Standing on Ceremony

Wayne State faculty and students of  the  College of Fine, Performing & Communication Arts and local theatre professionals joined forces Monday, November 7, 2011 to present  “Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays,” a nationwide event created by Tectonic Theater Project.

Wayne State was one of nearly 50 organizations to participate in the simultaneous staging of 11 one-act plays, written by 10 award-winning playwrights, to raise awareness for marriage equality. The playwrights include Jordan Harrison, Wendy MacLeod, Paul Rudnick, Doug Wright, Joe Keenan, Jeffrey Hatcher, Mo Gaffney, Neil LaBute, Moises Kaufman and Jose River.

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The event began with a live webcast from New York City. Evan Wolfson, president and founder of Freedom to Marry, a national campaign to end marriage discrimination, lead the webcast with an explanation of why marriage matters to the gay community. He encouraged viewers to support the cause by signing the Say, “I do” letter , which asks President Obama for his support.

WSU’s production at the Schaver Music Recital Hall was hosted by John Corvino, professor of Philosophy at WSU, and writer of the column “The Gay Moralist” for Between the Lines. The cast included members of the Hilberry Theatre Company and WSU’s undergraduate and PhD program, as well as faculty from the department. They include Michael J. Barnes, Jesse Merz, Cheryl Turski, Phillip Barnhart, Kassy Skoretz, Jordan Whalen, Sara Hymes, Topher Payne, Josh Rippy, Danielle Cochrane, Robbie Dwight, Shay Johnson, Sara Kline, Julia Moriarty, Ashley Shamoon and Alexander Trice. Directors include Michael J. Barnes, Phillip Barnhart, Bilha Birman-Rivlin, Michael Butterworth, Jesse Merz, Andrew Papa, Josh Rippy, Cheryl Turski and Jordan Whalen.

The performances were followed by post-show question and answer session via twitter, moderated by Patrick Healy of The New York Times. Participants were encouraged to tweet questions using the hashtag #askSOC.

The event was free and open to the public, suggested donations were made to benefit the CFPCA’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Endowed Scholarship Fund and the Kyle Holton Memorial Theatre Scholarship.

Written by Jillian Zylinski

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