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Kathy Bates Joins the All-Star Cast of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE Table Read

This one-night-only event takes place December 5, 2021 at 5:00pm PT.

Kathy Bates Joins the All-Star Cast of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE Table Read

Relive the classic holiday tale of "It's a Wonderful Life" with some of today's celebrated film, television and theater stars with a live virtual table read.

The Ed Asner Family Center is excited to announce that Academy Award®, Emmy Award® and Golden Globes® winner Kathy Bates has joined the cast as Ma Bailey. Neurodiverse actress Naomi Rubin, from Netflix's hit show "Atypical," Amazon's upcoming "As We See It," and Dear Evan Hansen, has also been cast as Violet. This marks The Center's first year casting an actor on the autism spectrum as a lead role in their annual table read.

Zoom codes can be purchased here.

"As an actor, I am honored and can't believe I'll be joining so many of my heroes in a live reading of this timeless classic as Violet Bick," exclaims Naomi Rubin. "As an autistic adult, I'm uniquely aware of the vital role the Center plays in the lives of families like mine. Our community is better and stronger because of Ed's dedication and work on behalf of people of all abilities, and the Center is a living testament to his commitment. Thank you, Matt and Navah, for this honor."

Bates and Rubin join an all-star cast, including Jason Sudeikis, Jean Smart, Rosario Dawson, Mark Hamill, Martin Sheen, Lou Diamond Phillips, Ron Funches, Mandy Patinkin, Phil LaMarr, Ed Harris, George Wendt, Ben Mankiewicz and host Tom Bergeron for the live online table read.

Previously announced autistic actors Spencer Harte, Domonique Brown, Chelsea Darnell, Ryan Booth and Lucas Salusky all actively participate in expressive enrichment programs at the Center. Chelsea Darnell is being honored at this year's event for her role as the Center's Social Director, assisting in the creation and implementation of a wide variety of programs, including The Dating Spectrum. Victor Nelli (TV's "Superstore," "Brooklyn Nine Nine"), whose daughter also participates in programs offered by The Center, returns for a second year as Director.

In addition, The Center is proud to be teaming up with The Awesome Company for this year's limited edition t-shirt. The Awesome Company is a printing studio based in Columbus. Founded on the idea that awesome is everywhere, they seek to hire individuals on the Autism spectrum. The Ed Asner Family Center has been a staple of inclusivity and promoting mental health and enrichment programs to individuals with special needs and their families. Job skills training is a crucial part of The Center. According to Forbes, studies estimate a staggering 50-75% of the 5.6 million autistic adults in the U.S. are unemployed or underemployed. Nearly 50% of 25-year-olds with autism have never held a paying job, despite having the skill sets and expertise to excel in the workplace.

The Ed Asner Family Center (TEAFC), an all-encompassing resource dedicated to helping 'differently-abled' individuals (and their families) with Autism, developmental delays, and all types of special needs. The Ed Asner Family Center is a nonprofit, co-founded by Navah Paskowitz-Asner and Matthew Asner, whose mission is to be an oasis of wellness, acceptance, and enrichment for those with special needs and their families seeking wholeness in all attitudes of life. Catering not only to the individual but to the whole family, the Center acts as an oasis of balance and thought, of interaction and education.

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