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Corona Radio Theater: Theater Rhino & ‘The Lavender Scare’ – SF Gay Men’s Chorus – Dr. Tim Seelig

This week on Open Air, KALW’s radio magazine for the Bay Area Performing Arts in Times of Corona, host David Latulippe welcomes Theater Rhinoceros to the virtual stage of the Corona Radio Theater, with actors Rudy Guerrero (pic 1) and Craig Souza (pic 2) performing The Lavender Scare, written by The Rhino’s executive director, playwright John Fisher (pic 3) - live on the air, via Zoom. 

The Lavender Scare took place during the so-called Red Scare in the 1950s, when former Communist party members in the US government and in Hollywood were persecuted. The Lavender Scare was a moral panic during which homosexuals in the United States government were persecuted, and subsequently dismissed from government service. 

Fisher’s drama unfolds when a gay man finds himself being interrogated by a very strange FBI agent.

We talk with Dr. Tim Seelig, artistic director of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, about the activities of his organization in Times of Corona, which turns out to be plenty. 

For instance, the SFGMC’s documentary Gay Chorus Deep South closes the ongoing (June 1-7) online OUTstream (‘The queerest fest on the net’) festival. The event also includes a livestream Q&A with film director David Charles Rodrigues, Tim Seelig, SFGMC's executive director Chris Verdugo, and an exclusive performance by the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus.

Also, the Chorus launched SFGMC TV, a free online platform showcasing performances, interviews, singer spotlights, and more, so supporters can stay connected with the Chorus during pandemic and beyond by offering content previously scheduled at the National LGBTQ Center for the Arts in a digital format.

And, Tim Seelig wrote a new memoir, titled Tale of Two Tims | Big Ol’ Baptist, Big Ol’ Gay (published by Nurturing Faith) about the two completely separate lives he has lived. During his first 35 years as a successful opera singer as well as a Southern Baptist music minister, university professor, father and husband. Then, at the age of 35, he was outed to his family and church of 22,000 members and lost everything. 

Over the subsequent 34 years, Seelig has built a new life as an LGBTQ and AIDS activist through music—music that soars through venues like Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Davies Symphony Hall during sold-out, transformative performances. 

The book describes his life as grand opera with a little Opryland thrown in along the way.

Open Air with host David Latulippe will broadcast live on Thursday, June 4 at 1pm, archived afterwards above…