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Brenneman, Najimy, Whitford And Others Lead Standing On Ceremony 1/17

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Producers Joan Stein and Stuart Ross announced casting today for the Monday, January 17, 2011 performance of STANDING ON CEREMONY: THE GAY MARRIAGE PLAYS. The cast includes Amy Brenneman, Julie Hagerty, Richard Kind, Kathy Najimy, Steven Weber, Bradely Whitford and Amy Yasbeck. The evening will feature one acts by some of America's most illustrious playwrights including Jenny Lyn Bader (Manhattan Casanova), JorDan Harrison (Doris to Darlene), Jeffrey Hatcher (Tuesdays with Morrie), Moisés Kaufman (The Laramie Project), Neil LaBute (Reasons to Be Pretty), Wendy MacLeod (Schoolgirl Figure), Kathy Najimy (The Kathy and Mo Show), José Rivera (Marisol), Paul Rudnick (I Hate Hamlet) and Doug Wright (I Am My Own Wife). Conceived and directed by Brian Shnipper, these new provocative plays were created in response to the on-going battle for marriage equality throughout the United States. STANDING ON CEREMONY, which benefits the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and Equality California, will perform four consecutive Monday nights beginning January 17, 2011 at Largo at the Coronet (366 N. La Cienega Blvd.) in West Hollywood.

The STANDING ON CEREMONY playwrights have created an evening that is at once as insightful, and stirring as it is funny and heartwarming. The truth of the writing is so compelling that the program becomes a fast testimony to the struggle for commitment, compassion and humor for all people who have the courage to work through any committed relationship.

"Rallying the voices of some of our finest playwrights towards this Civil Right's issue became something we had to do, no matter what. By launching these plays we join the national movement for marriage equality," said Tony Award-winning producer Joan Stein. "And if we foster an entertaining and engrossing evening of theatre - regardless of demographics or orientation - so much the better," added producer Stuart Ross.

Academy Award-winning producer and American Foundation for Equal Rights Board Member Bruce Cohen said, "STANDING ON CEREMONY is a beautiful production that powerfully champions the battle for marriage equality." He added, "This funny, touching evening of theater reminds us of why marriage is so vitally important in our society, while also providing crucial support for our work to make marriage equality a reality. This collection of scenes not only supports the Foundation's work in the courtroom, but also helps to tell the stories of those affected by discriminatory laws like Proposition 8. We know that when our stories are told, equality wins."

"Raising awareness about same-sex relationships and the importance of restoring marriage equality is critical to ending discriminations," said Geoff Kors, Equality California Executive Director. "We truly appreciate the amazingly talented individuals who will bring these stories to life and Standing on Ceremony for their support in helping us continue our work to change hearts and minds and to achieve equality for LGBT Californians."

On December 6, STANDING ON CEREMONY played to a sold-out audience at the launch event with Hollywood celebrity guests in attendance - Helen Hunt, Nia Vardalos, Ian Gomez, Lily Tomlin, Saffron Burrows, among others. The production, which has been restyled since the El Portal and New York Theatre Workshop benefits, is being launched as a theatre event that will serve as a lightening rod for raising consciousness - an advocacy piece that will also enjoy a long commercial life as a funny, heart-felt and illuminating evening that celebrates the courage to be in a relationship.

Producing team for STANDING ON CEREMONY: THE GAY MARRIAGE PLAYS includes producers Joan Stein and Stuart Ross, and associate producer Allain Rochel.

The limited engagement plays four consecutive Monday nights: January 17, 24, 31, 2011 and February 7, 2011. All performances are at 8:00 p.m. and will be held at Largo at the Coronet (366 N. La Cienega Blvd.) in West Hollywood. Tickets are $25.00 and $50.00 and are available online at StandingOnCeremony.net or by calling Tix.com at 800-595-4849. A portion of all ticket sales from STANDING ON CEREMONY will benefit the American Foundation for Equal Rights and Equality California. Valet parking is available and there is ample street parking. For additional information visit www.StandingOnCeremony.net.

Casting and selection of plays for January 24, 31 and February 7, 2011 will be announced at a later date.

ABOUT AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR EQUAL RIGHTS (AFER):

The American Foundation for Equal Rights is dedicated to protecting and advancing equal rights for every American. Through its groundbreaking federal court case against California's Proposition 8-the ballot measure that eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry-the Foundation is leading the fight for marriage equality and equality under the law for every American. The Foundation assembled a legal team led by Theodore B. Olson and David Boies to demonstrate that Prop. 8 violates the U.S. Constitution by denying countless Americans equal protection under the law. Olson and Boies personify the non-partisan approach pursued by AFER, whose leadership is not defined by a partisan ideology, but rather by a devotion to those fundamental ideals that we all share as Americans. On August 4, 2010, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California found that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional. The case will now be heard by 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on December 6, 2010.

ABOUT EQUALITY CALIFORNIA:

Equality California (EQCA) is the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender-rights advocacy organization in California. Over the past decade, Equality California has strategically moved California from a state with extremely limited legal protections for LGBT individuals to a state with some of the most comprehensive civil rights protections in the nation. Equality California has passed over 70 pieces of legislation and continues to advance equality through legislative advocacy, electoral work, public education and community empowerment. www.eqca.org

Photo Credit: Walter McBride/WM Photos


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