The organization, designed for city youths ages 3-19, will present six performances of Moisés Kaufman's Laramie Project — the documentary-like work set in the aftermath of the Laramie murder of a gay 21-year-old college student named Matthew Shepard — beginning Feb. 3 at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre above the Promenade. Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel will play Feb. 23-March 4.
About the decision to present Laramie Project, City Lights executive director Melissa Fenton Herrod said in a statement, "What better way to demonstrate tolerance to teenagers than to talk about a tragedy, which surrounded a person in their age group. As our government whittles away funding for the arts, City Lights provides a safe place for children to express themselves — in harmony, in creativity, and in learning lifelong lessons of tolerance. We want our theatre to also be a place where kids can hang out and have a lot of fun."
The cast for City Lights' Laramie Project will include 18-year-old Nelson Felix as Jeduldiah Schultz, 17-year-old Shantel Nelson as Dennis Shepard, 15-year-old Jordany Cepin as Matt Galloway, 16-year-old Shaniqua Jeffries as Doc O'Connor, 14-year-old Ashley Morales as Zubaid Ula, 14-year-old Joshua Johnson as Aaron Kriefels, 16-year-old Shannon Dawson as Doc O'Connor and 15-year-old Kathleen Edery as Romain Patterson.
City Lights' annual benefit will be held March 19 at Tavern on the Green. The evening, which will honor Kitty Carlisle Hart, will boast a performance from the cast of Broadway's A Chorus Line.
City Lights empowers New York City youth through "in-school residencies; after-school workshops in acting, musical theatre and playwriting; and an annual season of productions in Off Off-Broadway theatres." For more information visit www.clyouththeatre.org.