Following Withdrawals Over Charlie Hebdo Honor, "Fun Home" Author Alison Bechdel Joins Roster of Hosts for PEN Awards

News   Following Withdrawals Over Charlie Hebdo Honor, "Fun Home" Author Alison Bechdel Joins Roster of Hosts for PEN Awards
 
Alison Bechdel, author of the critically acclaimed graphic novel "Fun Home" that inspired the musical of the same name, will serve as one of the table hosts at the PEN American Center gala May 5, according to the New York Times.

Bechdel's co-hosts are Neil Gaiman and Art Spiegelman as well as George Packer, Azar Nafisi and Alain Mabanckou. They replace Peter Carey, Rachel Kushner and Teju Cole, as well others who withdrew from hosting in objection to the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo receiving the group's "freedom of expression courage award." The hosts who withdrew cited objections to what they viewed as Charlie Hebdo's cultural intolerance and Islamophobia.

Alison Bechdel
Alison Bechdel

The offices of Charlie Hebdo were attacked by gunmen in 2015.

Andrew Solomon and Suzanne Nossel, the president and executive director of PEN respectively, explained their reasoning in an op-ed article in the New York Times that was published May 2. They wrote, "These audacious attacks aim to terrorize a worldwide audience into silence on subjects that, though sacred to some, affect many others and must not be above debate."

Fun Home has music by Tony Award nominee Jeanine Tesori (Caroline, Or Change; Shrek) and book and lyrics by Tony Award nominee Lisa Kron (Well). Read Playbill.com's interview with Tesori and Kron about bringing an unapologetic lesbian to the stage here.

The musical opened April 19 to strong reviews. Read them all here. Fun Home is nominated for twelve 2015 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical (Michael Cerveris), Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical (Beth Malone), Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical (Judy Kuhn), Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical (Sydney Lucas), Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical (Emily Skeggs), Best Direction of a Musical (Sam Gold), Best Book of a Musical (Lisa Kron), Best Score (Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron), Best Scenic Design of a Musical (David Zinn), Best Lighting Design of a Musical (Ben Stanton) and Best Orchestrations (John Clancy).

For tickets, visit Telecharge.com.

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