Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-03-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Kelli Strickland Talks Hannah Free
Special to the Online Edition of Windy City Times
by Sarah Toce
2010-06-30

This article shared 8595 times since Wed Jun 30, 2010
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Hannah Free rising star Kelli Strickland plays opposite one of the most-celebrated women in television history but the two uber-talented actresses are never in the same scene at the same time. The other phantom actress in this equation is Burn Notice and Queer As Folk star Sharon Gless. Both women will be in the same room at the same time this weekend — Pride Weekend in Chicago.

Recently, I chatted with Kelli Strickland about the long-awaited Hannah Free DVD release, her love of theatre and arts education and what it was really like on the set of the monumental film that has won over the hearts of Americans — gay and straight.

WCT: Hey Kelli! How did you first learn about Hannah Free?

Kelli Strickland: Well, let's see — I was aware of the play for many years because I had worked with Claudia Allen and had directed another one of her plays years ago. Probably eight years ago or something like that. I had her collection of plays in which Hannah Free had appeared in so I knew the story. As for the film adaptation, I received an email from Tracy Baim asking me if I still acted and, at the time, I had been primarily teaching and directing, but I said, "Sure". I really didn't know anything about the project, but when I walked into the room, I saw lots of wonderful faces that I had worked with in the past. Everything from there happened very, very quickly. Within a few weeks it seemed like we were filming and everything was well on its way.

WCT: The filming of Hannah Free was pretty abbreviated.

Kelli Strickland: Yeah, we filmed for 18 days. The location where we filmed was active 24/7. They would film on one set on one floor and then at the same time on another floor, they were tearing down the set and building the next one. Per usual, the actors had a hectic schedule — especially Sharon [ Gless ] who was in the whole darn thing practically. The crew was finishing up at 1:00am and people were getting there with breakfast at 5:00am. It was very, very intense but also really high energy and really vibrant. I don't think I actually understood the scope of everything that was happening at the time it was all happening! Everyone put in 110% because it would've never happened otherwise.

WCT: The end product is outstanding. Viewers can most certainly tell that there was a lot of attention paid to the filming and all of the energy that went into it.

Kelli Strickland: Yeah, I think everyone was pleased with the final product. A lot of love went into it. A lot of longtime supporters of Claudia's work and Sharon's commitment to promoting the film — even long after her commitment to the set was done — she's really just been amazing traveling all over the country to assist in promoting it. I think a lot of people are looking forward to seeing the DVD release and I know many people already have it in their Netflix que.

WCT: What was it like working with Sharon Gless? Obviously, you couldn't be in the same scenes together since you were playing young/old versions of the same character!

Kelli Strickland: Yeah, young Hannah never meets young Hannah in the dream sequences [ laughs ] . We did become pals during this film. She was really generous with me. She shared her time, wisdom and experience. She's fun! She's just a really fun gal to be around. We crossed paths moreso after the filming wrapped during the promotional work. I'll tell you this one story that everyone kind of gets a kick out of. We did a very small rehearsal because between the time she arrived in Chicago and the time we started filming, there was literally no time. The Hannahs and the Rachels did get together prior to the start of shooting and when she arrived in Chicago she had laryngitis and couldn't talk so she was saving what little voice she had for filming. She came into the room and cupped my face into her hands and said, "Oh my God. I see myself in you." We had a kind of immediate connection. I think she was pretty pleased with the casting of her younger self and got a kick out of it and right away we became fast friends.

WCT: What a compliment!

Kelli Strickland: Yeah and she had not much to really base it on except for that I did share with her my impression of the "Cagney Walk" [ laughs ] . One of the things I did during our first rehearsal was watch her mannerisms and try to absorb as much as I could with the little amount of time that we had. So, we were watching each other walk because it was one of the things we were doing and I said, "Here, I'll show you my "Cagney walk" and Sharon laughed and was like, "that is it!".

WCT: Hannah Free circulated over 60 film festivals last year. Were you able to attend any of the screenings?

Kelli Strickland: I think I've been to most of the big ones. I was at Frameline in San Francisco and in New York. Also, obviously in Palm Springs where I met you and also the premiere we had here in Chicago. We've all done some cross-country travel to try to support the film and people's attendance.

WCT: How has your life changed since the release of Hannah Free?

Kelli Strickland: You know, not significantly. I've been a practitioner of theatre in Chicago for, like, 20 years. What I have noticed is that film just reaches such a larger audience. I do notice that when I am out at the gay bars, it's not totally uncommon for people to stare at me for a long time before coming over to me [ laughs ] .

WCT: What's up next for you following the DVD release of Hannah Free?

Kelli Strickland: I am actually on faculty at Loyola so I will resume my teaching and also run an outreach program at the Raven Theatre where we partner with Chicago Public Schools and create arts education in the school system that is woefully short on arts education. That is probably something closest to my heart out of all of my endeavors. I also am working on a play myself so I've been sort of going down that pre-development process. Next spring I'll be back onstage in Chicago at the Raven Theatre again!


This article shared 8595 times since Wed Jun 30, 2010
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

MOVIES 'George Michael: Freedom Uncut' to be released June 22 2022-05-24
- Sony Music Entertainment and Trafalgar Releasing will release the movie George Michael: Freedom Uncut as a global event on Wed., June 22—and it's fitting that the documentary about the late gay singer will air during Pride ...


Gay News

Actor/model David Pevsner challenges age and body stereotypes in recent book 2022-05-24
- When writing his recent book—Damn Shame: Desire, Defiance and Show Tunes—actor/model/filmmaker David Pevsner noticed three themes coming to the fore: body shame, sexuality and ageism. "All three of those are ...


Gay News

Siskel to show 'Judy Garland Summer Centennial Retrospective' 2022-05-23
- This June and July, the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St., will celebrate Judy Garland to mark the 100th anniversary of her birth (June 10, 1922). The Judy Garland Summer Centennial Retrospective will involve ...


Gay News

Five Worth Finding: Chocolate festival, lesbian sci-fi film, 'Smahtguy' 2022-05-16
- —The Long Grove Chocolate Festival: The beloved Chocolate Festival will return to the historic streets and parkways of downtown Long Grove for the first time in three years, May 20-22. Chocolate lovers can experience so much—including ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Queer playwright, LGBTQ+ films, BMI Pop Awards, new superhero 2022-05-15
- Jeremy O. Harris, the queer Tony-nominated author of Slave Play, has been named the presiding playwright for the 2023 Yale Drama Series Prize—one of the theater world's most prestigious playwriting honors, Deadline noted. Harris joins the ...


Gay News

TV Writer Joel Kim Booster, director Andrew Ahn take a trip to 'Fire Island' 2022-05-15
- Based on the classic Jane Austen book Pride and Prejudice, the new Fox Searchlight film Fire Island has an important story to tell LGBTQ+ audiences specifically. In that story, there are plenty of laughs along the ...


Gay News

Peacock to debut horror film 'They/Them' on Aug. 5 2022-05-12
- Peacock announced that its new original film They/Them (pronounced "They-slash-Them), from Blumhouse will premiere Friday, Aug. 5. The LGBTQIA+ horror film, formerly known as Whistler Camp, is a queer empowerment story ...


Gay News

FILM 'The Adventures of Priscilla' to show nationwide on June 2 2022-05-11
- Iconic Events Releasing will kick off Pride Month with a special nationwide rerelease of MGM's classic 1994 Australian film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Screenings will take place in select theaters nationwide on ...


Gay News

COMEDY Netflix holds 'Stand Out: An LGBTQ+ Celebration' 2022-05-09
- On May 7, Billy Eichner hosted Netflix Is A Joke: The Festival's "Stand Out: An LGBTQ+ Celebration" at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. The historic celebration featured LGBTQ+ comedy legends and emerging talent. Highlights included ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Hacks,' 'Love, Victor,' Indy 500, Ariana DeBose, queer singers 2022-05-08
- Queer, non-binary actor Carl Clemons-Hopkins (they/them and he/him) told Out Magazine he is elated with the warm reception received by the show Hacks and his character. "When I started in this years and years ago, there ...


Gay News

Members of the Jane Collective abortion underground to reunite for 'The Janes' screening May 19 2022-05-05
-- From a press release - CHICAGO, Illinois — In the wake of the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion set to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Doc10 today announced that original Jane Collective members will reunite for the ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Broadway Rising,' Webby Awards, 'Kinky Boots,' Tom Ford 2022-05-01
- The upcoming documentary Broadway Rising will have its world premiere on June 13 at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival, Playbill noted. The documentary follows theater subjects—ranging from stage doorman to actors—on their journeys back to the ...


Gay News

DeGeneres shares message after taping final talk-show episode 2022-04-30
- An era has ended as The Ellen Show has officially wrapped its last episode. According to Variety, Ellen DeGeneres announced on an April 29 Twitter thread that her daytime talk show concluded filming its final episode. ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Lily Tomlin, 'The Color Purple,' Walter Mercado, Janelle Monae, Loki 2022-04-24
Video below - In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, legendary actress/comedian Lily Tomlin discussed a variety of topics, including comedy and the Oscars. About the Academy Awards, she said, "I sometimes think they shouldn't be able to tread ...


Gay News

Billy Masters 2022-04-18
- "I'd never done that before—on camera, at least. … I don't think."—Harry Styles discussed shooting sex scenes for his upcoming movie My Policeman (with both Emma Corrin and David Dawson) and Don't Worry Darling (wit ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.