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Spring Benefits

A Dramatic Reading of… Since I Laid my Burden Down 2022

May 17

BOFFO is excited to offer a limited number of tickets to the public for our upcoming event on Tuesday, May 17, A Dramatic Reading of... Since I Laid My Burden Down, at the National Arts Club, in support of the 2022 BOFFO Residency Fire Island. This event is a reading of the newly adapted screenplay Since I Laid My Burden Down, written by Brontez Purnell and Savannah Knoop, and directed by Ro Haber. The evening will feature live music and actors.

Savannah Knoop is a NY-based artist, writer, and educator; they have exhibited their work and performed at venues such as the Whitney, MoMA, the ICA Philly, and the Leslie Lohman Museum. In 2007, they published their memoir Girl Boy Girl: How I Became JT LeRoy ( Seven Stories Press) and adapted it into a screenplay, co-producing the resulting feature-length film JT Leroy with director Justin Kelly (Universal Pictures, 2019) starring Kristen Stewart and Laura Dern. Their short film, The Tumbler, premiered at BFI Flare in 2022 and will be released on Aspect Ratio Films.

Brontez Purnell is a writer, musician, dancer, filmmaker, and performance artist. He is the author of a graphic novel, a novella, a children’s book, and the novel Since I Laid My Burden Down. Recipient of a 2018 Whiting Award for Fiction, he was named one of the 32 Black Male Writers for Our Time by T: New York Times Style Magazine in 2018. Purnell is also the frontman for the band the Younger Lovers, the co-founder of the experimental dance group the Brontez Purnell Dance Company, the creator of the renowned cult zine Fag School, and the director of several short films, music videos, and, most recently, the documentary Unstoppable Feat: Dances of Ed Mock. He recently released his current novel “100 Boyfriends” on FSGxMCD.  Born in Triana, Alabama, he’s lived in Oakland, California, for 20 years.

Ro Haber is an aesthetically-minded Writer and Director. They were a 2018 Sundance Momentum Fellow and New Frontier Lab fellow. They were selected for the Universal Pictures Directing Lab, AFI’s Directing Workshop, Film Independent’s Episodic Lab and Project Involve, and Outfest’s Screenwriting Lab. They were featured on The Alice Initiative’s 2018 list of directors ready to helm studio films and Indiewire’s 8 Best Trans Directors Working Today. They were an advisor for Sundance’s first Trans Possibilities Lab and are in the current cohort of Sundance’s Art of Practice Fellows. They won a Webby, New Orleans Film Festival, and LA Film Festival awards and were nominated for a GLAAD award for their series, New Deep South.