'Standing on Ceremony' reading takes Syracuse Stage tonight

“Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays”

Presented by Syracuse Stage/ SU Drama 

Location Storch Theatre, 820 E. Genesee Syracuse

When Nov. 7, 8 p.m.

Cost Free




Lauren Smart will be live tweeting this tonight, so catch up with GRR and this event through Twitter.com/greenroomreview if you can't make it out. 

Syracuse Stage press release: 

(Syracuse, NY)— Witty, warm and occasionally wacky, Standing On Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays is an evening of new short plays by an A-list lineup of writers with 2 Pulitzer Prizes, 4 Obies, 1 Emmy and 3 Tony nominations. Be there as they offer their unique takes on the moments before, during and after "I do." These plays are vows to the blessings of equality, the universal challenges of relationships, and the often hilarious power of love.

On Monday, November 7, the same evening that Standing On Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays premieres at Minetta Lane Theatre in New York City, more than 40 theatres and universities around the country will present readings of the work, written in response to the ongoing battle for marriage equality throughout the United States. Syracuse Stage and Syracuse University’s Department of Drama have an evening planned that will include a live introductory web cast from Minetta Lane Theatre, a live reading of the plays by local performers, and a Twitter Q&A session with participants from around the globe. The Syracuse event on November 7 will begin at 8 p.m. in the Storch Theatre, 820 East Genesee Street, and will be free and open to the public. Seating is first come, first serve.

The nationwide reading of Standing On Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays was organized by Tectonic Theatre Project, the same company that organized the 2009 nationwide reading of The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later, which Syracuse Stage and SU Drama presented to a capacity crowd.

“After the success of The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later, we are thrilled to partner withStanding On Ceremony to facilitate another national convening with this beautiful collection of plays about a timely and urgent issue,” Moisés Kaufman, artistic director of Tectonic Theatre Project and contributing Standing On Ceremony playwright said.

Some of America’s most illustrious and Award-winning playwrights have contributed to Standing On Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays, including Heideman Award winner Jordan Harrison,Edgar Award winner Jeffrey Hatcher, Tony Award nominee Moisés Kaufman, Tony Award nominee Neil LaBute, Sundance Jury Prize winner Wendy MacLeod, Obie Award winner José Rivera, Obie and Outer Critics Circle Award winner Paul Rudnick, and Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Doug Wright.

Conceived by Brian Shnipper and directed by Stuart Ross, Standing On Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays began as a series of benefit events in Los Angeles, taking on a life of their own as an inspiring theatrical evening. The show begins previews at the Minetta Lane Theatre (18 Minetta Lane, NYC) on Monday, November 7 with an official opening night set for Sunday, November 13.  As was established in Los Angeles, a portion of each ticket purchased to the NYC production of Standing On Ceremony will be donated to marriage equality organizations.

To date, more than 40 theatres and universities are confirmed to participate on November 7, in 25 states across America including: Texas, North Dakota, Florida, Kansas and Michigan, where both gay marriage and civil unions are banned; North Carolina, where the vote on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage was moved up to 2012; California, where gay marriage was legalized and then overturned by the passage of Proposition 8 in 2008; and many states where marriage equality is not yet a reality. Beyond America, theatres as far flung as Sydney, Australia will also participate, making this a truly international event.

Directing the Syracuse reading is Joseph Whelan, Syracuse Stage Publications Director and adjunct faculty member in Syracuse University’s Department of Drama. Whelan was drawn to the play after reading an article about14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer, of Buffalo, NY, who committed suicide, just days after making a video for the “It Gets Better” campaign, because he was taunted at school for being bisexual.  

Reading in Syracuse are Rob Bundy, part-time assistant professor of Directing and Acting for SU Drama; Celia Madeoy, assistant professor of Acting and Voice for SU Drama; Leslie Noble, SU Drama administrative specialist and adjunct faculty member; Lauren Unbekant, director of educational programs for Syracuse Stage and SU Drama adjunct faculty member; and Ralph Zito, professor and chair, SU Drama.

For more information, visit www.standingonceremony.net.