Our Time Honors Carly Simon at Annual Gala, 4/19; Garber, Abrose et al. to Attend

Our Time has announced that the legendary Carly Simon is confirmed to be the Honoree at their 8th Annual Gala, April 19th, 2010, at NYU's Skirball Center & Rosenthal Pavilion.

For millions of children who stutter, there is no escape from the daily shame and emotional distress caused by this common, but widely misunderstood, speech disorder. Discrimination and social isolation can crush the spirit of these kids, as stuttering erodes a child's desire to speak, communicate and/or express themselves in any meaningful way. Often, they simply shut down.

At Our Time, children who stutter are given a window of hope and a dignified path to a life filled with self-esteem instead of self-loathing. Our Time is a non-profit organization that uses the arts as an innovative and effective tool to help improve the confidence and communication skills of children who stutter, ages 8-18. The company is committed to offering its NYC programming free of charge and providing financial aid for its national program, Camp Our Time.

Our Time relies on the generosity of its supporters in order to fund its ambitious year-round program. Each April, at their annual benefit gala, Our Time youth present original poems, speeches, and songs (written by the kids themselves) alongside professional artists. It is a night of celebration and fearlessness, as children who stutter stand on a stage in front of hundreds of audience members, and revel in the moment.

Says Carly Simon: "I only can imagine how many kids, teens and adults are going to be touched personally by Our Time. I had a very debilitating stammer for most of my life. I don't think I would have used the word ‘debilitating' to describe it, if there had been such a mother figure of empathy, like Our Time, that was publicly and privately helping me through all those years of suffering. This wonderful, young, talented and selfless man, Taro Alexander, has contributed his gifts toward seeing that having a stutter has grace and originality, and does not have to be hidden in the dark chambers of shame. I truly believe in Our Time, and I am very proud to be an active member of this program."

The April 19th Gala celebration, hosted by Edie Falco, will feature performances by Lauren Ambrose, Victor Garber, John Forté, Stiller & Meara, numerous other acclaimed artists as well as kids who stutter, who will cover such Carly Simon hits as "You're So Vain," "Anticipation," "Let the River Run," and other favorites. Honorary Chairs are Sarah Jessica Parker, Diane Sawyer and Mike Nichols. Co-Chairs are Scott M. Delman & Fred Nelson.

The evening will be directed by Our Time Founder Taro Alexander, with Musical Direction by Everett Bradley.

Participating Artists include (list subject to change): Lauren Ambrose; Talia Balsam; Michael Cerveris; Nadia Dajani; Ned Eisenberg; John Forté; Dominic Fumusa; Victor Garber; Lauren Graham; Kathryn Grody; Richard Kind; Ilana Levine; Jesse L. Martin; Anne Meara; John Oliver; Austin Pendleton; Rosie Perez; Billy Porter; Ron Rifkin; Ramon Rodriguez; Daphne Rubin-Vega; Amy Ryan; Jonathan Schwartz; Ed Sherin; John Slattery; Fisher Stevens; Jerry Stiller; Mary Testa; B.D. Wong.

The 7:00pm performance will be followed by dinner and auction at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts & Rosenthal Pavilion at NYU. Dress is festive. For more information or reservations 
call 212.414.9696, email gala2010@ourtimetheatre.org, or visit www.ourtimetheatre.org/gala
Tickets for the performance only are $125. Tickets including the performance and post-show dinner/auction are $300/$1,000, and tables seating 10 people are $10,000/$25,000.

Carly Simon is a singer, songwriter, musician, and author of children's books. She rose to fame in the 1970s with a string of hit records, and has since been the recipient of two Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and has been recognized in the Songwriters Hall of Fame for her work. She has two children; Sally and Ben Taylor who are also musicians. What many people may not realize is that Carly had a problem with stuttering that she wrestled with throughout her childhood, and she has said that singing and songwriting helped her to conquer it. In an interview with Ladies Home Journal magazine, she talked about her stutter: "I loved to read, but never out loud ... In retrospect, my stammering was an opportunity ... There's something about the mind connecting differently to the vocal cords when you apply either rhythm or melody... " With a long string of achievements under her belt, Carly serves as a shining example of someone who has not let stuttering hold her back. Most recently, in 2009, Carly released an album of the re-workings of many of her classic songs titled "Never Been Gone" for Iris Records. That year, Simon also recorded vocals for two songs, "You Don't Know Hurt" and "Perfect Place," for Our Time's benefit album, "Listen," which also features vocals by Simon's Godson and musical collaborator John Forté. Our Time is beyond thrilled to honor Ms. Simon with the Our Time Award, and applauds her for encouraging young people who stutter to live their dreams to the fullest.

From Entertainment Weekly to USA TODAY to NBC NEWS to Back Stage Magazine, press has taken notice of the extraordinary work being done by Our Time. Upcoming coverage includes WPIX-TV, BrainWorld Magazine, ParentGuide Magazine, Imprint-TV and more. By building confidence in children who stutter, and working in tandem with educators and Speech Pathologists, Our Time can help improve performance in school as well as in the day-to-day lives of these kids. Founded by Taro Alexander, a person who has stuttered since the age of five, Our Time brings sensitivity and compassion to a group of youngsters who are often consumed by shame, or, worse, ignored. It is the only such organization in America.

Learn more about Our Time at http://www.ourtimetheatre.org/. For Gala information, visit www.ourtimetheatre.org/gala. For more information about Our Time, contact SethCohenPR@earthlink.net, 212.873.1011.

 


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