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STANDING ON CEREMONY: THE GAY MARRIAGE PLAYS Opens At Angel Orensanz 6/14

STANDING ON CEREMONY: THE GAY MARRIAGE PLAYS, a collection of short plays written for marriage equality to benefit Human Rights Campaign, Marriage Equality New York and New York Theatre Workshop will take place on Monday, June 14, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. at the Angel Orensanz Center, 172 Norfolk Street in New York City, between Houston and Stanton Streets. Dancing and a glamorous wedding reception will follow. Originally commissioned and conceived by Brian Shnipper, the plays will be directed by Mr. Shnipper and Stuart Ross. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer is the event Chair, and Mr. Anthony Napoli is the Benefit Chairperson of New York Theatre Workshop. Absolut is a sponsor of STANDING ON CEREMONY: THE GAY MARRIAGE PLAYS. Go to http://www.nytw.org/standing_benefit.asp for tickets.

The event will feature the work of leading American Playwrights including Constance Congdon, Marcus Gardley, JorDan Harrison, Holly Hughes, Megan Carney & Moe Angelos, Albert Innaurato, Tony Kushner, Moises Kaufman, Neil LaBute, Kate Moira Ryan, Kathy Najimy, Kira Obolensky, Jose Rivera, Paul Rudnick and Doug Wright.

Actors featured in the reading will be Jillian Armenante, Amy Brenneman, Kevin Chamberlain, Frankie Faison, Randy Harrison, Jefferson Mays, Kathy Najimy, Christopher Sieber, Mary Testa, Mary Louise Wilson, B.D. Wong and others to be announced.

James C. Nicola, Artistic Director, New York Theatre Workshop, said, " Historically, each chapter of democracy American-style has been defined by one fierce battle or another over the rights of a group of individuals in relation to the powers of the state. Marriage equality now occupies that historic position. By joining forces, Human Rights Campaign, Marriage Equality New York and New York Theatre Workshop create a unique opportunity to participate in this essential rite of citizenship."

Another way to contribute is through a special wedding gift registry. Visit http://www.myregistry.com/public/Standing-on-Ceremony using the organization name "Standing On Ceremony." Those who support marriage equality but cannot attend the benefit are encouraged to donate generously.

. Tickets are $75.00, $250, and $500 Tax deductible tickets can be ordered by phone at 646-957-9547 or online at www.nytw.org.

The Honorary Committee for the event is comprised of supporters of marriage equality including: U.S Senator Charles Schumer, NYS Senator Tom Duane (the leader for Marriage Equality in the New York State Senate), Lily Tomlin, Jane Wagner, David Hyde Pierce, Brian Hargrove, James Lapine, Isaac Mizrahi, Judy Shepard (Mother of Matthew Shepard), Neil Patrick Harris and Patrick Dempsey among others.

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all. HRC seeks to improve the lives of LGBT Americans by advocating for equal rights and benefits in the workplace, ensuring families are treated equally under the law and increasing public support among all Americans through innovative advocacy, education and outreach programs.

Marriage Equality New York is an all-inclusive organization whose mission is to educate the public by raising awareness of the important right of all persons to enter into legally recognized gender neutral civil marriage with all the benefits and responsibilities that entails. Without marriage, committed same-sex couples are denied over 1,138 federal rights and obligations including social security, hospital visitation, co-parenting rights, estate tax, and immigration, just to name a few. MENY spreads their message through educational seminars, forums, and speaking engagements; media presence; partnerships with local area civil groups, churches and individuals; and active engagement with political leaders, lobbying for equality in the law.

Founded in 1979 (incorporated 1982), New York Theatre Workshop is A Contemporary Theatre company committed to the development of innovative theatre by supporting theatre artists at all stages of their careers, providing an environment where work can be created free from the artistic compromise and forbidding financial demands often associated with commercial ventures. The Workshop is dedicated to exploring and presenting theatrical experiences that reflect, respond to and invigorate the world in which we live and work. Over more than twenty-five years, NYTW has evolved to become a significant force in New York City's vibrant cultural landscape and is now recognized as one of the leading producing theatres of original work in the United States.

For More information visit www.nytw.org

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