NewStages Founder Mark Salyer Treasures Unveils Program for LGBTQ History Month

Jesus Figueroa
(Info from press release)

In honor of LGBTQ History Month, New Stages will present Stepping Stones, an intergenerational multi-media project connecting generations together with the LGBTQ Community, with a special online Zoom Watch Party this Sunday, October 22nd. The program will be featured on the website for the month on

Over the past 12 years New Stages has produced dozens of live stage shows, classes, workshops and media projects to benefit the ever growing LGBTQ Senior Community in West Hollywood. Stepping Stones, their intergenerational project sponsored in-part by the City of West Hollywood;s Arts Division. Now in its second year, Stepping Stones looks to pair LGBTQ+ seniors from different generations to create personal narrative based projects. Last year, Stepping Stones projects included three multi-media pieces.  They are currently interviewing artists for the 2024 Season.

New Stages Founder Mark Salyer is a multi talented actor, writer, director, who has appeared in theater productions across the country and abroad, including Hedwig and the Angry Inch, She-Haw at Largo and Sophocles's Electra.  A Virginia native, his production company ARAY (Appalachia Right Atcha), explores  the themes and artists from Appalachia, where he was raised.  To that end, ARAY’s 2019 short film Ladies Most Deject, written by Salyer and Conner Wharton, produced by Salyer and Melissa Wharton,  and directed by Marty Elcan, won numerous awards on the festival circuit.  The film, told from the perspective of a teenage girl,  brings to light the rampant drug addiction in that region.

Salyer’s programs at New States are an extension of his work in the theater and media, but with an emphasis about the queer experience. He has lectured and served as a guest artist at various schools and universities around the country and is currently writing a book about the arts and aging.

A part time resident in Palm Springs, Salyer has expanded his repertoire in creating work for senior living communities like Belmont Village. His newest project is Living Out in Palm Springs, a 55+ active adult community catering to the LGBTQ community. There, he will be creating programs and booking entertainment for their different venues, including a screening room, a piano bar and outdoor event spaces.

As ever, his goal is to create programs that highlight cultural, political and scientific leaders in the gay community and to create a space for LGBTQ visual and performing artists to have their work shown.

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