Singers performing selections from Voices of the Quilt at Martuni’s, a San Francisco piano bar, in July 2017. Photo by Jörg Fockele

Join the Custom Made Theatre Company of San Francisco, hosts (along with the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, The HIV Story Project, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, and The National AIDS Memorial Grove) for the music video release party for “One by One,” the new production of VOICES OF THE QUILT, a theatrical musical in development, written and composed by Ayesu Lartey based upon his reaction to The Names Project (The AIDS Quilt) and commissioned by Custom Made, on Wednesday, August 23.

The song “One by One” was chosen from among the songs from Voices of the Quilt because, “Emotionally it takes us to the low point of the AIDS epidemic and of the musical: It’s about being left behind after all your friends and loved ones have died and you ask yourself why you are still here. It’s a dark but beautiful and emotional song that a lot of people in San Francisco can relate to,” said Jörg Fockele, of the HIV Story Project, another participant in the video. The video, filmed in the National AIDS Memorial Grove, in Golden Gate Park, in July 2017, stars Ayesu as well as more than twenty women and men, San Franciscans all, long-time activists and/or long-term HIV/AID survivors, including life-long gay rights and AIDS activist Ken Jones; Gay Rights, AIDS and trans activist Felicia Elizondo; Sister of Perpetual Indulgence Sister Rose Mary Chicken; long-time activist Vince Crisostomo; Ms. SF Leather Queen Cougar; and National AIDS Memorial Grove Board President Mike Shriver, to name only a few.

Amir Jaffer, filmmaker; Ayesu Lartey, writer and composer; and Jörg Fockele, the HIV Story Project; filming the video at the National AIDS Memorial Grove, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, July 2017. Photo by C. Graham Smith

The Custom Made Theatre Company is committed to producing plays that awaken our social conscience. They produce five full-length shows per year, as well as a number of workshops such as the upcoming Voices of the Quilt workshop.

The Music Video Premiere Party is a free event, open to all, and will include food, beverages, and a live program, featuring Vince Crisostomo (Program Director of the Elizabeth Taylor 50-Plus Network, one of the co-sponsors of the event) and special guests from the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, as well as legendary Community Activist Ken Jones. The event on the 23rd will also kick off a crowdfunding campaign to finance the development workshop, which will feature multiple public performances of portions of the piece.

M. Graham Smith, Ayesu Lartey, Cleve Jones, and Ken Jones at Martuni’s. Photo by Jörg Fockele

“One by One” Music Video Release Party for VOICES OF THE QUILT, on Wednesday, August 23 at 6–8:30 p.m., at Strut, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s headquarters at 470 Castro Street, San Francisco, California 94114.


For more information on the Custom Made Theatre Company,

Reporting by Hank Trout