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 2021-12-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor


  WINDY CITY TIMES

Ten Dollar House: A tale of two men and a house
2016-01-06

This article shared 5682 times since Wed Jan 6, 2016
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


It was a honeymoon journey through Wisconsin that inspired Evanston-based husband-and-wife team Rick Kinnebrew and Martha Meyer to write Ten Dollar House. Pride Films and Plays presents the Chicago-area debut of the new play this month, which is very appropriate because an earlier version of the work was previously submitted for one of the company's many LGBTQ writing competitions.

The Wisconsin town of Mineral Point ( located about 50 miles southwest of Madison ) sparked the imaginations of Kinnebrew and Meyer when they first learned of the late gay couple Robert Neal and Edgar Hellum. The two men had a passion for antiques and historical preservation, and ultimately helped to save the fortunes of the dying mining town during the difficult years of the Great Depression.

"We toured this house that was a 1830s mining cottage that was restored by Bob and Edgar in the 1930s," said Kinnebrew about the historic Cornish-modeled buildings now known as the Pendarvis historic site. "We were more interested in their story and how they had to be very discreet about their sexual orientation in the community."

Kinnebrew said Neal and Hellum initially planned to run a business selling antiques. Yet it was another of Neal and Hellum's creations and other circumstances which helped turn Mineral Point into an artsy tourist destination.

"We were drawn to it as a love story," said Kinnebrew, adding that he and Meyer also have friends and family members who are gay. "But it has a particular barrier. [Neal and Hellum] couldn't fully be out."

Meyer and Kinnebrew started doing more extensive research to dramatize the many decades that Neal and Hellum lived in Mineral Point for an initial screenplay called The Bachelors. Kinnebrew said that since Neal was such a pack rat, there were plenty of materials and documents to peruse.

Luckily, gay author and historian Will Fellows had already extensively written about Neal and Hellum for his 2004 book A Passion to Preserve: Gay Men as Keepers of Culture. Fellows made many of his materials available to Kinnebrew and Meyer, including an audio interview conducted with Hellum when he was in his 90s.

"We loved hearing his voice," Kinnebrew said. "He had all this wisdom and perspective. It was also poignant because it connected with the idea of all the rich culture had come from gay men throughout history."

Pride Films and Plays ensemble member Tom Chiola has been attached to Ten Dollar House through its many previous iterations and readings. Chiola plays the role of William Gundry, an older gentleman who takes Bob Neal under his wing and tries to impart his knowledge of living a coded life as a "confirmed bachelor" in a small town.

"Back then you needed to be much more circumspect about your private life," said Chiola, mentioning how Gundry suggests to Bob that he travel to big cities for gay assignations. "Bob Neal, however, was not willing to accept that as constricts that were being placed on him and Edgar. They were much more of 'hiding in plain sight.'"

Though Ten Dollar House made its official world premiere debut last year at Broom Street Theater in Madison, Kinnebrew said the script has been thoroughly revised for the Pride Films and Plays production. Kinnebrew credits director Michael D. Graham for helping to steer the play's many rewrites, and his wife for keeping him honest with the characterizations so he's not just writing jokes to make audiences laugh.

Another important aspect to Ten Dollar House for Chiola is the notion of sharing gay American history to audiences.

"My joy in doing this is that we are able to tell a story based upon real people's lives—about Midwestern gay folks who had an impact on where they lived and didn't have to move to a major metropolitan area to live their lives that they found fulfilling," Chiola said. "These are the kind of stories that define, tell and fill in the history of our people."

Pride Films and Plays' Chicago-area premiere of Ten Dollar House plays from Thursday, Jan. 7, through Sunday, Jan. 31, at Piccolo Theatre at the Evanston Arts Depot, 600 Main St., Evanston. Previews are 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Jan. 7 and 8, with an official press opening 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9. Regular run performances are 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays with 3 p.m. matinees Sundays. Preview performances are $15. Regular run performances are $22-$27. Discounts available to seniors and students at select performances. Call 800-737-0984 or visit www.pridefilmsandplays.com .


This article shared 5682 times since Wed Jan 6, 2016
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

PASSAGES Pansy Kings performance artist, education advocate Murray McKay 2022-01-20
- Pansy Kings performance artist, education advocate, curator, designer and LGBTQ activist Edward Murray McKay died Jan. 4 of cancer. He was 53. McKay was born Oct. 2, 1968, in Brussels, Belgium. The family moved to Toronto ...


Gay News

THEATER Red Orchid's 'The Moors' running through Feb. 27 2022-01-15
- A Red Orchid Theatre is running Jen Silverman's The Moors, directed by Artistic Director and Ensemble Member Kirsten Fitzgerald, through Feb. 27 at A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St. The plot is as follows: ...


Gay News

THEATER About Face announces cast of queer-themed 'Laced' 2022-01-14
- About Face Theatre begins its 27th season with the world premiere of Samantha Mueller's drama Laced, running March 17-April 16 at the Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. Set in the aftermath of the vandalism of ...


Gay News

Black Ensemble Theatre announces 2022 Season of Excellence: The Season of Healings 2022-01-14
-- From a press release - Chicago, IL—Black Ensemble Theater's Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor announces its 2022 Season of Excellence: The Season of Healings. The 2022 Season includes four World Premiere musicals showcasing the power ...


Gay News

THEATER DuSable, puppet company to run Toni Morrison's 'The Bluest Eye' 2022-01-13
- The DuSable Museum of African American History is partnering with the 4th Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival to present a production of The Bluest Eye, based on Toni Morrison's 1970 groundbreaking coming-of-age novel. The production will ...


Gay News

THEATER 'This Is Only a Test' Feb. 11-March 12 2022-01-12
- Broken Nose Theatre, a pay-what-you-can theater company, is welcoming back live audiences this winter with the world premiere of Eric Reyes Loo's drama This Is Only a Test, directed by Toma Tavares Langston. The production will ...


Gay News

THEATER Queer-themed 'Queen of the Night' to run Jan. 29-March 13 2022-01-11
- Victory Gardens Theater is slated to open its 2021-22 Mainstage Season with Queen of the Night, written by travis tate and directed by Victory Gardens Artistic Director Ken-Matt Martin. Queen of the Night features Terry Guest ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Mary Rose' running through Feb. 12 2022-01-10
- Black Button Eyes (BBE) Productions is concluding its 2021-22 season with the world-premiere musical Mary Rose, featuring book and lyrics by Producing Artistic Director Ed Rutherford, music and lyrics by Jeff Bouthiette, direction by Ed Rutherford ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Queens of Infinite Space' canceled because of COVID 2022-01-07
- With the increase in COVID-19 cases in Chicago and beyond, Proboscis Theatre has decided to cancel the performances of The Queens of Infinite Space set to run at Epiphany Center for Arts, 201 S. Ashland Ave., ...


Gay News

THEATER Steppenwolf delays '1919' premiere due to COVID 2022-01-07
- Due to the COVID-19 surge driven by the Omicron variant, and out of an abundance of caution for public health, Steppenwolf Theatre Company has postponed its Steppenwolf for Young Adults world-premiere adaptation of Eve L. Ewing's ...


Gay News

Mercury Theater Chicago announces casting and artists for 'Women of Soul' 2022-01-06
--From a press release - Chicago —Artistic Director Christopher Chase Carter, Managing Director Shane Murray-Corcoran, and Executive Producers Walter Stearns and Eugene Dizonannounce the cast and creative team for the next Mainstage production of the ...


Gay News

THEATER Trans performer Sis is doin' fine in 'Oklahoma!' 2022-01-05
- This isn't your typical grandma's Oklahoma! The very first musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein opened on Broadway in 1943 and continues to captivate audiences today. The dialogue remains the same, but updated casting choices have ...


Gay News

COVID Raven Theatre cancels production of 'Beautiful Thing' 2022-01-05
- Raven Theatre announced it will cancel its upcoming production of Beautiful Thing due to the current surge of the COVID Omicron variant. The production, written by Jonathan Harvey and directed by Mikael Burke, was slated to ...


Gay News

ATTRACTIONS 'Dr. Seuss' extended through Jan. 23 2022-01-05
- The Dr. Seuss Experience—the immersive spectacle that gives guests of all ages the opportunity to journey through nine different Dr. Seuss books—will now take place on Saturdays and Sundays through Sunday, Jan. 23. The attraction is ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Winnie the Pooh' running March 15-June 12 2022-01-05
- After its run in New York City, Jonathan Rockefeller's Disney's Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation will arrive in Chicago on March 15 and will run through June 12 at the Mercury Theatre Chicago, ...


 



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


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
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      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      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.