News Releases - Local Events
Written by Brandon Williams   
Tuesday, 30 July 2013 10:19
July 29, 2013, DUBUQUE, IA – Better Together Dubuque, Sustainable Dubuque, and 108 Productions announced details of the premiere launch of the I AM Love Campaign’s National Tour at Five Flags Theater and Mindframe Theaters Sept 2-8, 2013.  The week-long Campaign events include performances of 108 Productions’ internationally acclaimed production of Terrence McNally’s CORPUS CHRISTI, screenings of their new documentary CORPUS CHRISTI: PLAYING WITH REDEMPTION, Dubuque Diversity Dialogue open-forum with local leaders, and the I AM Love Awards.

Through a combination screening of the film, performances of the play, and educational outreach, The I AM Love Campaign's Vision is to facilitate a conversation on acceptance and tolerance of all creeds, ages, races, orientations, and genders by allowing a deeper connection to self-love, knowing from this place of awareness real change will manifest.  Said McNally: “Fifteen years after CORPUS CHRISTI premiered in New York, I am thrilled that 108 Productions continues to perform the piece all over the world.  PLAYING WITH REDEMPTION and the I AM Love Campaign add a new dimension to the conversation that my play continues to provoke, and I look forward to CORPUS CHRISTI starting many more conversations around the country."

Said Nic Arnzen and James Brandon, Co-Founders of 108 Productions and the I AM Love Campaign:  “Our tour aims to bridge differences and diversity to empower community collaboration, knowing that through connection, we can learn to become more tolerant and ultimately celebrate, that which we may not understand.  As the voices of intolerance around the world continue preaching ignorance and hate, we will keep raising our voices from a place of Love.”

CORPUS CHRISTI conceived as a modern passion play by McNally (Kiss of the Spider Woman, Master Class, Ragtime), which imagines Jesus as a gay man living in modern-day Texas, ignited a firestorm of unintended controversy upon its debut in 1998. Beginning in 2006, 108 Productions launched a resoundingly successful revival production directed by Nic Arnzen and was lauded by critics, continued to sell out for months at Los Angeles’ Zephyr Theatre, and went on to tour across America. In Europe, the play was an Amnesty International Freedom of Expression nominee at the 2007 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and was awarded the Intercultural Dialogue Award at the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival in 2008.  After, the company celebrated the show’s 10th anniversary Off-Broadway at the Rattlestick Theatre, benefiting the Matthew Shepard Foundation and New York’s Gay Community Center.  The show continued to tour through 2011 nationally and internationally, while a documentary crew followed their travels to less tolerant communities.

Now, seven years later, CORPUS CHRISTI: PLAYING WITH REDEMPTION will begin a tour across the country. The Religious Right meets the 'gay Jesus play' in this documentary film inspired by the play, which continues to face censorship, protests, bomb threats and religious condemnation.  Mirroring the reflections of change in society today in regards to freedom of speech, civil rights, marriage equality and separation of church and state, this production has become a vehicle for a community struggling to find its voice. Meanwhile, the company of actors finds itself on a journey that would forever change their lives.

The I AM Love Awards honors notable advocates who have helped shape the positive dialogue in the LGBT and allied community.  The I AM Love Awards shine a light on local individuals and organizations that use their own love and light to help the community find a clearer path of respectful dialogue and understanding in the face of diversity and fear.  Leading up to the weekend, Dubuquers will have a chance to nominate locals they think should be recognized for embracing diversity, encouraging dialogue, and challenging progressive movement.  Submissions will be taken via Facebook, the campaign/film website, as well as a team of committee members made up of Dubuque residents.  Official announcement of recipients will be August 19, 2013.

Dubuque Diversity Dialogue, facilitated by Better Together Dubuque and 108 Productions, is our community symposium that will give voice to diverse viewpoints and explore peaceful solutions. This dialogue explores issues affecting the community, filtered through themes addressed in the play such as bullying, marriage equality, racial discourse and civil rights.  These leaders, who serve as resources and mentors, are catalysts in assuring the dialogue continues after the Campaign leaves.  The community dialogues are filmed and shared on website and social media forums to strengthen local and national outreach.  Panel members will be announced throughout the month on the campaign/film website.

Praise for 108 Productions’ Tour of CORPUS CHRISTI:

●   "Without the noise of controversy, the play can finally be heard. Staged with admirable delicacy, this 108 Productions revival has moments of hard-won sentiment that will win over the biggest skeptic."  -New York Times

●   "Recommended!  In director Nic Arnzen's heartfelt take, a multiracial, gender-bent ensemble lands its core message ..."–Los Angeles Times

●   "The performances are remarkable... it is undeniably moving."  -The Advocate

●   "GO!  The entire cast gives great performances… creating an ending that is almost cinematic in its scope." -LA Weekly

●   “This film is not an attack on any organization or organized religion. Rather, It invites the viewer to embrace spirituality This film will have an impact on everyone that sees it, not just on people who are gay.”  -Christine Brown, Bijou Theatre, Bridgeport

●   “The documentary affirms a deeply profound and spiritual truth that love conquers hatred, even homohatred. As a Pastor of a Christian Church this is a must see for those who wish to teach God's unconditional Love for all.”  -Rev. Joseph Shore-Goss, Metropolitan Community Churches


Schedule of Events:

Monday, September 2- Sunday, September 8- various times TBA:  Screenings of CORPUS CHRISTI PLAYING WITH REDEMPTION at MindFrame Theaters

Thursday, Sept 5- 7:00pm- VIP/Sponsor Reception Gala at Eronel on Main St.

8:00pm-  the I AM Love Awards at Eronel on Main St.

Friday, Sept 6- 8:00pm- CORPUS CHRISTI play performance at Five Flags Theater

Sunday, Sept 8- 1:00pm- CORPUS CHRISTI play performance at Five Flags Theater

3:30pm- Dubuque Diversity Dialogue- Free Open Forum at Five Flags Theater

Suggested Donation Tickets, Reservations, and more info can be found at

The I AM Love Campaign in Dubuque is partnered with Better Together Dubuque and sponsored by Sustainable Dubuque, Five Flags Center, Mindframe Theaters, Radio Dubuque, Dubuque 365, Holiday Inn, and Eronel.

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