Dear ONE: Love & Longing in Mid-Century Queer America | Los Angeles Public Library
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Dear ONE: Love & Longing in Mid-Century Queer America

A Dramatic Reading adapted and directed by Zsa Zsa Gershick
Performed by Dalila Ali Rajah, Zsa Zsa Gershick, Hunter Lee Hughes, Paul Jacek, and Beverly Mickins; Q&A with Letters to ONE editor Craig M. Loftin
Saturday, June 28, 2014
Episode Summary

“Dear ONE,” illuminates the lives of ordinary queer Americans as recounted through letters written between 1953 and 1967, to L.A.’s ONE Magazine, the first openly gay and lesbian periodical in the United States. Looking for love, friendship, advice or understanding, readers wrote of loneliness and longing, of joy and fulfillment, and of their daily lives, hidden from history. This dramatic reading is adapted and directed by Zsa Zsa Gershick from material from ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at USC.

Participant(s) Bio

Dalila Ali Rajah is an actress, published poet, dancer, spoken-word artist and filmmaker. As co-creator, executive producer and co-host of the successful late-night talk show, Cherry Bomb!she helped guide the show fromits beginnings on the Web to television on Canada’s OutTV. Her most recent project, Secrets & Toys, which she wrote, produced and stars in, is currently on the festival circuit.

Zsa Zsa Gershick is the writer/director of the award-winning short film "Door Prize," which has screened at more than 100 film festivals worldwide; the author of the plays "Coming Attractions" and "Bluebonnet Court" (winner of the GLAAD Award for Outstanding Los Angeles Theatre); and the books Gay Old Girls and Secret Service: Untold Stories of Lesbians in the Military. She is a Dramatists Guild member and a USC alumnus.

Hunter Lee Hughes began acting at age 12, in his hometown of Houston. Roles include ‘Bobby’ in the 25th anniversary production of Thomas Babe’s A Prayer for my Daughter (directed by Dorothy Lyman), ‘Frank Colby’ in the television pilot Project: X (directed by Starling Price) and, most recently, the lead role of ‘Evan’ in the film Narcissist (directed by Eric Casaccio). Hunter has appeared in a number of projects for Fatelink Productions, which he founded, including Fate of the Monarchs, The Sermons of John Bradley, Winner Takes All, and the upcoming feature film,Guys Reading Poems.

Teacher, author, actor and stand up comic, Paul Jacek received his theater training at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts/West. A regular at the World Famous Comedy Store, he headlines nationwide and has been profiled in The New Yorkerand in Edgemagazine. He has written for and with Joan Rivers, Jack Burns and Carl Reiner, and is honored to be involved withDear ONE.

Craig M. Loftin is the author of Masked Voices: Gay Men and Lesbians in Cold War America and the editor of Letters to ONE: Gay and Lesbian Voices in the 1950s and 1960s. He has a Ph.D. in History from the University of Southern California and currently teaches in the American Studies Department at Cal State Fullerton.

Beverly Mickins is an actor, writer, storyteller and singer.She has appeared onstage in New York and Los Angeles, and was featured on thirtysomething and Judging Amy. She is the creator and founder of L.A.’s longest running storytelling venue Story Salon, for which she earneda Women in Theater Award.Featured on KABC and KNBC, Story Salon recently published The Story Salon Big Book of Stories, a compilation of 40 original stories. Beverly wrote and performed her successful solo showThe Driving Piece, and started the popular Party Pack series, which combines singing and storytelling. She can be heard regularly on Story Salon podcasts at Beverly’s CD Everybody’s Talking is available on Amazon.comand iTunes.