Classic Stage Company to Host Staged Reading of THE SECRET COURT, Benefiting The Trevor Project
Classic Stage Company (CSC) will host a one-night-only staged reading of an exciting new version of the hit off-Broadway play, The Secret Court (formerly titled Unnatural Acts), to benefit The Trevor Project on Monday, March 30, 2015. The special event will be held at 7:00 p.m. at CSC (136 East Thirteenth Street, between Third & Fourth Avenues) and will feature members of the original off-Broadway cast, followed by comments by Amit Paley, the man who uncovered the long hidden files that inspired the play.
Written by members of the Plastic Theatre and conceived & directed by Tony Speciale, The Secret Court is inspired by true events that occurred at Harvard University in the spring of 1920, when a student's suicide sparked a campus-wide investigation by a panel of administrators who convened to investigate, expose and ultimately expel a group of homosexual students. Both intimate and epic, The Secret Court explores themes of fear and societal intolerance that are as relevant today as they were 95 years ago.
Shockingly, for more than eighty years the events surrounding the incident were covered-up, until 2002 when Amit Paley, a student journalist for The Harvard Crimson, came upon a reference to the "Secret Court" while combing university archives. After initial resistance, Harvard granted Mr. Paley access to the long-abandoned files of over 500 pages of documents describing the systematic persecution of a group of students. The revelation of this controversy motivated conceiver and director Speciale's own journey into the court transcripts, family correspondence, and academic records revealing the lives of these promising young men. Speciale and his team of co-writers devoted hours of research and development decoding the previously hidden records from The Court, piecing together a timeline of events in order to shine a light on a long ignored event in our country's history.
Tickets for the benefit reading of The Secret Court are $100 and may be purchased online at
Unnatural Acts premiered off-Broadway in 2011 at CSC to critical acclaim, where its run was extended three times. It received three Drama Desk Award nominations including Outstanding Play; a GLAAD Media Award nomination for Outstanding NY Theater: Broadway & Off-Broadway; and an Off Broadway Alliance Award nomination for Best New Play.