The GLAAD Wrap: 'Doctor Who' announces first gay companion, and more!

Every week, The GLAAD Wrap brings you LGBTQ-related entertainment news highlights, fresh stuff to watch out for, and fun diversions to help you kick off the weekend.

1) Speech & Debate will premiere April 7 in select theaters and on VOD. The film is based on the play of the same name, and follows three misfit teenagers (including one who is gay) who put on a musical version of The Crucible combined with time travel to address a pressing issue at their school. Producers will donate 25 percent of the funds from New York screenings to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The film will also be available for purchase digitally exclusively on iTunes beginning April 2. Watch the trailer below.

2) An animated version of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is coming. Elton John, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Tim Rice will work on the film together. Elton John’s Rocket Pictures will produce the film and Andrew Lloyd Webber and Time rice will write new original music for the film. The film is based off of Webber and Rice’s original 1960s musical. In other film news, out actress Amber Heard is set to star in The Kind Worth Killing. The film is based on the 2015 novel by Peter Swanson. The book follows Lily, who meets Ted Severson on a late-night flight. During the flight Ted confesses to Lily that he wants to murder his cheating wife. Lily offers assistance and forms an unusual partnership with Ted as a result.

3) The film Something Like Summer has released a new trailer. The movie is based on the book Something Like Summer by Jay Bell. The film follows Benajamin Bently and Tim Wyman's secret relationship in high school. Years later, they meet again and Tim is determined to win back Benjamin's love. Currently a release date hasn't been set, but you can watch the trailer below.

4) Mark Gatiss is developing an LGBTQ history project titled Queers with BBC. There will be eight, 15-minute monologues which detail the history of LGBTQ people in the UK. The Old Vic Theater will stage all of the monologues in July ahead of its official release on BBC Four. No premiere date has been announced. In other TV news, it was revealed this week that the long-running series Doctor Who will introduce the series' first out companion when Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) makes her debut when the series returns to BBC One and BBC America on April 15. "That representation is important, especially on a mainstream show. It's important to say people are gay, people are black [...] I remember watching TV as a young mixed race girl not seeing many people who looked like me, so I think being able to visually recognise yourself on screen is important. [Being gay] is not the main thing that defines her character - it's something that's part of her and something that she's very happy and very comfortable with," Mackie said of her character.

5) Hulu’s original series Difficult People now has a premiere date for season three. The show stars Billy Eichner and will premiere August 8th with a ten episode-season. Eichner is also joining the cast of American Horror Story for its upcoming seventh season. Information on his role is being kept under wraps, but it has been revealed that his character will be connected to Sarah Paulson’s. It is rumored that he will be in six to seven episodes.

6) Youtube star Anna Akana has booked a recurring role on Stitchers. Akana will play Amanda, a medical examiner who has an instant attraction to Camille (Scagliotti). Her first episode is scheduled to air on June 12th. A new reality series about the famous L.A. gay club The Abbey is coming to E! What Happens at The Abbey will premiere in May and will follow the club’s employees. 

7) Todrick Hall has released a revamped version of his visual album Straight Outta Oz with some new tracks. The album was initially released last year. You can watch the new version below, he is also currently on tour. For tour dates and ticket information, click here. The documentary Behind the Curtain, which follows Hall's life, premiered at SXSW earlier this month.

8) PWR BTTM released a new video this week for their single "Answer My Text." The track is from the group's upcoming second full-length album, Pageant, out May 12. Tickets are on sale now for their upcoming tour.

9) The Pasadena festival Level Ground is coming April 4th-8th. The purpose of the festival is to encourage empathy, listening, and understanding with other identities and beliefs. The festival will have various music, dance, and theater performances, film screenings, art exhibits, panels, podcasts, and workshops surrounding topics on gender identity, sexuality, and religion.For more information, tickets, and to view the schedule click here. The 15th Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles will take place next week, April 5-9. The films that will screen include the documentary Chronicles of Hari and the short film Devi. Tickets are available now.

10) A new Indiegogo campaign has launched for the short film GrEAy that aims to tell the story of Stevie, a gay, black man, and his struggles to fully reconcile these two identities. The short film takes place in San Francisco, where Stevie has always dreamed of living, but he begins to question whether or not he belongs here. Watch the video below for more information on the campaign or click here to visit their campaign page.

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