Back to All Press Release

NYCLU Announces Performers for Annual “Broadway Stands Up for Freedom” Benefit Concert

Susan Blackwell as host and Liesl Tommy as keynote speaker, with performances by Andrea Burns, Jayne Houdyshell, Kristolyn Lloyd, Eliseo Roman, Jennifer Simard and more.

Susan Blackwell as host and Liesl Tommy as keynote speaker, with performances by Andrea Burns, Jayne Houdyshell, Kristolyn Lloyd, Eliseo Roman, Jennifer Simard and more.

The New York Civil Liberties Union announced today a star-studded lineup of performers for its annual benefit concert. “Broadway Stands Up for Freedom” will boast performances by some of Broadway’s most talented actors on Monday, July 18, at the NYU Skirball Center for Performing Arts (566 LaGuardia Place). Included in the lineup is 2016 Tony Award-winning actress Jayne Houdyshell from The Humans and multiple past Tony-Award-nominated performers.

“We’re thrilled that so many talented performers and artists are generously supporting our work by celebrating the vital link between the arts and civil liberties,” said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman, who created the annual event with a group of aspiring actors to highlight social justice and civil rights issues through the lens of some of Broadway’s most prolific artists. “We’re planning an evening of great music and laughter for a worthy cause, especially at a time when the country is experiencing attacks on freedom of sexual orientation, gender identity and religion in the wake of the horrific attack in Orlando.”

Some of musical theater’s finest artists will perform, including Erich Bergen (Madame Secretary), Andrea Burns (On Your Feet!), Grammy Award-winning Rhiannon Giddens (Shuffle Along), Jayne Houdyshell (The Humans), Jennifer Simard (Disaster!), Emily Skeggs (Fun Home), Christina Bianco (The Marvelous Wondrettes), Todd Buonopane (Spelling Bee), Devin Trey Campbell (Kinky Boots), Crystal Monee Hall, Celisse Henderson (Godspell), Kristolyn Lloyd (Dear Evan Hansen), Ray Mercer (The Lion King), Zachary Prince (Honeymoon in Vegas), Eliseo Roman (On Your Feet!), Liana Stampur and Clinton Curtis, and the Brooklyn Tech Lady Dragons Step Team. Susan Blackwell returns as host with directors Peter Flynn and Daniel Goldstein and musical director Lynn Shankel. Tony Award-nominated Liesl Tommy (Eclipsed) will be the keynote speaker, and Celia and Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Tuck Everlasting) will produce and present a video.

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 school students to speak their minds on important civil liberties issues in their lives. This year, July 18 is also Nelson Mandela Day. The NYCLU will highlight its impact litigation and lobbying efforts with performers providing personal testimonies from public defense reform and solitary confinement cases. The victories for human rights and dignity in these cases not only improve the lives of the NYCLU’s clients, but create meaningful and effective change statewide, often setting nationwide precedents, and furthering the legacy of Nelson Mandela.

Proceeds from the show will benefit the NYCLU’s mission of promoting and protecting the civil rights and liberties of all New Yorkers.

VIP tickets and sponsorship packages, now on sale for $100 and up, can be purchased here. Individual tickets for $60 can be purchased at, by calling 212.352.3101 or in person at the Shagan Box Office located in the Center’s lobby at 566 LaGuardia Place.

For more information about the show, visit

The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) is one of the nation’s foremost defenders of civil liberties and civil rights. Founded in 1951 as the New York affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, we are a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization with eight chapters and regional offices and 60,000 members across the state. Our mission is to defend and promote the fundamental principles and values embodied in the Bill of Rights, the U.S. Constitution and the New York Constitution, including freedom of speech and religion, and the right to privacy, equality and due process of law for all New Yorkers.

The Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts is the premier venue for the presentation of cultural and performing arts events for New York University and lower Manhattan. The programs of the Skirball Center reflect NYU’s mission as an international center of scholarship, defined by excellence and innovation and shaped by an intellectually rich and diverse environment. A vital aspect of the Center’s mission is to build young adult audiences for the future of live performance.

As bold as the spirit of New York, we are the NYCLU.
© 2024 New York
Civil Liberties Union