Interact Invites The LGBTQ+ Community To Their Night Out
In a world where inclusion is as important as identity, it is worth seeing how much we are being included in many different ways.
That is why Interact, “a visual and performing arts studio for local artists and performers with disabilities,” will host a Queer Night Out for the Twin Cities LGBTQ+ community on November 16 at the Luminary Arts Center in Minneapolis. The evening includes a social hour from 6:00-6:45 p.m. followed by the 7:00 p.m. performance of Interact’s new show, Hell is Empty and All the Devils Are Here… Again!
This original production is described as “a collaborative show between the ensemble of actors, singers and dancers, with and without disabilities.” The performance piece uses “sketch comedy, song, and slapstick” to tell the story about “our crazy world through the lens of a funhouse mirror.” The themes used to tell this story touches upon a lot of current affairs issues that holds nothing back through the lens of the titular character, the Devil.
Jeanne Calvitt, Founder and Executive Directorof Interact, started this group in 1996 after immersing herself in various ventures merging the arts with serving people with disabilities. Calvitt asked herself a question prior to founding Interact: “Could you do a performance with this group of people…with people with mental illness? Could you do a performance with these brain injured people? In those, I call that the ’80s was my laboratory where I did so many shows with so many different people.”
From that point, Calvitt and her company produced many performances over the years. Among the staff and performers are people form the LGBTQ+, including people with disabilities. “Close to a third of our artists with disabilities identify as LGBTQ,” said Calvitt. “Staff-wise, it’s probably even more. We’ve always had a very high percentage of gay staff and artists.”
Calvitt also explained that “a lot of our artists have transitioned, and a lot of our artists just like to wear drag. They literally show up at Interact and whatever, female clothes or male clothes. They love drag as just an art form. We’ve had probably drag and almost all of our shows on some level because many of our actors like to perform in drag. It’s just been a big part of our culture because it is radically inclusive.”
As patrons of the arts, Calvitt and Interact are inviting us to join in their Queer Night Performance. “We feel like that’s an underrepresented part of the queer community.,” said Calvitt. “But we want to entertain people. We want to educate them. I think our artists identify as queer would love to perform for their community. I think they would. I just think, why did it take us so long to come up with this idea?”
In the arts world, LGBTQ+-focused events are becoming part of what they do for us. To not only bridge the organization and its LGBTQ+ staff and performers with patrons, but to seek further support from our community. Interact is one organization that would love us to attend on Thursday evening, November 16th, at the Luminary Arts Center in Minneapolis. Get your tickets soon!
Hell is Empty and All the Devils Are Here… Again!
Queer Night Out: November 16 starting at 6:00 PM
Luminary Arts Center 700 N. First St., Minneapolis