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The Outer Loop Announces 2020 Virtual 'Empathy Project' Gala

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Nonprofit takes theater to the next level during pandemic.

The Outer Loop Theater Experience's Co-Artistic Directors, Emily Vitrano and Michael Herman, are proud to announce The Outer Loop 'Empathy Project' Virtual Gala: love will win in the end presented by Dr. Dawn Lipson, on December 19th, 2020 at 8:00pm ET. The 11-year-old nonprofit theater company, known to its faithful Rochester, New York followers as "that innovative arts-for-action group," has taken their responsibility as artists to the next level this past year, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

From Rochester's own The Outer Loop and The Humanity Project, comes a unique live event... one part virtual gala... and one part devised theatrical response to the moment of crisis, we as a global community, currently find ourselves in. These are strange and uncertain times. Ones simultaneously abundant and lacking in connection and hope. Can we, through theater, inspire empathy and reconnect to our shared humanity... and raise some money to keep the arts alive at the same time?

The Outer Loop Empathy Project Gala, a virtual devised theater event and fundraiser (via Zoom), will include both live and pre-recorded performances of stories from people of all ages, races, beliefs and demographics, all surrounding their current experience of COVID-19 and the global pandemic, as well as this country's struggle with systemic racism, and our recent election. The Outer Loop has gathered these stories from local communities and beyond, and collaborated with a group of actors, singers, dancers, movers, songwriters and artists... curating, devising and assembling the larger Empathy Project Gala.

Managing Director Rachael Yoder, a SUNY Brockport alum, described the project, "We usually hold this gala in person, but due to the ongoing pandemic, and in order to make sure everyone stays safe and well, we're going virtual this year! We hope you'll join us or a look back at the challenges of 2020 and a glimpse ahead at our exciting vision for the future of theater."

Co-Artistic Director Michael Herman added, "Your attendance (or donation) will not only help us meet the challenges ahead and continue to grow, but will show our communities and the world, the power of storytelling. That theater (and the arts as a whole) can change, and even save, lives. We are hoping that by bringing together voices, stories and experiences from all walks of life and artists from all mediums, both participants and audience alike will engage in the greater conversation of what it means to be human... right now. And that together, we might discover while our experiences or views of our current crises may differ, our feelings of fear, joy, disappointment, hope, anger, and love are all the same."

Tickets, merchandise, and donation info available via: For more information please visit The Outer Loop website:

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