''When I Knew and How It Saved Me'' returns to the Calvin Center for two performances this weekend.
The musical revue-style show, staged by the Rust Belt Theater Company, uses music, monologues and artwork to create a picture of gay culture in the Youngstown area. This is the fourth annual production, and last year's show as named Best Theatrical Event by the Youngstown Area Community Theater Alliance.
Rust Belt Executive Director Robert Dennick Joki said he created the show to expand beyond the gay stereotypes and explore the issues that member of the LGBT community face. In many cases, they are the same issues of work, family and other responsibilities that are universal.
The show features the stories of anyone, gay or straight, who struggled to find themselves, Joki said.
Contributors include: Kage Coven, Jenn Caventer, Brittiani Ketcham, Sam Luptak Jr., Tess Tessier, Nikita Jones, Rick Morrow, Josh Taylor, Rick Haldi, Nicole Zayas, Crystal Beiersdorfer, Robert Dennick Joki, Bernadette Lim, Beth Farrow, Tom Smith, Kerri Rickard, Dana Vlock and Joyce Jones. Local artists Jynger Benadum and Stephen Eaker will create artwork inspired by the performances each night.
Audience members also will get a a chance to participate by filling out survey cards that will be passed out prior to the performance. The information from the cards will be incorporated into the performance.
''When I Knew and How It Saved Me'' will be staged at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Calvin Center, 755 Mahoning Ave., Youngs-town. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and senior citizens. For reservations or more information, call 330-507-2358.