Carrying the Torch through Memphis: Friends of George’s

This blog was written in collaboration with our friends at Campfire Collective.


Celebrating over 13 years of original theatrical productions, Friends of George’s is a non-profit LGTBQ+ theatre company with strong ties to the Memphis community. 

As part of the Theatreworks family of resident companies, Friends of George’s calls Evergreen Theatre home. Dedicated to serving the LGBTQ+ community and its allies, each of their shows benefits a local non-profit organization.

We spoke to Ty Phillips, Board President of Friends of George’s and a contributing writer for many of their productions.

play Friends of George's
Courtesy of Friends of George's

How did the theatre company start?

Friends of George’s originally began as a committee that came together to produce George’s Reunion, an event held at Minglewood Hall in October 2010. The reunion was an homage to George’s Disco, a long-running gay club in Memphis. After the event’s success, our founder Tracy Love wanted to continue the group and produce events and programs for the community. We eventually found our place as a theatre company and began writing and producing our own original shows.

Why is this organization located in Memphis? What local need does Friends of George's fulfill? 

George’s Disco was a famous club in its day, and Memphis was the place to go for great drag shows. Friends of George’s seeks to keep that tradition alive in our own work by paying homage to those who came before us who made it possible for us to exist. We are a registered non-profit organization and each of our shows benefits another area non-profit that serves the community. We have worked with Choices, Memphis Area Legal Services, Planned Parenthood, Hope House, OUTMemphis, and Love Doesn’t Hurt, to name a few.

play  Friends of George's
Courtesy of Friends of George's

How can Memphians get involved with your organization or volunteer?

We are an all-volunteer group and we always could use some help with set building, tech, backstage, and front-of-house. Our crew works hard, but it is also fun. Anyone who is interested can contact us at [email protected]

What are some big events or fundraisers that Friends of George's has annually, and how can people contribute?

Friends of George’s produces three main shows each year. Our season begins in August and we have productions in November and April as well. Aside from ticket sales, we also have merchandise, program advertising, and show sponsorship opportunities. We’d love to hear from anyone who is interested at [email protected]


parade Friends of George's
Courtesy of Friends of George's

What does success look like for Friends of George's?

We are growing as a board and as a company of players. It has been quite a journey from our early days to where we are now, and we are incredibly grateful and humbled by the support the community has shown. One of our goals is to continue building our infrastructure to ensure that Friends of George’s carries on as we pass the torch to the next generation of performers.

Tell us a little about you. What's your favorite part about your work? 

I am a contributing writer for our scripts and am currently serving as Board President. One of the most rewarding things about what we do is donating our show’s proceeds to our chosen charity. Knowing that our crazy drag shows are helping make a difference for someone is what makes it special for us.

play Friends of George's
Courtesy of Friends of George's
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