Pride and Joy
by Paul Rudnick 20"
In Pride and Joy, Helene Nadler, a Jewish mother addresses the Massapequa chapter of “Parents of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, the Transgendered, the Questioning, the Curious, the Creatively Concerned and Others,” about her three adult children: one lesbian, one transgender, and one gay leather fetishist. Ben Brantley, in the New York Times wrote: “Building on time-honored traditions within gay and Jewish humor, Mr. Rudnick turns stereotypes into bullet-deflecting armor and jokes into an inexhaustible supply of ammunition.” Helene is “overwhelmed and overwhelming, funny and sad, with the full courage of her contradictions [and] ultimately compassionate and understanding of her children.” Often hilarious, this short mostly one-woman play is both entertaining and a joyous launching pad for discussions of diversity in gender identity and sexual orientation.
I have performed this play as the opening plenary at the Annual Meeting of the American Family Therapy Academy, at the San Francisco Theater Festival, and at the Maui Fringe Festival. Contact me for details of bringing this play to your organization, festival, university, or house of worship.
“ Anne is the archetypal Jewish mother, loud, brash, proud and fiercely protective, while sharing with her audience the post-modern, queer, and belly-laugh funny antics of her children explorations on the edges of the new gender and sexual frontiers. This is a don't-miss performance!”
Arlene Istar Lev, MSW, social worker, family therapist and queer activist.
Author of Transgender Emergence: Therapeutic Guidelines for Working with Gender-
Variant People and their Families and The Complete Lesbian and Gay Parenting Guide.
"Watching Anne’s performance I felt her heart in a very sincere way, as she related to the issues, the people, and social justice. I felt like she was talking to me, about me, from a place that is about us."
David B. Wohlsifer, Ph.D., LCSW. Individual, couple and family therapist
"Watch her face and the carriage of her heart throughout. The delivery will claim your most riveted interest and stretch your most compassionate self. Anne is genius in this piece. You will not forget the message or this most gifted messenger."
Betty Pristera, LCSW, Marriage and Family Therapist.
“I had the good fortune to witness a stunning monolog Dr. Anne Bernstein performed as part of a plenary for the 2011 American Family Therapy Academy... With humor and poignancy, the dialog of the monolog raised questions, curiosity, and creative concern about her three differently-gendered children. Her performance left me thinking about the effectiveness parody has in using biting wit to address the ignorance and misconceptions the general public has about gender issues.”
MaryAnna Ham, Ed.D.. Professor Emerita, University of Massachusetts, Boston.
"The one-liners fly like rockets …Building on time-honored traditions within gay and Jewish humor, Mr. Rudnick turns stereotypes into bullet-deflecting armor and jokes into an inexhaustible supply of ammunition…Frivolity for his characters is a solid existential choice in a threatening universe... as Helene breezily describes being the mother of children who turned out to be, variously, a lesbian, a transsexual and a leather fetishist, ... what she says in a speech to the Massapequa chapter of “Parents of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, the Transgendered, the Questioning, the Curious, the Creatively Concerned and Others” is often hilarious. (Of the television show “Will & Grace,” she says, “It was like if Pottery Barn sold people.”) But she’s also persuasive in the conclusion that she draws, with resignation and compassion, about why her children behave as they do." -The New York Times
"It's not every day that a comedy writer gets a laugh on every line he intends to be thigh-slappingly funny, but Paul Rudnick does so ..." --TheaterMania.com
"The evening contains so many gut-busting one-liners that those with heart conditions are advised to steer clear." --New York Post
"Paul Rudnick just may be the funniest playwright around. A perfect little production!" --Journal News