The Confession of Lily Dare | Mechanics' Institute

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The Confession of Lily Dare
Charles Busch & J. Conrad Frank in conversation with F. Allen Sawyer

This event will be conducted via Zoom. Register and you will be emailed the Zoom credentials.

Kick off Pride Month as Mechanics' Institute welcomes Charles Busch, J. Conrad Frank, and F. Allen Sawyer discussing their creative process bringing a turn-of-the-century tale to life.

Lily Dare. Convent girl? Cabaret star? Infamous madame? Call her what you want, but she’s determinedly devoted to the child she was forced to abandon. Set in the seedy underbelly of the Barbary Coast, this play from the brilliant comedic mind of Charles Busch follows one woman’s road to ruin – paved with good intentions.


This rags to riches to rags romp set in the hedonistic heyday of the Barbary Coast is a loving lampoon of the confession films of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Join playwright Charles Busch and Bay Area icon F. Conrad Frank with director F. Allen Sawyer as they discuss the making of The Confession of Lily Dare, currently playing at New Conservatory Theatre Center. NCTC has generously extended a 25% discount for any of their shows - use the promo code "MILibrary" and see you at the theater!

This event will be held online via Zoom.

Charles Busch (Playwright, pronouns:he/him) is the author and star of such plays and films as The Divine Sister, The Lady in Question, Red Scare on Sunset, Psycho Beach Party, Die, Mommie, Die!, and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, one of the longest-running plays in the history of off-Broadway. His play The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife ran for 777 performances on Broadway, won the Outer Critics Circle’s John L. Gassner Award for playwriting and received a Tony nomination for Best Play. In 2003, Busch received a special Drama Desk Award for career achievement as both performer and playwright and was given a star on the Playwrights’ Sidewalk outside the Lucille Lortel Theatre.

J. Conrad Frank (Lily Dare, pronouns: he/him) is thrilled to be back at NCTC in his third Charles Busch role. Conrad is best known for his cabaret work as The Countess Katya Smifnoff-Skyy; his monthly cabaret show Katya Presents is now entering its 18th year at Martuni's. Whether in couture or pants, Conrad has delighted Bay Area audiences and critics alike for nearly twenty years in such productions as The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Sweeney Todd, Clue, and The Hand That Rocks the Crawford to name a few. Conrad has also been seen at NCTC in Buyer and Cellar, The Temperamentals, The Divine Sister, Die, Mommie, Die!, and Red Scare on Sunset.

F. Allen Sawyer (Director, pronouns: he/him) has been writing and directing in San Francisco since 1982. He is the author of Whatever Happened To Sister George, Gross Indulgences: The Trials Of Liberace, Hot Pants Homo, Senator Swish, and Lavender Lockeroom. This is the fourth Charles Busch play he's directed at NCTC, the others being Red Scare on Sunset, The Divine Sister, and Die, Mommie Die! Additional NCTC shows include Daniel's Husband, Dear Harvey, The Temperamentals, Dirty Little Showtunes, Dames At Sea, and Zanna, Don't! Recently Allen has been directing and writing (gossip-filled) narration for a series of musicals in concert (Hello Dolly, Mame, Hair, Easter Parade) at Feinstein's At The Nikko. He is profiled in Contemporary Gay American Poets & Playwrights from Greenwood Press.


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