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Our Time Benefit April 11 Honors Ken Roberson, Hosted by Richard Kind

Our Time Theatre Company (Taro Alexander, Artistic Director; Chelsea Lacatena, Associate Artistic Director), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing an artistic home for young people who stutter, will hold its Third Annual Benefit Gala and will continue its tradition of honoring a person who has been an inspiration to people who stutter. This year's Our Time Award will be presented by Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show, 2004 Tony Award-winner for A Raisin in the Sun), to Ken Roberson, choreographer of the Tony Award-winning musical, Avenue Q. The evening will be hosted by Richard Kind ("Spin City"), the star of the Tony Award-winning musical The Producers. This benefit will take place on Monday, April 11, 2005 6:30PM cocktails at Andavi (91 Christopher Street), 8PM performance at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street).

John Lithgow is the Honorary Chair and the Co-Chairs are Everett Bradley, Byron Easley, Jason Moore, Liz Tuccillo, and Tom Viola. Performers and presenters include: the cast of the Tony Award-winning Avenue Q, the cast of STOMP, Maurice Hines (legendary performer and brother of the late-great Gregory Hines), Charles Randolph-Wright (Director of the upcoming film On The One), Michelle Robinson (Chicago), Everett Bradley (STOMP, SWING!, and Our Time's Musical Director), Catherine Montgomery (American Institute for Stuttering), and of course the fabulous and inspiring Our Time kids!!!

Our Time Theatre Company provides an environment free from ridicule where young people who stutter discover the joy of creating and performing original theatre. Based in New York City, Our Time consists of pre-teens and teenagers who study acting, singing, playwriting, drumming, and dance with professional artists. Exercising these skills, they create original plays that are performed for the public. Our Time serves its members free of charge and the only prerequisite is that you stutter. Now in its third year, the Our Time Award is an annual award given to an individual who has improved the quality of life and been an inspiration to people who stutter.

Ken Roberson has worked on and off Broadway. B'way: All Shook Up, Avenue Q (a Lucille Lortel nom.), Freak (Assoc. Chor.); Jelly's Last Jam (Ass't. Chor.). Nat'l tours: Guys and Dolls, Cinderella, Civil War, Harlem Song (Drama Desk nom.). Off-B'way: Stupid Kids, Mineola Twins, Avenue X, Insurrection. Regional: Spunk, Smokey Joe's Cafe, A Brief History of White Music (Dir./Chor.), Ain't Misbehavin', Sweeny Todd, Thunder Knocking on the Door. Emmy nom., "House of Buggin.'" He studied at Alvin Ailey and earned a B.A. in journalism from the Univ. of Georgia. His one-man show, I Think, Therefore, I Is, has garnered critical acclaim.

"I have known Ken Roberson, the recipient of the Our Time Award, for several years. I was honored to work with Ken when he choreographed Avenue Q. He is one of the most generous and inspiring artists working in the theatre today—not to mention, perhaps, the most wickedly funny! He has never allowed his stutter to stop him from achieving his dreams. I am absolutely thrilled that Ken's talents will be recognized by receiving the Our Time Award." Jason Moore, Benefit Co-Chair and Director of Avenue Q

The gala provides a rare opportunity for the kids of Our Time to speak publicly about the challenges facing young people who stutter: "When you're a teenager people don't even give you a chance and just laugh in your face. That's why I enjoy Our Time so much because we can stutter and nobody cares ... We can express ourselves through acting ... Once you can do a two hour play in front of hundreds of people, talking to a friend or a stranger is nothing." 14 year-old company member Corom Buksha

Our Time Theatre Company's 3rd annual Benefit Gala will take place on Monday, April 11, 2005 6:30PM cocktails at Andavi (91 Christopher Street)

8PM performance at Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street)

For tickets and information please call (212) 414-9696

Advocate $750 for 2 tickets to cocktail party, VIP seating for benefit performance, public recognition through listings in benefit program and on Our Time's website, and 2 complimentary house seats for the Our Time production in May

Friend $500 for 2 tickets to cocktail party, VIP seating for benefit performance and public recognition through listing in benefit program

Patron $175 for one ticket to cocktail party and preferred seating for benefit performance

Buddy $55 for one ticket to benefit performance

It is estimated that more than 60 million people in the world stutter. Many people who stutter allow the fear and shame of stuttering to control their lives. At Our Time, an environment of unconditional acceptance allows company members to transform that fear and shame into confidence and self-esteem. They experience the freedom that arises from participating in a community that honors and respects them and their creative process. Past honorees include Austin Pendleton and Dr. Alan Rabinowitz.

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