Irwin, Kushner and LaBute Join FIRST VOTE Fundraiser 11/3

Irwin, Kushner and LaBute Join FIRST VOTE Fundraiser 11/3Epic Theater Ensemble brings out the vote on Election Eve with "First Vote '08," a one-night only special event to benefit Epic's innovative, civic-minded in-school and after-school education programs.  Epic Theater Ensemble, in partnership with John Jay College of Criminal Justice, celebrates a group of over 40 First Time Voters including Casimero Torres from the cast of the Off-Broadway hit play The Castle.   The evening will feature satirical, scandalous, and inspiring short plays, songs, sketches, and toasts.   This annual event is set for Election Eve, Monday, November 3rd  at 7:30 p.m. in The Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (899 Tenth Avenue between 58th and 59th Streets). 

The writers and performers scheduled to appear at this year's event include, Anthony Arnove, David Auburn, Mia Barron, Stephen Belber, Zak Berkman, Leila Buck, Julia Cho, Kathleen Chalfant, Lynn Cohen, Jon de Vries, Colman Domingo, Melissa Friedman, Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros, P.J. Gibson, Adam Green, Rachael Holmes, Bill Irwin, Tony Kushner, Neil LaBute, Teri Lamm, Craig Lucas, Jennifer Maisel, Anne Nelson, Richard Nelson, Seth Numrich, Najla Said, Karenna Gore, Schiff, Thomas Sadowski, Jeremy Shamos, Godfrey L. Simmons, Jr., Nilaja Sun, David Strathairn, Judy Tate, Sarah Winkler, David Zellnik, joined by the cast of the Off-Broadway play The Castle (Kenneth Harrington, Velma Ortiz, Angel Ramos, Casimero Torres) and members of the Epic NEXT Ensemble, with Gordon Elliot (TV's Food Network celebrity host/producer) as the non-citizen, non-partisan Master of Ceremonies!

Every year Epic Theatre Ensemble stages an election eve event honoring student alumnae from Epic's innovative, civic-minded education programs who will be voting for the first time the next day. This one-hour benefit weaves together a collection of short plays, spoken op-eds, music, comedy sketches, and toasts that take a satiric, passionate, and most often personal perspective on citizenship, democracy, and the experience of voting.

Performing artists and writers who have contributed and performed at past First-Time Voter Nights include David Strathairn, Eve Ensler, Tony Kushner, Nilaja Sun, Warren Leight, Kathleen Chalfant, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Emily Mann, Tamara Tunie, The Petersons, Christopher Durang, Austin Pendleton, Erin Cressida Wilson, Scott Bryce, Aaron & Julia Korhn, Ariel Dorfman, Amy Redford, just to name a few.

Epic Founding Producer, Zak Berkman, adds that "for this extraordinary election year we are expanded our First Time Voter event in many directions. Our honorees collaborated with Epic's artists throughout the fall to register over 1000 voters and utilize street, and cafeteria, theatre to increase awareness of this historic election. Some of these honorees have contributed writing that will be performed alongside the professional contributions on November 3rd. We are thrilled to be partnering for the first time with John Jay College of Criminal Justice to identify honorees, contributors, and present the culminating election-eve event at their Gerald Lynch Theater."

Tickets for "First Vote '08" are priced at $50 / $25 for General Admission, $10 Student (w/code "ST10" and student ID)  , and there are a limited number of VIP TICKETS at  $250 (includes a special pre-show reception with the performers from 6:00 p.m. - 7:15 p.m., priority seating, and recognition in program).

General Admission and Student tickets are available online at or by calling Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200.  Special VIP tickets can be purchased via email at or by calling (212) 239-1770.

Photo Credit Peter James Zielinski

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