Photo Flash: Craig Bierko, Beth Leavel, et al. in STANDING ON CEREMONY

The Off Broadway production of Standing On Ceremony kicked off its open-ended run last night, November 7, and featured an introduction from EVan Wolfson, Founder and President of Freedom to Marry. Conceived by Brian Shnipper and directed by Stuart Ross, Standing On Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays began as a series of benefit events in Los Angeles, taking on a life of their own as an inspiring theatrical evening. The official opening night set for Sunday, November 13 and a premiere cast that includes Craig Bierko, Mark Consuelos, Polly Draper, Harriet Harris, Beth Leavel and Richard Thomas. Check out photos from the first preview below!

Responding to one of the defining issues of our day -- the on-going battle for marriage equality throughout the United States -- some of America's most illustrious and Award-winning playwrights, including Obie Award winner Mo Gaffney, Heideman Award winner Jordan Harrison, Tony
Award nominee Moisés Kaufman, Emmy and WGA Award winner Joe Keenan, Tony Award nominee Neil LaBute, Sundance Jury Prize winner Wendy MacLeod, Obie Award winner José Rivera, Obie and Outer Critics Circle Award winner Paul Rudnick, and Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Doug Wright, have created a heartfelt, funny and altogether illuminating evening that celebrates the courage to be in a relationship - any relationship.

Tectonic Theater Project is an award-winning company whose plays have been performed around the world. The company is dedicated to developing innovative works that explore theatrical language and form, fostering an artistic dialogue with our audiences on the social, political and human issues that affect us all. In service to this goal, Tectonic supports readings, workshops, and full theatrical productions, as well as training for students around the country in our play-making techniques. Tectonic Theater Project was founded in 1991 by Moisés Kaufman and Jeffrey LaHoste. Tectonic refers to the art and science of structure and was chosen to emphasize the company's interest in construction-- how things are made, and how they might be made differently.
Its groundbreaking plays, The Laramie Project, Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, and I Am My Own Wife, have sparked national discourse about their subjects and have inspired artists and audiences worldwide. In 2009, Tectonic Theater Project brought The Laramie Project to 100 cities across America, when it was performed simultaneously by high schools, universities and professional theatres.

Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide, pursuing the Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. They partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings. Freedom to Marry was launched in 2003 by EVan Wolfson, the civil rights attorney generally considered the architect of the national marriage equality movement. From a prophetic vision once shared by only a few, the marriage movement has rapidly gained traction with the American public, and in the past decade, we secured the freedom to marry in six states and the District of Columbia. Forty-four states continue to exclude same-sex couples from marriage, and through the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA), the federal government refuses to honor the marriages of thousands of legally-wed same-sex couples, depriving them of the 1,000+ federal protections and responsibilities that come with marriage. Freedom to Marry is leading the campaign to overturn DOMA and is working across the country to win marriage in more states and educate the public about why marriage matters to same-sex couples and their families.

Photo Credit: Carolyn Contino

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