PRIDE CAMP – PFP’s New Education Program!

Summer programs include Theater for Young Audiences, Rainbow Shakespeare for High School Students, Puppetry from Tristan Tom, and more!
4. BITE Raymond Cleveland, Melanie Vitaterna, Kevin Webb - Carolyn Reynolds PhotographyPride Arts Center is creating all-inclusive learning environments for LGBTQ+ allies. This will include summer Pride Camps for middle school and high school aged students, using theater arts to learn more about navigating our complex world.
Our Theater for Young Audiences (TYA) program will produce plays for families looking to share stories with their children that have themes/characters living outside of society’s traditional gender binary. These performances are by professional actors.Enroll in Pride Camp here.


High School students can sign up for Rainbow Shakespeare, a week-long workshop taught by Pride Films and Plays Artistic Associate Derek Van Barham that uses Shakespeare’s plays to explore changing gender norms. There are two unique session of Rainbow Shakespeare – July 10 and July 24.

Middle School students can sign up for OUR WORLD OUR WAY, a one-week workshop creating a musical which celebrates life today. That program will be held the week of July 17.

Students of all ages are invited to take a one-week class using puppets to create their very own performance. The puppetry workshop is the week of August 1.
Students can enroll in classes at

Tuition for each camp week is $385.  You can pay the full tuition when enrolling, or pay $200 deposit with the balance due on the first day of class.

Enroll in Pride Camp here.
Theater for Young Audiences

Our Theater for Young Audiences (TYA) program will produce plays for families looking to share stories with their children that have themes/characters living outside of society’s traditional gender binary.

In July, the premiere performance is PRIDE EVER AFTER by Carly Crawford, on Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm from July 8 to 30. This delightful one hour comedy is directed by PFP Artistic Associate Amber Snyder
PRIDE EVER AFTER is a production for family audiences, with a suggested age of 10+. This work explores what it means to add pride to familiar “Happily Ever Afters” and look at the world through rainbow colored lenses. Will Cinderella choose the prince? What’s just right for Goldilocks? Why is Rapunzel locked in that tower? Discover all of this and more at PRIDE EVER AFTER.

In August, puppeteer Tristan Tom joins us for a week-long puppetry workshop for students of all ages. And we invite you on Saturday and Sunday at 2 pm. to share GRANDMA D’s PUPPET PLAYDATE, an adventure in storytelling! Performances are August 5 to 27.

Meet Grandma D, a cuddly, old retired inventor, who invites children each week to join her for timely, age appropriate stories that explore our world and read together! Grandma D has a magic book making machine, a couple of wacky friends and maybe even a special guest. Come down each Saturday and Sunday to make a book and read with everyone’s favorite grandma, Grandma D. Each week will be a new and exciting tale.

Tickets for the performances are pay-what-you-can with a suggested donation of $10.

Artist Biographies

Derek Van Barham is an Artistic Associate with Pride Films & Plays, a member of the Red Tape Theatre ensemble, and a former Artistic Director of The Ruckus. For PFP, he has directed Angry Fags (Steppenwolf Garage Repertory), Songs from an Unmade Bed (Jeff nomination: Best Director of a Musical or Revue), PRISCILLA, Queen of the Desert: The Musical and Terrence McNally’s Some Men (co-directed by David Zak). He also wrote, directed and choreographed BITE: A Pucking Queer Cabaret and Kill Your Boyfriends. Other directing credits include Miracle! by Dan Savage and Skooby Don’t (Hell in a Handbag), Three Days of Rain (Boho Theatre), Trash and Deep in the Heart of Tuna (New American Folk Theatre), and From These Fatal Loins (The Ruckus). He has choreographed for Black Button Eyes (Coraline the Musical, Goblin Market, Amour), The Plagiarists, Inappropriate Theatre,  Brain Surgeon Theatre, and Salonathon. He can currently be seen improvising with the LGBT team Baby Wine (Fridays at The Annoyance). He was recently named one of Windy City Times 30 Under 30, recognizing individuals from Chicago’s LGBTQ community. MFA: Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.

Carly Crawford is the Associate Education Director at Emerald City Theatre. She is a native Memphian, and has worked as an actor, teaching artist, and administrator for companies like Playhouse on the Square (Memphis, TN), Lexington Children’s Theatre (Lexington, KY), The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH), and Asheville Performing Arts Academy (Asheville, NC). Crawford holds a B.A. in Drama and Literature from UNC-Asheville and an M.A. in Arts Administration from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). While serving as the Assistant Director of Theatre Education at Playhouse on the Square, Crawford was inspired to start Q&A, a Queer Youth Theater group for LGBTQIA+ and straight allied teens ages 14-21, because she believes every young person has an important story to tell, and that theatre helps to make us all more human. Q&A is a member of the Pride Youth Theater Alliance (PYTA). Pride Ever After is adapted from Q&A’s first-ever production, with new scenes and updated concepts.

Amber Ray Snyder has performed, taught and directed with various companies and schools in Chicago as well as Texas, Iowa, Tennessee, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Florida and South Korea. Her most recent directing endeavor was through Olive Juice Theatre’s first production of Jason and the Argonauts, an interactive musical family adventure. The production made its mark at the Kansas City Fringe Festival and Elgin Fringe festival, where it received “Fringe Favorite Performing”. She is excited about Pride Films and Plays taking this next step with Theatre for Young Audiences. It’s an invaluable opportunity for all.

Tristan Tom is a costume and puppet designer.  For the past 12 years, Tristan has been creating costumes for Chicago theatres, camps, improv scene, independent films, for drag shows and art exhibits. After training and touring with Sesame Street Live, Tristan became more interested in puppetry and began to create his “puppet project” which came to fruition in 2015 when Tristan’s “puppet project” was selected as the artistic portion of the Life Learning Center’s “Peace Camp”. Tristan has a background in early childhood education (as the lead twos -threes teacher at local schools). Along with his passion for education and the arts, Tristan also believes that puppetry is an extension of/to the soul and can allow for a child/youth to dial into themselves and will act out through this extension, their puppet. Tristan leads the youth through a condensed process- from design and construction of the puppet- to the creation of the scripts/sets and props and the process of rehearsal  and the performance.

Lesley Fisher Chapman is a Chicago-based theatre teacher and director. During the day, she teaches awesome classes, residencies and directs shows with Dream Big Performing Arts Workshop. At night, she directs, stage manages and prances around stages with all sorts of great companies including Clock Productions, The Actors Gymnasium, Pursuit Productions and Stage Left Theatre. In between, she is a huge fan of television shows, riding her bike, playing PS4, yelling about sports and baking. Thank you to her favorite snuggle buddies CJ, Benedict Cumberscratch and Tallulah Bankhead.

Find more information on Pride Camp at


Pride Films and Plays changes lives through the generation of 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, film screenings, and special events. We foster long term relationships with artists to create programming that is as diverse, unique, and complex as the community we represent. In 2015, Huffington Post called PFP “A powerful and empowering entity.” The company acquired its two performance spaces at 4139 and 4147 N. Broadway in July 2016, renaming the spaces the Pride Arts Center.
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 (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, and it is run by Pride Films and Plays. PAC has become an important part of the arts environment in the Buena Park neighborhood and beyond by hosting events including After Orlando, Bechdel Fest, SheFest and the 525,600 Minutes Cabaret. Additional tenants in 2017 include Walkabout Theater, New American Folk Theater, Cor Productions, Underscore Music Theater, 20% Productions, About Face Youth Theater, Another Door Productions, and of course Pride Films and Plays. For the Love Of (Or The Roller Derby Play) is currently being performed in The Buena.

For more information about space at Pride Arts Center, visit, or