The screen adaptation of Ryan Spahn’s play Nora Highland will premiere in the 2020 NewFest New York LGBTQ Film Festival. Spahn directs and adapts his script for the screen, shot remotely during the pandemic.
The cast includes Spahn’s partner Michael Urie (who also led a digital reading of the play on Play-PerView earlier this year), Urie’s Torch Song co-star Michael Hsu Rosen, Tony nominee Marin Ireland, Carlease Burke, Mallory Portnoy, Henry Jenkinson, Eric Patrick Harper, and Marcus Crawford Guy.
Nora Highland, which premiered during last year’s Pride Plays Festival, follows the casting process of a notable gay character in an upcoming Broadway revival and explores the phenomenon of straight performers being lauded for their work in queer roles.
Three theatre-centric documentaries are also on the roster: Bring Them Back, about performer, director, and choreographer Maurice Hines; Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation, a dual-portrait feature on Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams; and If It Were Love, exploring the on- and off-stage lives of 15 young dancers.
A handful of stage favorites appear in other films in the lineup, including Tony winner John Benjamin Hickey (in Sublet), his The Inheritance co-star Lois Smith (in Uncle Frank), and Michael Potts, David Burtka, and Cobie Smulders (in Cicada).
The festival begins October 16 with an opening night drive-in screening of the Kate Winslet- and Saoirse Ronan-led Ammonite in Queens’ Corona Park. For the full roster, individual tickets, and festival passes, visit NewFest.org. Subsequent screenings will take place digitally or in drive-in presentations in Queens and Brooklyn.