Complete video of 2013-2014 show:
July 4th, 1969. It’s a Friday. As they have for the last four years, lesbian and gay rights organizers gather outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia. They are participating in the Fifth Annual Reminder, a solemn, peaceful protest with a strictly enforced dress code. This year, however, something is different. Last weekend spontaneous, violent protests erupted in New York City after a bar called the Stonewall Inn was raided by police. Many at the Annual Reminder are still on fire with the excitement of the week’s events. They saw the power of the LGBTQ community when we stop trying to hide and fit in, when we fight back. As the group of protesters continue to circle in front of Independence Hall, two unknown women hold hands. The protesters immediately react. Some try to stop the indecent display of affection. Others decide to join in. In this moment, at the Final Annual Reminder, the LGBTQ movement takes a decisive step away from polite conformity and towards what we know today as Pride.
Before Pride, a new play created and performed by the Dreams of Hope theater ensemble, follows the personal and historical journeys we take as an LGBTQ community to arrive at Pride. Inspired by the ensemble’s interviews with community leaders in Pittsburgh, historical research, and our own experiences, Before Pride asks, “Where have we come from and where are we going?” The ensemble worked with four local artists to develop original text, music, and dance for this hour-long performance.