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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Theatre & Dance alum brings '515..the Tour' to alma mater April 27

A performance of 515...the Tour will be presented at 1 p.m. Friday, April 27, in the Ted Paul Theatre of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

2012-04-30
Minnesota State Mankato Department of Theatre & Dance News Release [3-28-12]

A performance of 515...the Tour will be presented at 1 p.m. Friday, April 27, in the Ted Paul Theatre of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, hosted by the Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Theatre & Dance. There will be general admission seating; no advance tickets are required. Beginning at noon on Fridays, free parking is available in the GREEN permit areas of Lot 16 adjacent to the Earley Center off of Birchwood Street.

515 is a theatrical representation of the real-life discrimination faced by same-sex couples who live in this state. Minnesota law defines marriage to be between one man and one woman. In Minnesota, there are at least 515 laws that exclude same-sex couples from certain rights and benefits that should be provided to everyone. 515 presents a vision of a world of equality where all families are equally valued and respected under the law and in their homes, neighborhoods, workplaces and communities.

The performance includes many graduates of the Minnesota State Mankato Department of Theatre & Dance, including Bryan Gerber (producer, who was the first Dance graduate after the program became a major), Jessica Dougherty (assistant producer), and performers Claire Lloyd, Adam Moore and Kelsey Strong.

The production was originally conceived by performing artist Gerber and produced through dynamic collaboration between local theatre company The Flower Shop Project and Project 515. The original production was written in collaboration with Matthew A. Everett, Sarah Howes and The Flower Shop Project. It premiered at Patrick's Cabaret in October of 2010.

In 2011, the show was re-written and re-named 515 …the Tour after receipt of a grant from the General Mills Foundation to produce a smaller "tour-ready" show to use as an education tool for outreach through Equality Minnesota, a non-profit arm of Project 515. After the fall 2011 tour, Project 515 was awarded $25,000 from Chase through the online Community Giving Program. This funding makes it possible to perform a spring tour to sites all over the state of Minnesota, at no cost to hosting organizations.

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