Standing On Ceremony, With Beth Leavel, Harriet Harris, Richard Thomas, Opens Off-Broadway | Playbill

News Standing On Ceremony, With Beth Leavel, Harriet Harris, Richard Thomas, Opens Off-Broadway
Following an acclaimed series of performances in Los Angeles, Standing On Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays officially opens Nov. 13 at 7 PM following previews that began Nov. 7 at Off-Broadway's Minetta Lane Theatre.

Harriet Harris and Craig Bierko
Harriet Harris and Craig Bierko Photo by Joan Marcus

The premiere cast comprises Tony Award winner Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone), Richard Thomas (most recently seen on Broadway in Race), Tony Award nominee Craig Bierko (The Music Man), Tony Award winner Harriet Harris (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Daytime Emmy nominee Mark Consuelos ("All My Children") and Emmy Award nominee Polly Draper ("thirtysomething"). (Standing on Ceremony will feature a rotating cast of actors from theatre, film and television.)

Directed by Stuart Ross, Standing On Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays includes a mix of short plays that address the on-going battle for marriage equality throughout the United States. Among the writers whose works are featured are Obie Award winner Mo Gaffney, Heideman Award winner Jordan Harrison, Tony Award nominee Moisés Kaufman, Emmy and WGA Award winner Joe Keenan, Tony Award nominee Neil LaBute, Sundance Jury Prize winner Wendy MacLeod, Obie Award winner José Rivera, Obie and Outer Critics Circle Award winner Paul Rudnick, and Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Doug Wright.

Conceived by Brian Shnipper, Standing On Ceremony began as a series of benefit events in Los Angeles, taking on a life of its own as an inspiring theatrical evening.

The show's producers, Joan Stein and Richard Frankel, recently announced that the production has partnered with Freedom to Marry, the campaign to win marriage nationwide. Standing On Ceremony will donate a portion of all ticket sales to Freedom to Marry and other organizations promoting marriage equality.

Beth Leavel and Polly Draper
photo by Joan Marcus
"Freedom to Marry is happy to be partnering with the talented writers, actors, and team involved in Standing On Ceremony, as together we bring more people into our campaign to win the freedom to marry nationwide," said Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, in a  recent statement. "Standing On Ceremony tells stories of life and love with laughter and tears, following committed gay and lesbian couples through the ups and downs of building a life together — in short, the reasons why marriage matters to gay people, too." The performance schedule for Standing On Ceremony follows: Tuesdays-Fridays at 8 PM; Saturdays at 3 PM and 8 PM; and Sundays at 3 PM and 7 PM.

The show is produced Off-Broadway by Joan Stein, Richard Frankel, Annette Niemtzow, Fakston Productions, Harley Medcalf, Jon Murray, Harvey Reese, in association with Diana Buckhantz and Niclas Nagler. Joe Watson is executive producer.

The Minetta Lane Theatre is located at 18 Minetta Lane. For tickets, visit For more information, visit


Producers Joan Stein and Richard Frankel announced Nov. 9 that Standing On Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays will offer a special, one-night-only discount to young people for the Nov. 30 at 8 PM performance.

"In an effort to help motivate the younger generation in the fight for marriage equality and expose young people to politically potent theatre," press notes state, $30 tickets will be available to anyone born in 1980 or after by showing a photo ID at the Minetta Lane Theatre box office (18 Minetta Lane) or by visiting and using the code PLAY30 (age will be verified upon entering the theatre).

Following the performance, audience members will be able to enjoy a special talkback hosted by NY1 theatre producer and reporter Frank DiLella and Playbill magazine editor Blake Ross. The two will be joined by members of the cast to discuss the impact that young people and theatre can have on social change, specifically the marriage equality movement.

Last season, Playbill and NY1 partnered with the Tony Award-winning revival of The Normal Heart to help expose young people to Larry Kramer’s powerful play. This series will continue throughout the season with relevant Broadway and Off-Broadway productions.

Harriet Harris, Beth Leavel, Mark Consuelos, Craig Bierko, Polly Draper and Richard Thomas
Harriet Harris, Beth Leavel, Mark Consuelos, Craig Bierko, Polly Draper and Richard Thomas Photo by Joan Marcus

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