Kinky Boots event brings LGBT youth behind the curtain

By : Jamie Hyman
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About 20 of Central Florida’s LGBT youth will get an opportunity to learn about what goes into a Broadway production.

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, in partnership with Zebra Coalition, Kinky Boots and the True Colors Foundation is hosting the event, which is an afternoon of educational speakers followed by a dinner, performance and then a Q&A with the Kinky Boots cast.

“This is an excellent opportunity that offers a holistic behind-the-scenes view of theatrical performance,” says Heather Wilkie, Zebra’s executive director. “Many youth do not have the means to attend a Broadway performance. This unique experience will expose youth to career opportunities and the art of theatre.”

The speakers will cover topics including company management, marketing and production.

Sam Zeller, Kinky Boots cast member, says the touring production has hosted these LGBT youth events in about ten other cities, including Detroit, Houston and Pittsburgh.

“I always look forward to these because we always end up learning more about ourselves and what this show is truly about when we meet these kids,” Zeller says. “I’m overwhelmed by how brave and how amazing these kids are to be able to know who they are at 15 or even younger and going through what they do.”

He said they got new cast members a few months ago and it’s made for a better experience at these LGBT youth events.

“They’re a little bit younger and they’re more eager to come out and help. Instead of four people at the talkback, we’ve had sixteen,” Zeller says, adding that he expects the Zebra youth will enjoy a discussion with a large number of cast members during the Feb 25 event.

Kinky Boots opened Feb. 23 and runs through Feb. 28. Tickets are available at DrPhillipsCenter.org.

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