The GLAAD Wrap: Struck by Lightning Opens, Days of Our Lives Renewed and Teen Wins NPR Storytelling Contest with Story of His Two Moms

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

1) Chris Colfer’s debut film Struck by Lightning opens in select theaters today. Colfer, who also wrote and executive produced the film, plays Carson Phillips, a high school senior who recounts the last months of his life via flashback after being hit by a lightning bolt. Colfer wrote a guest post for Entertainment Weekly about how the film relates to his own high school experience, his role on Glee and how the film’s novelization came about. Find a screening of Struck by Lightning near you , or check out the film On Demand now. 

2) Kyle Patrick Alvarez is the director and screenwriter of C.O.G., the first ever film adaptation of humorist David Sedaris’ work, which will premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in just over a week. The film, starring out actors Jonathan Groff and Denis O’Hare, is based on Sedaris’ short story of the same name from his 1997 essay compilation Naked, and follows an arrogant young man who travels to Oregon and takes a job on an apple farm, only to find his persona and beliefs challenged. Check out Alvarez’s “Meet the Artist” profile for Sundance below where he discusses why he chose to make this film and the importance of the story’s gay characters.

Binary Data sNT_nZY9oOw

3) NBC’s daytime drama Days of Our Lives has been renewed by the network through September 2014. The GLAAD Media Award winning series, which currently features gay couple Will Horton (Chandler Massey) and Sonny Kiriakis (Freddie Smith), has been on air since 1965 and marked their 12,000th episode this week. The cast of Days of Our Lives also went purple for Spirit Day this past October to stand up against anti-LGBT bullying.

4) Wendi McLendon-Covey will be returning to Modern Family as Pam, Cam’s lesbian nemesis from a previous episode. Cam and Claire recruit Pam, who is a contractor, to help with their house flipping project, but tensions rise when Cam’s ideas don’t mesh with what Pam feels will be most effective for selling the house.

5) 15-year-old Noah St. John won NPR’s Snap Judgment “Performance of the Year” for a stunning story of his two mothers. NPR’s Snap Judgment is a storytelling competition where people tell their story to musical accompaniment. St. John previously won the Youth Speaks Grand Slam Champion prize. Watch his moving performance of “The Last Mile” below.

Binary Data -Lug_IxFKo8

6) Rehearsals have officially begun for the American Repertory Theater’s production of gay playwright Tennessee Williams’ classic drama, The Glass Menagerie. The story follows aging Southern beauty Amanda Wingfield (out actress Cherry Jones) who persuades her discontented son Tom (out actor Zachary Quinto) to a find an appropriate gentleman to court her handicapped daughter Laura (Celia Keenan-Bolger). Previews begin February 2, with opening night on February 6 and the production running through March 17 at Cambridge’s Loeb Drama Center.  Tickets are available now.

7) Prodigals, an upcoming web series revolving around three siblings who have drifted apart, is looking for funding help to cover shooting and editing costs. The siblings – Garrett, Melissa and Billy – couldn’t be more different and are no longer close, in part because of disagreements over Garrett’s engagement to his now-fiancé, Neil. The three are forced together following a life-altering event and must evaluate themselves and their relationships with each other. Visit the Prodigals’ Seed & Spark page for more information.