Freedom to Marry Partners with Play “Standing on Ceremony”

10/18/2011

Contact:
Jackie Yodashkin / Rick Miramontez / Molly Barnett / Sam Corbett
jackie@freedomtomarry.org / rick@oandmco.com / molly@oandmco.com / sam@oandmco.com 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CRAIG BIERKO, MARK CONSUELOS,
POLLY DRAPER AND HARRIET HARRIS
JOIN THE PREMIERE CAST OF
 “ S T A N D I N G   O N   C E R E M O N Y:
T H E   G A Y   M A R R I A G E   P L A Y S ”

OFF BROADWAY PRODUCTION
TO PARTNER WITH
FREEDOM TO MARRY

PREVIEWS BEGIN MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7
OPENING SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13
AT THE MINETTA LANE THEATRE

New York, NY (10/18/2011) – Joan Stein and Richard Frankel, producers of Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays, announced today that Tony Award-nominee and Theatre World Award winner Craig Bierko (The Music Man), Daytime Emmy nominee and frequent “Live with Regis and Kelly” co-host Mark Consuelos, Emmy Award-nominee Polly Draper (“thirtysomething”) and Tony Award-winner Harriet Harris (Thoroughly Modern Millie) will be part of the show’s premiere cast, which begins previews on Monday, November 7 with an official opening night set for Sunday, November 13 at the Minetta Lane Theatre (18 Minetta Lane, NYC).

The producers also announced today that the production will partner with Freedom to Marry, the campaign to win marriage nationwide, for its Off Broadway premiere and will donate a portion of all ticket sales to Freedom to Marry and other organizations promoting marriage equality.

“Freedom to Marry is happy to be partnering with the talented writers, actors, and team involved in Standing on Ceremony, as together we bring more people into our campaign to win the freedom to marry nationwide,” said Evan Wolfson, founder and President of Freedom to Marry.  “Standing on Ceremony tells stories of life and love with laughter and tears, following committed gay and lesbian couples through the ups and downs of building a life together -- in short, the reasons why marriage matters to gay people, too.”

Directed by Stuart RossStanding On Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays brings together some of America’s most illustrious and Award-winning playwrights, including Mo GaffneyJordan Harrison, Jeffrey Hatcher, Moisés Kaufman, Joe Keenan, Neil LaBute, Wendy MacLeod, José Rivera, Paul Rudnick and Doug Wright, for a heartfelt, funny and altogether illuminating evening of short plays that celebrates the courage to be in a relationship – any relationship.

Conceived by Brian ShnipperStanding 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.

As previously announced, Standing on Ceremony has joined with Tectonic Theater Project (Moisés Kaufman, Artistic Director; Greg Reiner, Executive Director) for Standing on Ceremony: The National Event, to help take the play’s message across the country (and the globe).  For one night only, on Monday, November 7, curtains will rise on Standing On Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays across America and beyond as more than 40 participating theaters everywhere present the play to raise awareness and funds in support of marriage equality.   The evening will feature an introduction before the play that will be streamed live to participating theatres across the globe.  Audience members can also watch a live streaming post performance Q&A, and can participate regardless of their locale, by submitting questions via Twitter in real time.

Tickets for the Off Broadway run of Standing on Ceremony, priced from $59.00 to $79.00 (plus a $1.00 theatre facility fee), are now on sale via Ticketmaster.com and will be available at the Minetta Lane box office beginning November 3.  For groups of 10 or more, call 1-800-BROADWAY, ext.2 or visit www.Broadway.com/Groups.  The performance schedule is as follows: Tuesday-Friday at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday at 3:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.; Sunday at 3:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.

Standing On Ceremony will feature a rotating cast of the best actors from theater, film and TV.  Additional casting news is forthcoming.

The show is produced Off Broadway by Joan Stein, Richard Frankel, Annette Niemtzow, Fakston Productions, Harley Medcalf, Jon Murray, Harvey Reese, in association with Diana Buckhantz and Niclas Nagler; Executive Producer, Joe Watson.

For more information, visit www.standingonceremony.net.

BIOS                                                                                                                                                  

CRAIG BIERKO starred as ‘Sky Masterson’ in Des McAnuff’s Tony-Award nominated Broadway production of Guys & Dolls in early 2009. In the fall of 2008, Bierko starred in the Manhattan Theatre Club’s world premiere Broadway production of To Be Or Not To Be.  In early 2005, Bierko took to the stage for director James Lapine in Modern Orthodox, written by Daniel Goldfarb, as a modern, successful New Yorker who must resolve his hostility for an old world salesman. Bierko’s diverse film roles range from the villain in Renny Harlin's The Long Kiss Goodnight, to the comedic turn in Larry David's Sour Grapes and in the virtual reality thriller, The 13th Floor. He was most recently seen in David Dobkin’s The Change Up for Universal and received critical praise in the Rob Howard epic period drama Cinderella Man. Other notable feature credits include Scary Movie 4 and Christopher Guest’s For Your Consideration.  In 2001, Craig Bierko completed his successful Broadway run starring as ‘Harold Hill’ in Meredith Wilson's critically acclaimed The Music Man. He was nominated for the prestigious Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, The Drama League Award and was the recipient of The Theater World Award. Television credits include memorable guest appearances on “Boston Legal,” “Unhitched,” “Damages,” “The Good Wife,” “Sex and the City,” “Ally McBeal,” “Necessary Roughness” and “Mad About You.”  Bierko recently completed shooting the Farrelly Brother’s The Three Stooges, which will be released by Fox on April 4th, 2012.

MARK CONSUELOS was last seen as ‘Manuel’ in Kevin Smith’s film Cop Out alongside Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan.  He also recently appeared on the Lifetime Movie Network in the films “Killer Hair” and “Hostile Makeover” based off the “Crime of Fashion Mystery” book series by Ellen Byerrum, as well as ‘Chuck Wyatt’ on Lifetime’s “The Protector” and ‘Detective Averaimo’ on ABC’s “Ugly Betty.”  Mark has an extensive list of television credits.  He is best known for his role on the long-running soap favorite, “All My Children.”  Playing the tormented Mateo Santos since he joined the cast in February 1995, Mark met his future on and off screen wife, actress Kelly Ripa, on the set.  Consuelos starred in the hit Lifetime series “Missing” as Antonio Cortez, a charming, strong, extremely intelligent and free-thinking FBI Special Agent.  The one-hour drama also starred Vivica A. Fox.  Consuelos also guest-starred on ABC’s “Hope & Faith.” He played former baseball star, Gary 'The Gooch' Gucharez, who left to play ball in Japan after beginning a romance with Faith, portrayed by Kelly Ripa.  Additional television credits include the romantic comedy “Beautiful Girl,” and guest appearances on “Third Watch,” “Friends,” “American Family,” “Fortune Hunter” and “SeaQuest.”  He was also the host of NBC’s hit reality series “Age of Love” and has appeared numerous times as part of the Fridays Live panel on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”  Mark’s film credits include the record-breaking Oxygen Movie of the Week “Husband for Hire,” the Hallmark Channel’s “For the Love of Grace,” Wedding Daze opposite Isla Fisher and Jason Biggs, and 20th Century Fox’s comedy My Super Ex-Girlfriend starring opposite Uma Thurman and Luke Wilson.  He also starred in Miramax’s WWII action film, The Great Raid directed by John Dahl.   Born in Zaragoza, Spain, Mark grew up in Lebanon, Illinois and Tampa, Florida. He attended Bloomingdale High School in Illinois and Notre Dame University before receiving a degree in marketing in 1994 from the University of Florida. Consuelos’ early acting credits include Hello, Dolly at the Looking Glass Playhouse in Chicago. He has appeared off-Broadway in Boy’s Life by Howard Korder, Orphans by Lyle Kessler, the Penguin Repertory production of One Shot, One Kill by Richard Vetere, and An Oak Tree at the Barrow Street Theatre.  Mark resides in New York City with his wife Kelly and their children, Michael, Lola and Joaquin.

POLLY DRAPER.  Polly Draper’s Broadway credits include CloserBrooklyn Boy and Crazy He Calls Me.  Polly also starred in the original New York productions of Four Dogs and a Bone (New York Magazine’s best Broadway actress award), Neil Simon’s Actors and Actresses, John Cassavetes’ Thorn HillImagining BradSister Mary IgnatiusRum and Coke and Top Girls among others.  She recently starred in The Escort at the Geffen Playhouse.  Her most recent film and television credits include a role on the Showtime series “The Big C,” and a role in the feature film My Idiot Brother starring Paul Rudd.  Miss Draper is most famous for her role on ABC’s groundbreaking series “thirtysomething” (Emmy nomination). She wrote, produced, acted, and starred in the critically acclaimed feature film, The Tic Code, which won awards at film festivals worldwide including Berlin, Vancouver, and the Hamptons.  Miss Draper has also spent the last five years writing, producing, and directing The Naked Brothers’ Band, a movie and subsequent hit Nickelodeon television series she created, for which she won many awards, including a WGA award.

HARRIET HARRIS is the recipient of the 2002 Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance of Mrs. Meers in Thoroughly Modern Millie.  She appeared on Broadway last season in Present Laughter. Other Broadway: Cry Baby: The Musical, Old Acquaintance, and The Man Who Came to Dinner (with Nathan Lane, also filmed for PBS)Other New York credits include the recent Fringe Festival smash hit, Yeast NationJeffrey (Drama Desk nomination), Bella, Belle of Byelorussia (Drama Desk nomination), The CrucibleMan and SupermanInnocents’ CrusadeChristmas on MarsRude EntertainmentMacbeth (with Raul Julia) and Hamlet (with Kevin Kline).  Regional appearances include Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd at Barrington Stage, Dotty in Noises Off at New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, Unusual Acts of Devotion at La Jolla, Pippin at the Mark Taper Forum, Not Waving at Williamstown, Amanda in The Glass Menagerie at the Guthrie, Vera in Mame at the Kennedy Center, On the Town (2006 L.A. Stage Alliance Award), TartuffeA Midsummer Night’s DreamA Month in the Country, and Hedda Gabler.  Film credits include MementoMonster-in-LawNurse BettyAddams Family Values, and the upcoming Rampart, directed by Oren Moverman.  TV credits include “Desperate Housewives” (recurring as Felicia Tillman), “Frasier” (recurring as agent Bebe Glazer), “Six Feet Under,” “The X-Files,” “It’s All Relative” (series regular), “Union Square” (series regular), and “The Five Mrs. Buchanans” (series regular). Member of the Acting Company, AEA. She is currently starring opposite Tyne Daly in the World Premiere production of It Shoulda Been You, directed by David Hyde Pierce, at the George Street Playhouse, through November 6.

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