Earlier in 2015, Kaufman and Tectonic Theater Project were working with the Moscow New Drama Theatre and the U.S. State Department to produce a revival of Gross Indecency in Moscow. In the middle of pre-production, the Kremlin (the Russian government) blocked the revival because of the play's LGBTQ content. In response to the cancellation, Kaufman and Tectonic Theater Project decided to produce a benefit reading in NYC to bring attention to the suppression of the rights of the LGBTQ community in Russia.
Kaufman will direct a cast that stars two-time Emmy Award winner Michael Emerson ("Lost," "Person of Interest") as Oscar Wilde. Emerson played the role of Wilde in the original production of Gross Indecency at the Minetta Lane Theatre in 1997.
Joining Emerson will be Tony Award nominee Jonathan Groff (Hamilton, "Looking") as Bosie, Academy Award winner Sally Field ("Norma Rae," "Places In The Heart," "Lincoln"), Golden Globe winner Michael C. Hall (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, "Dexter"), Tony Award winner David Hyde Pierce (Curtains, "Frasier"), Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner (Angels in America), Tony winner Judith Light (Other Desert Cities, "Transparent"), Emmy nominee Darren Criss (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, "Glee"), Emmy nominee Tituss Burgess ("Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"), David Burtka (It Shoulda Been You, "How I Met Your Mother"), Andy Mientus (Les Misérables, "Smash"), Jose Llana (The King And I, Here Lies Love), Will Carlyon (Cabaret) and Jake Shears (Bent, The Scissor Sisters).
Additional casting will be announced at a later date.
The one-night-only staging will benefit the Tectonic Theater Project and The International Gay And Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC). Gross Indecency is sponsored by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Hilda Mullen Foundation. The Gerald W. Lynch Theater is located at 524 W. 59th Street. Tickets range from $50-$1000, with sponsorship packages available, and can be purchased online at TectonicTheaterProject.org.