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Broadway’s finest will perform at this year's Broadway Stands Up for Freedom:
Honorary host: Tony Kushner Keynote: Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home)
Celia Keenan-Bolger (The Glass Menagerie)
Susan Blackwell (title of show)
Andréa Burns (In the Heights)
Christina Bianco (Application Pending)
Steve Boyer (Hand to God)
Michael Cerveris (Fun Home) & Loose Cattle
Kate Ferber (Ghost Brothers of Darkland County)
Montego Glover (It Shoulda Been You)
Erika Henningsen (Les Misérables)
Judy Kuhn (Fun Home)
Beth Malone (Fun Home)
Griffin Matthews and Matt Gould (Witness Uganda)
Ruthie Ann Miles (The King and I)
Ashley Park (The King and I)
Sarah Stiles (Hand to God)
Shaina Taub (Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812)
Grace McLean (Brooklynite)
Brandon Uranowitz (An American in Paris)
Rachel Resheff (Fish in the Dark)
Seth Rudetsky (Disaster!)
Liana Stampur (founding performer) and Clinton Curtis
Peter Flynn, director
Paul Staroba (Gentleman's Guide), musical director
In addition to some of Broadway’s hottest rising talent, the evening will showcase the teenage winners of the NYCLU’s Freedom of Expression contest, which invites New York City public schools students to speak their minds on important civil liberties issues in their lives.
SUSAN BLACKWELL is on a mission to free people’s self-expression. Most notably, she created and played a character based on herself in the original Broadway musical [title of show] and the Off Broadway musical NOW. HERE. THIS. She created and hosts the freewheeling chat show Side by Side by Susan Blackwell on Broadway.com. Her television credits include Crime, Untitled Aziz Ansari Project, and SMASH. Her film credits include Margin Call, P.S.: I Love You and Birdman. As the founder of Susan Blackwell & Co, she partners with likeminded, compassionate artists and thought leaders to deliver inspiring entertainment and educational offerings aimed at freeing people’s creative self-expression.
ANDRÉA BURNS, winner of a Drama Desk Award, created the role of Daniela, the saucy hairdresser in the Tony Award-winning musical, In the Heights. She will return to Broadway this fall in the new Gloria Estefan musical, On Your Feet. Her other Broadway credits include The Nance, Beauty and the Beast, The Full Monty and The Ritz. Her Off Broadway credits include Jason Robert Brown’s Songs for a New World and Stephen Sondheim’s Saturday Night. Her television credits include Violet, Rescue Me, The Electric Company and Law & Order: SVU. Her film credits include The Prince and Akron.
CHRISTINA BIANCO has become a worldwide YouTube sensation with her impression videos gaining over 21 million views, leading to appearances performing on The Ellen Degeneres Show and The Today Show. Her Off Broadway credits include Application Pending (Drama Desk Award nomination), NEWSical The Musical, and Forbidden Broadway Goes to Rehab (Drama Desk Award nomination). As a cabaret artist, she has performed her celebrated solo shows to sold out crowds across the U.S. and at London’s famed Hippodrome and Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room. On television, Christina plays Bianca on POPTV’s new sitcom Impress Me.
STEVEN BOYER’s Broadway credits include Hand to God (Tony Award nomination) and I’m Not Rappaport. His recent Off Broadway credits include King Lear (The Public), Hand to God (OBIE Award and Lucille Lortel Award; Ensemble Studio Theatre), >em>The Explorers Club (MTC) and Trevor (Lesser America). His television credits include Orange is the New Black, The Crazy Ones and Louie. His film credits include The Wolf of Wall Street, Listen Up Philip and the upcoming Steven Spielberg project Bridge of Spies. He is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre.
MICHAEL CERVERIS AND LOOSE CATTLE Loose Cattle was named after a country road sign, and sounds that way. Co-founders Michael Cerveris and Kimberly Kaye began the band with a few of their more unruly musician friends as a way to pass the time when not at their day jobs (Broadway and television acting for Cerveris, playwriting and theater journalism for Kaye). Intended for gigs in honkytonks and living rooms, the Cattle has found itself appearing at Lincoln Center, Jazz Fest, Mountain Stage, this year's OBIE Awards and on tour from Louisiana to New York City, picking up fans and free drinks along the way. Their debut live album, North of Houston, is available on iTunes and amazon.com. Loose Cattle is proud to stand up in support of the NYCLU.
KATE FERBER is a singer, songwriter and actress. Most recently she toured nationally with John Mellencamp and Stephen King's musical thriller Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, with musical direction by T Bone Burnett. Along with performing her material with her band (upcoming show August 9th at Rockwood Music Hall), and singing back-up for many New York-based artists, she also has an upcoming run of her one-woman original show One Child Born: The Music of Laura Nyro at Boston's American Repertory Theater this winter.
MONTEGO GLOVER is a Tony Award nominee, Drama Desk Award Winner, Outer Critics Circle Award Winner and Drama League Award Nominee for her performance in Memphis. Her Broadway include It Shoulda Been You and The Color Purple. Her other theatre honors include an IRNE Award (Aida), Helen Hayes Award nomination (Once on This Island) and a Craig Noel Award nomination (The Royale). Her television and film credits include Alone, Black Box, The Following, Hostages, Smash, The Good Wife and White Collar. She has served as a member of the Artist’s Committee for the Kennedy Center Honors and is a PopsEd Ambassador to the New York Pops. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
ERIKA HENNINGSEN recently made her Broadway debut as Fantine in the 2014 revival of Les Miserables. Her past credits include Beth in the world premiere of the Sheryl Crow musical Diner at Signature Theater, as well as Kim Ravenal in the New York Philharmonic's Show Boat, which will be broadcast on PBS this upcoming fall. She is a recipient of the Alan Eisenberg Actors' Equity Award and a graduate of the University of Michigan.
CELIA KEENAN-BOLGER is participating for her eighth year in Broadway Stands Up For Freedom. Her Broadway credits include Glass Menagerie (Tony Award Nomination, Dorothy Loudon Award, Drama Desk Award), Peter And The Starcatcher, (Tony Award nomination, Drama Desk Award nomination, Drama League nomination) Les Miserables (Drama Desk Award nomination) and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Tony Award nomination, Drama Desk Award for Best Ensemble, Theatre World Award). Her Off Broadway credits include The Oldest Boy (Lincoln Center Theater), Merrily We Roll Along (City Center Encores), A Small Fire (Playwrights Horizons), Bachelorette (2econd Stage), Saved (Playwrights Horizons), Juno (City Center Encores) and Little Fish (Second Stage). Celia graduated from the University of Michigan.
JUDY KUHN is currently appearing in Fun Home on Broadway, for which she received her fourth Tony Award nomination. Her other Broadway appearances include She Loves Me (Tony Award nomination), Chess (Tony Award nomination, Drama Desk Award nomination), Les Miserables (Tony Award nomination, Drama Desk Award nomination) and Rags (Drama Desk Award nomination). Most recently she appeared as Fosca in Stephen Sondheim and James Laipine’s Passion at the Classic Stage Company. She was the singing voice of Disney’s Pocahontas and has just released her fourth solo album celebrating the music of Richard Rodgers, Mary Rodgers and Adam Guettel.
BETH MALONE, a 2015 Tony Award nominee, is currently playing Alison in Fun Home, the Tony Award-winner for best musical. She originated the role in its critically acclaimed run at the Public Theatre. She spent much of last year at the Denver Center, starring as Molly Brown in the world premiere of a wholly re-imagined version of The Unsinkable Molly Brown, directed by Kathleen Marshall. Other original Broadway and Off-Broadway credits include June Carter Cash in Ring of Fire, Betty Jean in The Marvelous Wonderettes and Alison in Bingo! She holds an M.F.A. from the University of California, Irvine.
GRACE MCLEAN’s credits include Brooklynite (The Vineyard), Bedbugs!!!, The World is Round (BAM), Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, Sleep No More, La MaMa Cantata, From The Fire (recipient of the MTM:UK Award for Best New Musical at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival), The Last Goodbye (WTF 2010), Twelve Ophelias (Woodshed Collective) and Grace McLean Lives in Concert. Grace McLean and Them Apples opened the 2015 Lincoln Center “American Songbook” season and in April traveled to Pakistan on a U.S. State Department sponsored tour.
GRIFFIN MATTHEWS AND MATT GOULD are the young creators of the new musical Invisible Thread, which will premiere in New York this fall at Second Stage. The show’s world premiere was at the American Repertory Theater in 2014 under the direction of Tony Award-winner Diane Paulus. Invisible Thread is the winner of the 2012 and 2014 Richard Rodgers Award, and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ Dean Kay and Harold Adamson awards. Inspired by true events, Invisible Thread grapples with the complexity of trying to change the world and examines themes related to sexuality, religion and race in America and abroad.
DR. MALCOLM J. MERRIWEATHER is a professional baritone, conductor and teacher. He is the choral associate at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. He has had solo engagements with the Eastman-Rochester Chorus, New York Choral Society, Norfolk Chamber Choir, Gregory Kunde Chorale, Music Sacra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Bach Vespers Choir and Orchestra. He has received fellowships with the festivals at Norfolk, Connecticut and Tanglewood Music Center. He has earned degrees from Syracuse University, Eastman School of Music and the Manhattan School of Music.
SARAH STILES is currently in Hand to God on Broadway, for which she received a Tony Award nomination for her role as Jessica. Her other favorite credits include Little Red Riding Hood in Shakespeare in the Park's Into the Woods and Annelle in Judith Ivey's production of Steel Magnolias at the Alliance Theater. Her Broadway credits include On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Avenue Q and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Sarah is voice of Spider in Pasek and Paul's James and the Giant Peach and lead vocalist in Gary Lucas's “Fleischerei” project.