Friday February 23 7:45 am

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Pride Films and Plays to Celebrate Valentine’s Day with MY DEAR BOY: GAY LOVE LETTERS THROUGH THE CENTURIES - February 14th

02/14/2018 - 19:30
02/14/2018 - 21:30

Selections from Rictor Norton’s 1997 anthology MY DEAR BOY, which compiled love letters written by the likes of Emperor Marcus Arelius, Bo Juyi, Saint Anselm, Erasmus, Michelangelo, Mashida Toyonoshin, Thomas Gray, William Beckford, Walt Whitman, Tchaikovsky, Henry James, Countee Cullen, William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg – will be performed in a reading adapted from Norton’s book and directed by Paul Cook. Correspondents included in Norton’s book range from kings and aristocrats, musicians and artists, military men and monks, to farm labourers and herring merchants, political activists and aesthetes, black poets and Japanese actors, drag queens and hustlers.

Some of the letters in Norton’s came from books proudly published by their writers and some were published in newspapers and pamphlets as part of political and religious attacks; some came from court records (from the Inquisition to the Old Bailey) and some were discovered in a cardboard box after a house clearance; many have narrowly escaped censorship and suppression.

Norton’s richly diverse collection of letters illustrates the basic theme of romantic love: infatuation, longing, sex, separation, the fear of rejection, jealousy, the joy of reunion, celebration, and debates about "marriage" and "infidelity" in gay relationships. Whether the affairs were stormy or tender, they are, above all, testimonials to an enduring love.

Cook’s cast will include Mark Bracken, David Cameli, Laura Marsh, David Wesley Mitchell, Jesse Montoya, Timothy Swain, Brennan Urbi, and Nik Whitcomb.

The performance will be Wednesday, February 14 at 7:30 pm, in The Buena, Pride Arts Center, 4147 N. Broadway. Tickets are $20 and will be on sale soon at Cast to be announced.

Paul J. Cook (Adapter, Director) is delighted to be collaborating with Pride Films and Plays. Having recently finished a grad program in Southern California, he's glad to be back in his hometown. Recent credits around town include THE LANGUAGE ARCHIVE (Oakton Community College) and LES MISERABLES (the Chicago High School for the Arts). Other favorite experiences include collaborations with Shakespeare Santa Cruz, South Coast Repertory, and the Utah & Nashville Shakespeare Festivals.


Readings from Rictor Norton’s anthology of love letters documenting the heartbreak and joy of love between men for almost two thousand years.
Adapted for the stage and directed by Paul Cook
Wednesday, February 14 – 7:30 pm
The Buena, Pride Arts Center
4147 N. Broadway
Tickets are $20.

Dramatic readings of gay love letters documenting the heartbreak and joy of love between men for almost two thousand years, selected from Rictor Norton’s anthology MY DEAR BOY – LOVE LETTERS THROUGH THE CENTURIES.


Pride Films and Plays creates diverse new work (or work that is new to Chicago) with LGBTQ+ characters or themes that is essential viewing for all audiences. We accomplish this mission through fully-staged productions, writing contests and staged readings, and filming one short film each season.

PFP is the primary tenant in the Pride Arts Center (PAC), which connects and promotes other artists who share our values, creating a safe environment for all. PAC books one-night events or limited runs, cabaret, film, dance, comedy, and other events. PAC opened in 2016 and consists of two performance spaces: The Buena at 4147 N. Broadway which has 50 seats and The Broadway at 4139 N. Broadway which has 85 seats.

Pride Films and Plays is supported by The MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at The Richard Driehaus Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council, City of Chicago’s City Arts Fund, the Elliott Fredland Charitable Trust, Proud to Run, the AmazonSmile Foundation, Arts and Business Foundation, Tap Root Foundation and Alphawood Foundation.

PFP is a member of the Smart Growth Program of the Chicago Community Trust. Pride Films and Plays is a member of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois and The League of Chicago Theatres.

For more information, visit or call 1.800.737.0984.


PRIDE ARTS CENTER has become an important part of the arts environment in the Buena Park neighborhood and beyond. In addition to performances by PFP, (, PAC hosts monthly events including play readings, film screenings, cabaret nights, and variety shows (PAC the House).

Guest productions are also included in the PAC schedule. Find a full calendar of everything happening at PAC here.