Kathy Najimy will star in a benefit reading of Lauren Gunderson's Natural Shocks April 23 in support of the Ms. Foundation for Women, whose programs and grants address domestic violence and gun violence against women.
The 7 PM reading of the one-person drama will be held at the Minetta Lane Theatre (18 Minetta Lane) in Manhattan.
Based on Hamlet's “To be or not to be” soliloquy, Natural Shocks concerns a woman waiting out an imminent tornado in her basement. She overflows with quirks, stories, and a final secret that puts the reality of domestic violence and guns in America in your lap.
“I wrote the story to continue to push the narrative away from the perpetrators of gun violence and toward the people whose lives are lost, shattered, and shadowed because of it. So many of these people are women. And there is such a tight connection between violence against women and gun violence,” said playwright Gunderson in a statement.
“The subject was bone-shakingly brave and clearly aligned with what sets fire to my own activism,” Najimy added. “Lauren has written a play and imagined a character—a flash of a moment in the life of a woman that sums up the whole of fear, violence, passion and a bit of hope. It is thrilling that the proceeds go to the Ms. Foundation for Women to end domestic abuse and support gun control.”
The reading is part of the Natural Shocks National Project, a national campaign of theatre activism with royalty-free readings of the play taking place across the country April 19–23. The timing of the project coincides with the 19th anniversary of Columbine and the National School Walkout on April 20. There are over 100 confirmed readings in 45 states and the District of Columbia.
Tickets are available at NaturalShocks.org/nyc.