Local Playwright Kicks Off Indiegogo Campaign to Bring Original Gay Rights Play to Philadelphia

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Written by Cheril N. Clarke, "Asylum" is based on the true story of a lesbian who fled Uganda to escape an honor killing by her father.

Cheril N. Clarke is gearing up to bring her award-winning play "Asylum" to Philadelphia. Based on the true story of a lesbian who fled Uganda to escape an honor killing by her father, "Asylum" is an arresting account of courage, strength and the indomitable power of the human spirit. Funds raised for this production will go toward six live performances, professional filming for DVD distribution and spurring dialog on the global stage about the crises of women’s rights, human rights, and gay rights.

“Absolutely riveting...If Cheril Clarke never writes another play, (though I hope she writes many more) this one effort will ensure her a place in theater history.” - Tobias Grace, Out IN Jersey Magazine

"Asylum" was inspired by Prossy Kakooza, who since 2007, fought for her own freedom as an asylum seeker in the United Kingdom while working to free her partner who had been left behind in a Ugandan prison. It is a palpable love story of seismic proportions with vivid portrayals of women struggling to maintain in contact while surviving attacks on all fronts.

The world premiere of "Asylum" took place in 2012 at the Downtown Urban Theater Festival in New York City, where it received the Audience Choice award and was runner up for best play. The original cast and crew is from Philadelphia region and are eager to bring this one-of-a-kind production to their home city. “This is a story I believe in wholeheartedly,” says Clarke, “because though it is unique in that no one else is telling it in this way, it is not an uncommon occurrence—honor killings and the eminent danger of women and LGBT people around the world.”

The plight of African women and girls has recently received international media attention and "Asylum" aims to present an up close and personal portrayal of what life is really like for a woman who faced death because of who she loved. It pulls the curtain back on the struggle to overcome male dominance and rebound from sexual and physical violence.

Donations to the "Asylum" Indiegogo campaign are tax-deductible as this production is a fiscally sponsored project by Fractured Atlas, an organization with a mission to empower artists. Visit http://www.asylumtheplay.com for more information.

ABOUT CHERIL N. CLARKE
Cheril N. Clarke is the author of five novels, two plays, numerous short stories and two children’s books. Her first play "Intimate Chaos" was produced multiple times and was translated into Spanish for a production in Puerto Rico. The Spanish production, "Caos Ìntimo," was nominated for Best Play in the 6th annual Festival del Tercer Amor. Clarke’s most recent play "Asylum" was a featured production of the 2012 Downtown Urban Theatre Festival in New York City where it received the Audience Award and runner up for Best Play. As of summer 2014, Clarke was been named the young ambassador for the Philadelphia region of the Dramatists Guild of America.

Clarke has been featured on NPR, WPEB 88.1FM Philadelphia, About.com, Curve Magazine (the nation’s best-selling lesbian magazine), The Princeton Packet, Philadelphia Gay News, Out IN Jersey, Burlington County Times, Philadelphia Business Journal, Phillyburbs.com as well as Crain's New York Business newspaper. Her opinion columns have been featured by the National Black Justice Coalition and her editorial and blog postings have been featured by the Human Rights Campaign. She resides in southern New Jersey with her wife, Monica Bey-Clarke, who is also her business partner for My Family!, a retail and publishing company geared toward LGBT-headed families.

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