Congratulations to Professor Susan Lynskey and graduating senior Theater & Performance Studies Major T. Chase Meacham (COL ’14), who both received awards at the Georgetown University LGBTQ Resource Center’s Lavender Graduation on April 28, 2014 at the Fisher Colloquium, Rafik B. Hariri Building. This special ceremony honored LGBTQ and Ally undergraduate and graduate students, acknowledging their achievements, contributions, and unique experiences at Georgetown University.
Prof. Lynskey, who joined the Theater & Performance Studies faculty in 2003, received the “Commitment to the LGBTQ Community Faculty Award,” for leadership, vision, and commitment in educating all communities for a better Georgetown. Among her contributions, Lynskey directed a February 2014 community-based staged reading of Patricia Loughrey’s “Dear Harvey,” a tribute play to the first openly gay man elected to a major public office, Harvey Milk. Bringing together LGBTQ students and allies, including GU faculty/staff and community members, Prof. Lynskey led participants through the rehearsal process and culminating performance, and in conjunction with the production, organized a quilting circle, numerous meals, and a writing project featuring Georgetown community members’ letters to Harvey today.
Participant Brendan Quinn (COL ’14) said, “I had never experienced the profound historical importance of Harvey Milk in conversation with both professors and professional actors who had actually lived through the events of the play. The conversations sparked between different generations of theater artists deeply inspired me and allowed me to understand not only the fierce struggle that it has taken to achieve rights for LGBTQ people but also where equality needs to go in the future. Under the unfailing vision and indefatigable heart of Professor Lynskey, ‘Dear Harvey’ became a high point of my time at Georgetown – one that I, and countless, others will carry in our hearts forever.”
T. Chase Meacham received an award for “LGBTQ Leadership Beyond the Gates,” given to a Georgetown student who identifies as LGBTQ and has worked to bridge communities on campus and off. Meacham wrote and directed POLK STREET, based on “Polk Street Stories” by Joey Plaster, which told the stories of traditionally marginalized communities, including queer people of color, transgendered individuals, and queer people who are drug users or sex workers. Two readings – one each semester in tandem with development of the play as Meacham’s Theater & Performance Studies Program senior thesis project – brought communities together, including a partnership with Helping Individual People Survive (HIPS) which brought community figures onto campus when first presented, and the Theater & Performance Studies Program’s participation in the Kennedy Center’s Page-to-Stage festival in September 2013, which brought members of the GU community off campus.
Meacham noted that he feels honored to receive the award, alongside faculty mentor Prof. Susan Lynskey. “It felt great to be recognized for this by that group, and so wonderful that Georgetown is now so committed to the safety, happiness, and well-being of the LGBTQ faculty and staff who live and work on campus.”