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Groundbreaking play on gay marriage opens on campus

by Tonya Durlach

Nov. 1, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of a marriage equality demonstration.
"Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays," Nov. 7
KALAMAZOO--On Monday, Nov. 7, curtains around the globe will open on "Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays," as 40 participating theaters in 25 states and around the world present the play in an effort to raise awareness and support of marriage equality.

Western Michigan University will join the movement, hosting a local performance of "Standing on Ceremony" at 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7, in Williams Theatre at the Gilmore Theatre Complex.

No reservations are required to attend the free show, which is being staged by the internationally renowned Tectonic Theater Project. Guests will have the opportunity to make an optional donation to the Kalamazoo Gay and Lesbian Resource Center.

About "Standing on Ceremony"

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, and soon took on a life of its own. The show begins previews at New York's off-Broadway Minetta Lane Theatre Nov. 7, with an official opening night set for Sunday, Nov. 13. As was established in Los Angeles, a portion of each ticket purchased will be donated to marriage equality organizations.

Responding to one of today's defining issues, the ongoing battle for marriage equality throughout the United States, some of America's most illustrious and award-winning playwrights have created a production that celebrates the courage to be in a relationship--any relationship. They include: Obie Award winner Mo Gaffney, Heideman Award winner Jordan Harrison, Edgar Award winner Jeffrey Hatcher, Tony Award nominee Moises Kaufman, Tony Award nominee Neil LaBute, Sundance Jury Prize winner Wendy MacLeod, Obie Award winner Jose Rivera, Obie and Outer Critics Circle Award winner Paul Rudnick, and Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Doug Wright.

To date, more than 40 theaters and universities are confirmed to participate, 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. Theatres as far-flung as Sydney will also participate, making this a truly international event.

"Standing on Ceremony" is produced by Joan Stein and Richard Frankel. Learn more at or by visiting Standing on Ceremony on Facebook.

About Tectonic Theater Project

Tectonic Theater Project is an award-winning company dedicated to developing innovative works that explore theatrical language and form as well as foster an artistic dialogue with audiences on relevant social, political and human issues. In service to this goal, Tectonic supports readings, workshops and full theatrical productions, as well as training for students around the country. The company's groundbreaking plays, "The Laramie Project," "Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde" and "I Am My Own Wife," have sparked national discourse and inspired artists and audiences worldwide. New York Magazine calls the Tectonic Theater Project "Nothing short of stunning. Not to be missed."

For more information about the WMU performance of "Standing on Ceremony," contact Emily Duguay, University Theatre, at or (269) 387-6222.