WEST HOLLYWOOD—The Chuck Rowland Pioneer Award ceremony, put on by Celebration Theatre in West Hollywood, will be streamed online on Tuesday, June 9.

Celebration Theatre was founded in 1982 by gay rights pioneer Chuck Rowland. Rowland was the co-founder of one of the earliest LGBQT organizations, Mattachine Society in 1950. Celebration was founded to start a community that produced gay-themed material.

The awards show happens every year during Pride Week, which runs from June 8 thru June 14. Due to the novel coronavirus, West Hollywood’s Pride has been moved to strictly virtual platforms.

Celebration’s Executive Director, Chris Maikish said that going online has been a different experience, but that the company has adapted:

“Going virtual means a different kind of planning, new technical considerations, and of course the disappointment that we can’t all be together in person,” said Maikish. “As always, we theatre folk find a way to tell the story and shine, no matter the state of the world.”

The show will appear on their YouTube channel as a pre-recorded program on June 9 at 6 p.m. Viewers can access the link on their Pride page the day of the event for free. The show will be honoring playwright Roger Q. Mason with a few readings of his work.

Playwright Roger Q. Mason

There will later be an After Party event held as an Instagram Live hosted by the Theatre Director Michael A. Shepperd at 7:15 p.m.

Maikish said the virtual platform allows for the company to reach a wider audience:

“It also means geography is no barrier for program participants and attendees, which gives us an opportunity to expand the reach of our mission.”

The event is made possible in part by an arts grant given by the city of West Hollywood. Celebration gives free access to all participants but does encourage donations in support of the theatre community.