This Saturday @10 AM: The DC Theatre Community Unites for ‘March on Washington for Gun Control’ by Cindy Powell

The local theatre community is well represented as Matt Gardiner – Signature Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director – leads two dozen DC-area actors/singers who will perform two songs at The March on Washington for Gun Control THIS SATURDAY, January 26th: John Lennon’s “Imagine” and Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On.”

Singing John Lennon’s “Imagine” will be Rachel Zampelli, Carolyn Cole, Harry Winter, Bayla Whitten, Gannon OBrien, Shayla Simmons, Will Gartshore, Weslie Woodley, Kellee Knight Hough, Sandy Bainum, Shayna Blass, Nora Palka, Tracy Lynn Olivera, Evan Casey, Felicia Curry, Sam Edgerly, Madeline Botteri, and Kevin McAllister. Gabriel Mangiante is the Music Director.

Singing Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” is Nova Y. Payton, accompanied by Music Director Darius Smith. Backup singers will be announced later.

march poster


Some of the two-dozen steering committee members are involved in theater:
-An Arlington VA resident, Catherine Tripp is a film producer and local theatre director, a company member at Rorschach Theatre at 1333 H Street NE.·      

D.W. Gregory, a Silver Spring MD resident, is a playwright.

Jason McCool, also of Silver Spring, is an actor/musician/professor/social media director. He played the role of “Judas” in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot at Forum Theatre, and he was a trumpet player with The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. He works at Montgomery College, Theatre Washington, The National Philharmonic, and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Louanne Christian, a Kensington native who now has retired in Montana, met Molly Smith at Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, where Louanne worked as a stage manager, light designer, house manager, and board member.

Nicholas Yenson, a 27- year-old actor born and raised in Arlington, VA, has appeared on stage at Arena Stage in Washington, DC; McCarter Theater Festival in Princeton, NJ; the New York Musical Theater Festival in New York City, and with the national tour of Riverdance. Nicholas will be performing in the 2013 Latino Inaugural In Performance at The Kennedy Center with Chita Rivera and Rita Moreno on Jan. 20th here in Washington, DC. He’s working on social media, the website, and communications.

Paul Oakley Stovall, a 6’2” tall African American gay actor from Chicago now living in Logan Circle, who was a victim of gun violence just after graduating from college. Now 43, and a successful actor and playwright – his play Immediate Family debuts on Broadway this fall – Paul got a rough start to adulthood:  “I was shot in both my legs. I have the scars and infrequent but debilitating shooting pains (nerve damage) to this day. At 21 years old, I found myself to be a gay, crippled African American,” said Paul. A one-minute video of Paul talking about his experience is below.


Sign up to March HERE.

THIS Saturday, January 26th at 10 AM.

The March will start at the Capitol Reflecting Pool on 3rd St, across from the Indian Museum, progress down Constitution, ending with a rally at the Washington Monument NE quadrant with speeches and music.

Thousands of ordinary citizens, spurred by the Newtown gun massacre, plan a silent march on the National Mall on Saturday, Jan. 26, to support President Obama’s plan for preventing gun violence and to call on Congress and state legislators to protect Americans by supporting these initiatives.

The citizen-led March on Washington for Gun Control will unite concerned parents, pastors, actors, gun-violence survivors, law enforcement officers, elected officials and others who want what most Americans now want: Common-sense protections against senseless gun violence. This week, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found most Americans support tougher laws against gun violence, including prohibiting assault weapons, such as the one used in Newtown, Conn.

Marchers will gather at 10 a.m. on Jan. 26, at the U.S. Capitol Reflecting Pool east of Third Street, NW, across from the National Museum of the American Indian. At 11 a.m., they will walk in silence along Constitution Avenue to the Washington Monument carrying hundreds of white signs, each bearing the name of a gun-violence victim. Joined by Newtown families, the District of Columbia’s Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Mayor Vincent Gray, and Councilmembers David Grosso, Kenyan McDuffie and Tommy Wells will lead the March carrying a banner that reads “When we stand together, we stand a chance.”
Speakers will include Congresswoman Norton; U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.); Senior Pastor Dean Snyder of Foundry United Methodist Church, Washington, D.C.; Virginia Tech massacre survivor Colin Goddard; Shannon Watts, founder of One Million Moms for Gun Control; and Hollywood actress Kathleen Turner, who has starred in movies such as Romancing the Stone (1984) and Body Heat (1981). The program features speeches, as well as musical performances by Broadway and Washington actors.

Unaffiliated with any organization, the March is the brainchild of Washington Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith, American Indian activist Suzanne Blue Star Boy and other local volunteer activists. One Million Moms for Gun Control, formed immediately after Newtown, signed on last week to co-sponsor the event.

“There is a groundswell of emotion around the massacre at Sandy Hook,” said Smith. “This March is an opportunity for people to express their grief, demand change and support the president’s plan. We are at the tipping point.”

Participants are calling for Congress and state legislatures to do the following:

·        Reinstate and strengthen the federal ban on the sale of military-style assault rifles such as the one used to kill 20 children and 6 teachers in Newtown

·       Ban the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines that kill many people quickly

·       Require universal criminal and mental-health background checks for all firearm buyers

·       Prohibit sales of bullets that shatter inside the body

·       Require gun-safety training for all buyers of firearms

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