theater action, taking place between Sept. 12 and Jan. 31.

Chris Medina, art director of Funky Little Theater Company, heard about After Orlando from some friends and knew immediately that he wanted to get involved. After participating in the powerful performance in Denver last month, he set about bringing After Orlando to Colorado Springs. One of his own friends was at Pulse that night, so the issue is close to his heart, but he acknowledges that you didn't have to be there — or know someone who was — to be affected by what happened. "I'm hoping that something like this will help bring people together," he says.

Medina enlisted the help of Kala Roquemore of THEATREdART and set about whittling down the 70 available plays to a more manageable 12. With so many to choose from, this won't be a direct copy of Denver's performance. Plus, the proceeds will benefit an organization closer to home than the Human Rights Campaign, which received donations from the Denver event.

In order to keep the money local, Medina got involved with Inside/Out Youth Services, our community LGBTQ youth center. All donations will benefit the organization and its Give! Campaign.

"I enjoy the Human Rights Campaign," Medina says, "but Inside/Out is such a humble space. I think it's more special to do it for something no one knows versus something everyone knows."

The concept of After Orlando may be international, but this performance is rooted in local collaboration, and not just thanks to its Give! beneficiary. In addition to the 12 staged readings by local actors, After Orlando will feature poetry readings by youths from Inside/Out as well as a silent auction with items donated by local businesses and arts organizations.

Today marks the six-month anniversary of the Orlando shooting, so now is a good time to join in remembrance — to show solidarity with our local LGBTQ community while honoring Orlando's.

7 p.m. Dec. 12-13, Funky Little Theater Company, 2109 Templeton Gap Road, bring proof of donation to Inside/Out for admission (indygive.com/donate), funkylittletheater.org.

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