Original Off-Broadway Cast Brings Unnatural Acts to NYTW Jan. 27 to Benefit Trevor Project
By Carey Purcell
Unnatural Acts, the theatrical docudrama about Harvard University's efforts to purge homosexuals from its campus in 1920, receives a one-night-only staged reading to benefit the Trevor Project at the New York Theatre Workshop Jan. 27 at 7 PM.
Created by members of the Plastic Theatre and conceived and directed by Tony Speciale, Unnatural Acts features original cast members Jess Burkle, Joe Curnutte, Frank De Julio, Roe Hartrampf, Roderick Hill, Max Jenkins, Brad Koed, Jerry Marsini, Devin Norik, Will Rogers and Nick Westrate.
The reading, which benefits The Trevor Project, is followed by a panel discussion.
"Unnatural Acts is inspired by true events that occurred at Harvard University in the spring of 1920, when a student’s suicide sparked a campus-wide investigation by a panel of administrators who convened to investigate, expose and ultimately expel a group of homosexual students," press notes state. "Both intimate and epic, Unnatural Acts explores themes of fear and societal intolerance that are as relevant today as they were 94 years ago.
"For more than eighty years the events surrounding the incident were covered-up, until in 2002 when Amit Paley, a student journalist for The Harvard Crimson, came upon a reference to the 'Secret Court' while combing university archives. After initial resistance, Harvard granted Mr. Paley access to the long- abandoned files of over 500 pages of documents describing the systematic persecution of these students. The revelation of this controversy motivated conceiver & director Speciale’s own journey into the court transcripts, family correspondence, and countless records revealing the lives of these promising young men."
Written by members of the Plastic Theatre, Unnatural Acts premiered Off-Broadway in 2011 at the Classic Stage Company.
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. For more information, visit TheTrevorProject.org.
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