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For Fifth Year, Broadway Stands Up For Freedom In Evening Supporting Civil Liberties

Host and Tony Award Winning Playwright Tony Kushner
Tony Kushner Hosts Benefit For NYCLU Youth

On July 16, New York theater’s finest came together in Broadway Stands Up for Freedom!, a benefit show to support the youth programs of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

Host and Tony Award Winning Playwright Tony KushnerHost and Tony Award Winning Playwright Tony Kushner

Playwright Tony Kushner hosted the evening, which featured performances by Tony Award winners and stars including LaChanze (The Color Purple), Harriet Harris (Thoroughly Modern Millie), and Denis O’Hare (Take Me Out, Assassins).

Tony Award Winner LaChanzeTony Award Winner LaChanze

Seth Rudetsky (Seth’s Broadway Chatterbox) was musical director, and Daniel Goldstein (Indoor/Outdoor, But I’m a Cheerleader: The Musical) directed.

All proceeds from the concert benefited the dynamic youth programs of the NYCLU, which include campaigns to combat overly-aggressive policing and abusive military recruitment tactics in city public schools and a Teen Health Initiative that has trained thousands of high school students as peer educators.

Winners of the NYCLU’s 2007 Student Expression Contest were honored at the event and spent time back stage with Broadway’s brightest stars. Veteran actor Denis O’Hare gave a stirring performance of the contest’s winning poem, “Draft Me!” by eleventh-grader Cordell Jacobs.

Student Express Contest Winners with 'Broadway Stands Up for Freedom!' Cast MembersStudent Express Contest Winners with ‘Broadway Stands Up for Freedom!’ Cast Members

Also presented was the first annual “Freedom of the Press” award for outstanding student journalism, given to The Advocate, published by the journalism class of the High School for Law and Public Service. Harriet Harris of “Thoroughly Modern Millie” read the story of Biko Edwards, a Brooklyn teenager who was assaulted by a school-based employee of the New York Police Department while walking to Chemistry class and who’s story was featured in the NYCLU’s recent report, Criminalizing the Classroom: The Over-Policing of New York City Schools.

  • Click here to read Tony Kushner’s opening remarks.

    Shoshanna BeanShoshanna Bean

    Marshall Brickman and Rick EliceMarshall Brickman and Rick Elice

    Harriet HarrisHarriet Harris

    Jesse Tyler FergusonJesse Tyler Ferguson

    Clinton Curtis, Liana Stampur and Colin McAdooClinton Curtis, Liana Stampur and Colin McAdoo

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