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SEPTEMBER 15, 2017

We hope you will join us directly after our Friday evening performance for a post-show discussion with community members to explore the themes and content of It Shoulda Been You, like Family, Equality, and Body Image.

Not attending the show this night?

Bring your ticket stub from a former performance of the show or proof of purchase of an upcoming performance of It Shoulda Been You.



LARRY DESHANE JR. has served as the Operations Manager for Grand Rapids Pride Center for last three years. He oversees the outreach and education aspect of the organization and is the Volunteer & Program Coordinator. The same youth group run today at the Grand Rapids Pride Center is the same one he attended in as a teenager 1989 and has remained
loyal to for the past fifteen years. 

RACHEL GLEASON is a dynamic spoken word artist whose poetry is an interaction between religious symbolism and contemporary observation brought together through vivid imagery and word play. Her performance style is described as a balance between humor-an understated wit- and gospel/evangelical inspired charisma. Rachel's poetry has been published in Chicago magazine "Curbside Splendor" and has been featured on WYCE's Electric Poetry several times. Raised in a strict fundamentalist church, much of her art stems from the intersection of faith and sexuality. Her coming out story was highlighted on NPR in a series about identity, acceptance, and forgiveness in West Michigan's LGBT community. In addition to being a spoken word poet, Rachel is also a singer/songwriter with a simplistic style and a unique, powerful voice. She is currently recording her first album of music and poetry. 

AMBER KILPATRICK is the founder of Mindful Vinyasa School of Yoga, a founding member of The Body Mind Being Project and has extensive training in Trauma Sensitive Yoga and Mindfulness. She is also the creator of The Mindful Classrooms Project, which teaches students how to focus, relax, and feel safe in their bodies.  Amber's teachings are influenced by the practice of mindfulness, her own spiritual direction and life experience, and the guidance of many teachers. Amber blends mindfulness, sensitivity, inspiration, challenge, and fun into her classes, programs, teacher trainings, and life. "Always a Mama first", Amber is the creator of Mindful Mamas, and author of Mindful Mama, Moments of Pause for Mothers.  If you can't find her in the studio she's probably out in the woods, reading poetry, singing, or playing with her vibrant young boys. 


SAMMY A PUBLES was born in Havana, Cuba and came to this country with his family as political refugees in 1988. A creative spark ignited by his high school english teacher motivated him to pursue his studies after attending Horizons Community High School. Sammy graduated from Grand Rapids Community College in 1997 with an Associates in Liberal Arts then headed to Western Michigan University on a theatre scholarship. Sammy received a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Theater and Spanish at Western Michigan University in 2001. An accomplished stage, screen, and television actor, Sammy decided to start his own theater company, Mixed Roots Collective, to address inequalities of representation on the local theater and film levels. His new company produces plays that mainstream theaters can't or won't produce and by providing a platform for these plays he hopes to address inequalities in casting as well. His work in inclusion and diversity for the last 20 years also propelled him to create along with Shelly Urbane and Todd Lewis- One World Diversity: A theater company that addresses inequality and diversity issues in the workplace and beyond.