Catch “Cold” at the 3rd Annual GayFest!

If you’ve been out and about in Center City lately, then chances are you’ve seen banners for GayFest! The third annual festival from Quince Productions kicks off today, August 6, and runs through August 24 at various theaters throughout Philadelphia.

This year’s festival , the only LGBT theater festival in Philadelphia, opens with a two-night performance of “Cirque du Gay – Exposed,” a visiting production from Kansas City.

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Of the four mainstage festival plays, two are making their world premiere right here in Philly – one of which is the remarkable new play “Cold” from Sarah Pappalardo, a Brooklyn based writer, editor and performer. “Cold” tells the story of Linda, a quiet, stoic butch forced to sell her once-legendary, now empty lesbian dive bar in Chicago. The play, directed by William Steinberger, opens with Linda holding a gun to her head, but her fateful night is interrupted by the bar’s wayward co-owner, as well as a young trans man and his lesbian ex as they challenge what’s worth holding onto and what to leave behind.

“We’re really excited to be presenting the first-ever production of a very important new play by a rising young lesbian playwright,” says Rich Rubin, producing artistic director, Quince Productions.

Sarah Pappalardo

“My primary motivation [of “Cold”] was the phenomenon of the past 10 years of shuttered lesbian bars – in almost every city, the few that existed shut down for a number of reasons,” says Pappalardo. “The goal of this play was to explore some of those reasons – from general economic decline, gentrification, and a sea change in the queer community altogether. This play’s setting was heavily inspired by a dive that’s still operating back in Chicago – The Closet.”

You can catch Pappalardo at the opening of “Cold” at the Plays and Players Theater (1714 Delancey Place) on Saturday, August 10 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at here. Other dates and times to catch “Cold” are available here:

Learn more about all of the plays making up this year’s GayFest! by visiting

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