Stephen Schwartz and Jeanine Tesori Join Forces to Fight Anti-LGBT Law

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Catch the composers in concert at The Cutting Room for a benefit evening organized by performers from North Carolina.
Stephen Schwartz and Jeanine Tesori
Stephen Schwartz and Jeanine Tesori

The Cutting Room hosts a benefit concert June 13 aimed at combating North Carolina's recent passing of the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, commonly known as HB2. The Act bars transgender citizens from using public bathrooms that do not correspond to their biological sex.

Ariana DeBose
Ariana DeBose Jordan Matter

The concert, Broadway Voices for NC, is organized by Raleigh natives and Broadway performers Laurel Harris (Wicked, Evita) and Rob Marnell (Beautiful – The Carole King Musical). Over a dozen native North Carolina performers, including Beth Leavel and Ariana Debose, are joining them onstage along with composers Stephen Schwartz and Jeanine Tesori, for an evening celebrating tolerance and acceptance.

Schwartz urged fellow theatre practitioners last month to follow his lead in denying any organization based in North Carolina the right to produce their work, prompting a slew of responses from the theatre community.

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“We’ve been outraged and disappointed in our home state for passing this horrendous and insulting bill and wanted to do something about it from our new home in New York City,” Harris stated in an earlier statement. “We hope that by pulling together some of our fellow thespians and composer friends, many of whom are fellow NC natives, we’ll be able to create a stir and get Governor McCrory's attention. We believe change and forward progress will ultimately win out over oppressive steps backwards, and we’re raising funds for those leading the fight.”

Daniel Watts, Lindsay Northen, Melvin Tunstall, Tally Sessions and Brandon Ellis are also performing. Trans writer and advocate Vivian Taylor, former executive director of Integrity USA and fellow North Carolina native, is the evening’s keynote speaker, and Geena Rocero, a model, TED speaker, activist and the founder of Gender Proud, is hosting.

All proceeds from the event benefit Equality North Carolina, an organization dedicated to securing equal rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer North Carolinians. Additional proceeds go to local LGBTQ centers whose members are affected by the passage of the bill.

Tickets are $40 General Admission/$75 Premium Seating; click here to purchase.

(Updated June 13, 2016)

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