Classic Stage Company Hosts a One-night-only Staged Reading of 2012 Drama Desk Nominated
Rick Miramontez/Andy Snyder/ Jaron Caldwell
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CLASSIC STAGE COMPANY (CSC) HOSTS
A ONE-NIGHT-ONLY STAGED READING
2012 DRAMA DESK NOMINATED PLAY
“T H E S E C R E T C O U R T ”
THE TREVOR PROJECT
New York, NY (March 9, 2015) Classic Stage Company (CSC) will host a one-night-only staged reading of an exciting new version of the hit off-Broadway play, The Secret Court (formerly titled Unnatural Acts), to benefit The Trevor Project on Monday, March 30, 2015. The special event will be held at 7:00 p.m. at CSC (136 East Thirteenth Street, between Third & Fourth Avenues) and will feature members of the original off-Broadway cast, followed by comments by Amit Paley, the man who uncovered the long hidden files that inspired the play.
Written by members of the Plastic Theatre and conceived & directed by Tony Speciale, The Secret Court is inspired by true events that occurred at Harvard University in the spring of 1920, when a student’s suicide sparked a campus-wide investigation by a panel of administrators who convened to investigate, expose and ultimately expel a group of homosexual students. Both intimate and epic, The Secret Court explores themes of fear and societal intolerance that are as relevant today as they were 95 years ago.
Shockingly, for more than eighty years the events surrounding the incident were covered-up, until 2002 when Amit Paley, a student journalist for The Harvard Crimson, came upon a reference to the “Secret Court” while combing university archives. After initial resistance, Harvard granted Mr. Paley access to the long-abandoned files of over 500 pages of documents describing the systematic persecution of a group of students. The revelation of this controversy motivated conceiver and director Speciale’s own journey into the court transcripts, family correspondence, and academic records revealing the lives of these promising young men. Speciale and his team of co-writers devoted hours of research and development decoding the previously hidden records from The Court, piecing together a timeline of events in order to shine a light on a long ignored event in our country’s history.
Tickets for the benefit reading of The Secret Court are $100 and may be purchased online at
The Benefit Host Committee consists of: Moisés Kaufman, Joe Mantello, Paul Marlow, John Lyons, James Lecesne, Barbara & Alan Marks, Steve Mendelsohn, Denise Dickens, Tom Wells and Lee Tannen.
Unnatural Acts premiered off-Broadway in 2011 at CSC to critical acclaim, where its run was extended three times. It received three Drama Desk Award nominations including Outstanding Play; a GLAAD Media Award nomination for Outstanding NY Theater: Broadway & Off-Broadway; and an Off Broadway Alliance Award nomination for Best New Play.
Plastic Theatre (Author) is a rolling ensemble of multi-disciplinary artists led by Tony Speciale. For THE SECRET COURT the company includes Catherine Barricklow, Jess Burkle, Joe Curnutte, Frank De Julio, Heather Denyer, Max Jenkins, Zach Kleinsmith, James MacBean, Jerry Marsini, Patrick McCaffrey, Nicholas Norman, Kila Packett, Adam Rihacek, and Peter Allen Stone. Plastic Theatre created its inaugural play, The Secret Court through investigative research, group improvisations and collaborative writing.
Tony Speciale (Conceiver/Director) is a freelance director and founder of Plastic Theatre. In 2012, he received a Drama Desk nomination (Outstanding Director) for Unnatural Acts. Directing credits include the current New York Times Critics Pick The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey by James Lecesne (Dixon Place), A Midsummer Night’s Dream featuring Bebe Neuwirth, Christina Ricci and Taylor Mac (CSC), Romeo and Juliet (Actors Theatre of Louisville), Harmony – A New Musical by Barry Manilow (Alliance Theatre/CTG- Ahmanson Theatre), and Handbook for an American Revolutionary (Gym at Judson). As a writer, his play Delirium: The Myth of Arthur Rimbaud was presented at the 2004 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where it was honored with a British Writers’ Guild Award. Tony is the former Associate Artistic Director at CSC, studied musical theatre at The Boston Conservatory and holds an MFA in Directing from Columbia University. He is also the proud recipient of a Princess Grace Theatre Honorarium and Suzi Bass Award. tonyspeciale.com
The Trevor Project Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film Trevor, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24. Every day, The Trevor Project saves young lives through its accredited, free and confidential phone, instant message and text messaging crisis intervention services. A leader and innovator in suicide prevention, The Trevor Project offers the largest safe social networking community for LGBTQ youth, best practice suicide prevention educational trainings, resources for youth and adults, and advocacy initiatives. Learn more at TheTrevorProject.org.