Dear friends of the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center, 

We are proud to present the first public reading of Verbal Acumen, a new play by Ray Proctor and Olivia Dawson.  We hope you join us on November 19th or 20th for a very interesting evening!  Details follow… 

Verbal Acumen

a new play

by Ray Proctor & Olivia Dawson

directed by Sheri Williams Pannell

featuring Ray Proctor, Olivia Dawson, & Bear Bellinger 

Reading with discussion to follow. 


Friday, November 19th & Saturday, November 20th @ 7:30 PM

$10.00 suggested donation

Drinks available next door at Ten Bells 

Milwaukee Gay Arts Center | 703 S 2nd Street | Milwaukee, WI 53202 

About the play…

acumen |əˈkyoōmən; ˈakyə-| (noun) the ability to make good judgments and quick decisions, typically in a particular domain 

Verbal Acumen negotiates the terrains of pretense, race, and friendship. It talks about expectations and what happens when those expectations are not met. It interrogates the complexities of being black in a world that is not. It looks for ways to be black and gay—to exist—on stage and in the world without being a caricature or a stereotype. Mostly, though, it’s about two people who learn to love each other, in spite of themselves. 

About the authors…

A little more than six years ago, Proctor and Dawson met in Next Act Theatre’s production of Between Men and Cattle. At the time, Proctor was a doctoral candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, pursuing a PhD in Shakespeare Studies and Dawson was a professional actor working in Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago. Dawson subsequently enrolled in the MFA program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where the two became roommates, friends and colleagues. They now both live in Chicago.