Cause Célèbre, the new theatre company founded by Food for Thought founding artistic director Susan Charlotte, was created to utilize dramatic works to bring attention and understanding to various psychological, physical and social issues. Each month a different issue is selected as the focus of programming for Cause Célèbre. All ticket proceeds from the events go directly to the charities involved.
Ebersole, Ruehl and Seldes will be joined by actress Linda Powell for an evening devoted to the Fortune Society. Since its launch 40 years ago, the Fortune Society has been developing model programs that help former prisoners successfully re-enter mainstream society. The Castle serves as the Fortune Society's resident program for 60 men and women, all of whom have formerly been incarcerated.
The evening will feature readings from two beneficiaries of the Fortune Society – Vilma Ortiz Donovan and Casimiro Torres – who will read selections from David Rothenberg's "The Castle."
Ebersole – who has been involved in numerous events and workshops for the Fortune Society – will open and close the program with a song and will also perform the selection "A Lady of Letters."
The evening will also feature Ruehl reading from her correspondence with a woman on death row. A reading from Susan Charlotte's play Prism Blues will follow, with selected performances from Linda Powell and Marian Seldes as well as John Doman and Isiah Whitlock, Jr. from HBO's "The Wire." Antony Marsellis and Christopher Hart co-direct the evening. Upcoming Cause Célèbre events include benefits for Heartshare's Frances Aiellos Day Treatment Center in Bedford Stuyvesant; an evening to benefit the Museum of the History of Polish Jews; a tribute to Kitty Carlisle Hart benefiting the Glaucoma Foundation; and an evening benefiting the Honorable Tina L. Brozman Foundation.
Marian Seldes, Joan Copeland and June Springer serve as board of directors for Cause Célèbre, with generous support from writer Ellen Violett.
Show time for the March 18 Cause Célèbre benefit is 6:30 PM; performances and discussions will be followed by a reception. All proceeds from the $100 ticket price will go to the associated charitable organizations. Reservations can be made by phoning (212) 362-2560.
The Players is located at 16 Gramercy Park South.