When media stories about bullying and suicides grabbed headlines earlier this fall, people around the world responded in a variety of ways, including The Stranger columnist Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” Project. Locally, actors Kirt Bateman and Paul Kiernan began a Facebook conversation that became a unified effort by Utah artists to make a difference. Thus, Different = Amazing was born, including a Website of videos by participants celebrating the ways in which they’re different.
This weekend, more than a dozen individuals and arts organizations join forces for an evening of theater, music and dance as a Different = Amazing fundraiser for the Human Rights Education Center of Utah. Directed by Bateman, the evening is scheduled to include a monologue from the 2010 production of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill with DeeDee Darby-Duffin; a performance by Repertory Dance Theater of Zvi Gotheiner’s Chairs (pictured); a reading of Dr. Seuss’ The Sneetches by Mark, Cora, Zoe and April Fossen; and selections from Into the Woods performed by Teresa Sanderson and the University of Utah’s Youth Theatre. Author, playwright and activist Carol Lynn Pearson will provide closing remarks.
While $5,000 will be raised from ticket sales, Different = Amazing hopes to raise an additional $5,000 through contributions at the event, including a small silent auction. Would you like to have the X96 Radio from Hell team of Bill Allred, Kerry Jackson and Gina Barberi leave your outgoing phone message? That’s just one of the entertaining ways you can help support the idea that different can be amazing.