Theatre Chat With Brian Patterson: “Dear Harvey” Is Groundbreaking and Eye Opening by Kevin M. Thomas

Brian Patterson in “Dear Harvey” at NCTC in SF – photo by Lois Tema

“Dear Harvey,” a play from letters written to or about Harvey Milk, quietly came to San Francisco a few weeks ago but we’re not going to keep quiet about it any longer.

We thought we’d learn all there is about Harvey Milk from the Sean Penn Oscar winning film, yet “Dear Harvey” takes a look at how Milk affected others and is brought to the foreground in the form of letters performed by an amazing cast of six who all play multiple roles.

The tight 75 minute drama gives many causes to pause to think about how far gay rights have come – and yet how much farther we’ve yet to go. Great idea in casting men and women to play same sex and opposite sex parts as that helps blur the line in portraying sexuality and helps further the notion that we’re all just people – gay, straight, man, woman, whatever. 

The New Conservatory Theatre Center has always done intimate shows and it often takes it a step further with their “Talk Back” program in which people involved in the show come on stage after the performance to discuss the show.  

“Dear Harvey” definitely will have some great guests as many of the people involved in Milk’s life;  some of the “Dear Harvey” letter writers will be on hand to discuss the show, in particular  on Feb.. 10 politician/activist Anne Kronenberg  and on Feb. 17 will feature writer Patricia Loughrey, photojournalist and AIDS activist Dan Nicoletta, Milk friend and AIDS Quilt creator Cleve Jones and Milk friend and politician Tom Ammiano. 

Progressive Pulse happen to be lucky enough to know Brian Patterson, one of the six amazing performers in the show, who talked with us on set about the groundbreaking show.

Patterson told of us about his continued work with NCTC (this is his sixth show) and what is in store for his future at the New Conservatory Theatre Center.

Additionally, Patterson shared with us a beautiful personal story that compelled him to want to be part of such an important piece of work.

“Dear Harvey” should not be missed and you have until Feb. 24 to catch it. Get information and tickets at www.nctcsf.org.

And, you should catch Brian Patterson in anything he does. Learn more about him at www.brianjpatterson.com.

Check out our chat with Brian below.