In case you missed it, earlier this week Round House Theatre partnered with two organizations to present at its Silver Spring venue back to back nights of entertainment and education, as well as local and global advocacy. On October 8th, Jenny Lynn Towns and Brent Stansell of the DC Theatre Collective organized a sold out, one night only benefit to promote marriage equality and to encourage Marylanders to vote in favor of Question 6 (which allows same-sex marriage in the state) come Election Day. To remind us of what’s at stake, nearly two dozen uber-talented local actors performed in a staged reading of Dustin Lance Black’s 8, an emotionally charged play about the controversial Proposition 8 amendment which banned same-sex marriage in California. The play included lively trial reenactments, video footage of real political attack ads that were often sadly hilarious, and personal reactions from LGBT families affected by the amendment. Afterwards senior BuzzFeed reporter, Chris Geidner moderated a brief panel discussion about Question 6, further clarifying the referendum for the audience before we cast our fateful ballots in November. Proceeds from the event supported Equality Maryland and the American Foundation for Equal Rights.
The following night, October 9th, members of the Resurrection Dance Theater of Haiti, made a pit stop at RHT during their US tour to perform the interactive play, Resurrection from the Rubble. Presented by Hearts with Haiti, a North Carolina based non-profit, the show benefited the reconstruction of St. Joseph’s Home for Boys, an orphanage located in Port Au Prince, Haiti. Dressed in vibrant colors and African garb, the troupe retold the stories of Haitian children affected by the 2010 7.0 magnitude earthquake. Orphanage director Bill Nathan served as both charismatic MC and narrator. Through him we learned about Haiti’s political and cultural history, as well as its ongoing epidemic of poverty and child trafficking. The cast, comprised mostly of former orphans and street children, used drumming and interpretive dance to convey Nathan’s narrative but more importantly to relay a message of triumph over tragedy. By the show’s end, the audience was not only dancing and clapping to the infectious rhythm of the drums, but donating generously to this worthy cause.
To donate or support LGBT initiatives visit AFER.org/donate and www.equalitymaryland.org. To produce your own staged reading of 8 visit http://www.8theplay.com for details and licensing information. To find out information about future productions at the DC Theatre Collective visit http://www.dctheatrecollective.com.
To donate to the Haitian initiative or to find the company’s tour itinerary visit http://www.heartswithhaiti.org.