Thu April 18 - Sun April 21, 2024

The Pride of Lions

An Electrifying World Premiere about a Birth of American Drag and Gender Consciousness.

Based on true events surrounding Mae West's 1928 Broadway premiere of Pleasure Man, after which the entire cast was charged in a mass arrest for "indecency," The Pride of Lions transforms the 700 square feet of Theatre Rhinoceros's Castro venue into a Prohibition-era tinderbox. Immersed in the action, audiences will bear immediate witness to these performers, among them drag queens and trans women, in a fight for dignity as they weave a new gender consciousness and bend the realities of desire from a shared jail cell. Mason's imagining of these recorded events, decades before Stonewall, and even before Compton's Cafeteria in San Francisco, brings light and life to what we know: trans and gender-nonconforming people have always existed, no matter the historical efforts to erase their lives, and despite persecution in all its forms, they will continue. It is up to the rest of us - the audience, witnesses, bystanders - if they will have to keep facing this cycle of violence.

The Pride of Lions is directed by Ely Sonny Orquiza, stars seven Bay Area actors, and is supported by a mighty creative team of both local and Southern California design talent.

This production is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, Grants for the Arts, Horizons Foundation, The Geller-Sullivan Trust, The Bob Ross Foundation, Tom Horn, Ira Kurlander and Andy Guest, and the donors and supporters of Theatre Rhinoceros.
An Electrifying World Premiere about a Birth of American Drag and Gender Consciousness.

Based on true events surrounding Mae West's 1928 Broadway premiere of Pleasure Man, after which the entire cast was charged in a mass arrest for "indecency," The Pride of Lions transforms the 700 square feet of Theatre Rhinoceros's Castro venue into a Prohibition-era tinderbox. Immersed in the action, audiences will bear immediate witness to these performers, among them drag queens and trans women, in a fight for dignity as they weave a new gender consciousness and bend the realities of desire from a shared jail cell. Mason's imagining of these recorded events, decades before Stonewall, and even before Compton's Cafeteria in San Francisco, brings light and life to what we know: trans and gender-nonconforming people have always existed, no matter the historical efforts to erase their lives, and despite persecution in all its forms, they will continue. It is up to the rest of us - the audience, witnesses, bystanders - if they will have to keep facing this cycle of violence.

The Pride of Lions is directed by Ely Sonny Orquiza, stars seven Bay Area actors, and is supported by a mighty creative team of both local and Southern California design talent.

This production is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, Grants for the Arts, Horizons Foundation, The Geller-Sullivan Trust, The Bob Ross Foundation, Tom Horn, Ira Kurlander and Andy Guest, and the donors and supporters of Theatre Rhinoceros.
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Date/Times:
  • Thu Apr 18 (8pm)
  • Fri Apr 19 (8pm)
  • Sat Apr 20 (8pm)
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Theatre Rhinoceros 4 Upcoming Events
4229 18th Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

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