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WICKED to Team with Ben Cohen & Dan Savage for Anti-Bullying Talkback, 10/11


In its ongoing efforts to combat bullying, the hit Broadway musical WICKED will host a special event on Thursday, October 11, featuring two leaders in the worldwide campaign to bring an end to bullying: Ben Cohen, MBE, founder of The Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, and Dan Savage, co-founder of The It Gets Better Project. Mr. Cohen and Mr. Savage will be joined by members of the WICKED company for a post-performance talk-back to discuss what can be done to help stop the prevalence of bullying.

Tickets for this special event, which is being held on National Coming Out Day, includes that evening’s 8pm performance of the Broadway blockbuster as well as access to the talk-back. Special event tickets can be purchased at Stand Up - It Gets Better - WICKED. A portion of the ticket price will be donated to The It Gets Better Project and The Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation.

For the past four years, the North American companies of WICKED have been leaders in the theatre community’s fight to end bullying. Through its partnership with the National School Climate Center’s BullyBust program (Bullybust), Wicked has used its message of tolerance in prevention materials, educational activities, and classroom workshops that have reached more than 500,000 students in over 1,200 schools nationwide. In London, Wicked has established an ongoing partnership with the Ben Cohen Standup Foundation that has made significant strides to raise awareness of the long-term, damaging effects of bullying and to fund those doing real-world work to stop it.

Founded by Ben Cohen MBE, the World Cup rugby star, The Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, Inc. is the world’s first foundation dedicated to raising awareness of the long-term, damaging effects of bullying, and funding those doing real-world work to stop it. The organization stands up against bullying regardless of to whom it happens. Because lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are often targeted by bullies, the foundation gives particular attention to this community. They include removing homophobia from sports as central to their mission. For more info, please visit: Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation.

In September 2010, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage created a YouTube video with his partner Terry Miller to inspire hope for young people facing harassment. In response to a number of students taking their own lives after being bullied in school, they wanted to create a personal way for supporters everywhere to tell LGBT youth that, yes, it does indeed get better.

The It Gets Better Project™ has become a worldwide movement, inspiring more than 50,000 user-created videos viewed more than 50 million times. To date, the project has received submissions from celebrities, organizations, activists, politicians and media personalities, including President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Adam Lambert, Anne Hathaway, Colin Farrell, Matthew Morrison of "Glee", Joe Jonas, Joel Madden, Ke$ha, Sarah Silverman, Tim Gunn, Ellen Degeneres, Suze Orman, the staffs of The Gap, Google, Facebook, Pixar, the Broadway community, and many more. Every video changes a life. It doesn’t matter who makes it. For more info, please visit It Gets Better Project.

Broadway’s #1 show for an unprecedented eight consecutive years, WICKED has been declared “A Cultural Phenomenon” by Variety and “The Best Musical of the Decade” by Entertainment Weekly. There are currently 7 productions worldwide: New York, London, Japan, Holland, Seoul and two concurrent North American National Tours. Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, WICKED has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, and a book by Winnie Holzman. The production is directed by Joe Mantello with musical staging by Wayne Cilento. WICKED is produced by Marc Platt, Universal Pictures, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and David Stone.

Winner of 35 major awards including the Grammy Award and three Tony Awards, WICKED is the untold story of the witches of Oz. Long before Dorothy drops in, two other girls meet in the land of Oz. One, born with emerald-green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. WICKED tells the story of their remarkable odyssey, how these two unlikely friends grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good.

For more information, please visit WICKED is performed at the Gershwin Theatre, 222 West 51st Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue.

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