Overheard in Tampa Bay: Zombie theatre, trans sensitivity training and Tampa Pride

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freeFall is overrun by zombies
With the fall approaching, we can expect a few things to be seen everywhere we turn: pumpkin-spice everything, theater and zombies! Not sure if there will be any pumpkin flavoring added in, but freeFall Theatre is combining two of those fall staples when they open there 2015 season with The Importance of Being Earnest With Zombies. “Oscar Wilde’s classic satire on societal conventions is even more biting when played against the backdrop of the zombie apocalypse,” freeFall said in a press release. This will be a world premiere of the dramatic horror hybrid play, and it is written by freeFall Artistic Director Eric Davis. It should be quite the scartastic event, just in time for Halloween. Previews begin Oct. 2 and run through Nov. 1. Tickets can be obtained by contacting the freeFall box office. There are discounts for seniors, teachers, students and members of the military, but unfortunately not for the undead.

Trans sensitivity training a part of St. Pete police department
It has been more than six weeks since the body of 25-year-old India Clarke was found in a Tampa park, and her alleged killer is currently behind bars awaiting trial, but one thing that came up during the police investigation was the insensitive way Clarke was addressed in the media and by officers. Well, the St. Petersburg Police Department is launching a new training program to educate officers on transgender issues. The two-hour training class, led by Metro Health and Wellness’ director Chris Rudisill, was given to about 50 of the department’s supervisors and field training officers who in turn will train the rest of the department. The new policy requires officers to address a transgender person using his or her stated gender identity, including the preferred pronouns, and if they can’t decipher it based on appearance then the officer should ask which pronoun they prefer. “Your identity is the most important thing to everyone in this room,” Rudisill said during the training. “We have to realize it’s the most important thing to a transgender person, too.”

Tampa Pride is coming
Tampa Pride held its general meeting Aug. 25, and they have come up with a list of events leading up to the big parade and festival that will be back around Ybor City March 26, 2016. The official kickoff will be at City Side Sept. 17, with the launch party themed “Walk the Plank!” The bar will be closed until 10 P.M. just for the attendees of the event where food and entertainment is being provided. Tampa Pride is also debuting its new website, and, to keep you focused on Pride, there will be events galore including Drag Queen Bingo every month at Hamburger Mary’s Tampa, Miss Tampa Pride pageant on Jan. 17, the Grand Marshal Gala Feb. 22 and the VIP sponsor party and both men’s and women’s circuit parties all March 25. You can also expect to see the Tampa Pride folks across Central Florida as they will also be attending Orlando’s Come Out With Pride, Sarasota Pride and Space Coast Pride.

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