By Crystal A. Johnson on
The inspiration to help others in a very unique way came one night when Chapman (who plays Gloria) watched a very special reading of Daniel Berrigan’s play The Trial of the Catonsville 9, which was based on the author’s experience of protesting the Vietnam war in the Catonsville incident.
Performed by the Actor’s Gang in Los Angeles, the performance Chapman saw featured the talent of Martin Sheen, Beau Bridges, Neil Patrick Harris and others. Moved by the story and the caliber of talent, Chapman decided to put together a production of the same play with daytime’s best and brightest for a worthy cause.
The cast features many daytime Emmy award winning actors. Fellow Y&R stars to perform include Christian LeBlanc (Michael), Michelle Stafford (Phyllis), Vincent Irizarry (David), Kristoff St. John (Neil), Greg Rikaart (Kevin), Daniel Goddard (Cane), Eyal Podell (Adrian), and Emily O’Brien (Jana). Soap veterans Ron Hale (ex-Mike) of General Hospital and John Callahan (ex-Edmund) of All My Children will also perform. Further soap actors are to be announced later.
Berrigan’s play is a period piece which epitomizes the climate of the times and the common sentiment about the Vietnam War. The story centers around the May 17, 1968 incident when nine men and women entered the Selective Service Offices in Catonsville, Maryland, removed several hundred draft records, and burned them with homemade napalm in protest against the war in Vietnam. The nine were arrested and, in a highly publicized trial, sentenced to jail.
This act of civil disobedience intensified protest against the draft, prompted debate in households in Maryland and across the nation, and stirred angry reaction on the part of many Americans. It also propelled the nine Catholic participants – especially priest brothers Daniel and Philip Berrigan – into the national spotlight.
The proceeds for the one-night-only production of The Trial of the Catonsville 9 will go to Kiva, an organization that enables people in the West make small loans to individuals around the developing world so that they might grow a business and become more self sustaining. The event will take place on January 19, 2008 at the Palm Canyon Theatre in Palm Springs, CA. For more information on the Actors Gang, go to: http://www.theactorsgang.com/main.htm
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