Actress Jennifer Lanier Is Standing on Ceremony



It began as a series of benefits around Los Angeles, but earlier this month the performance of Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays spread across the U.S. At least 40 different theaters in 19 states performed Standing on Ceremony simultaneously in early November. One of the show’s actresses is Jennifer Lanier, whose most recent work, a riveting one-woman show about race, identity, and the closet, None of the Above, was called “a flash of beauty and inspiration” by The New York Times. Lanier, who performed in several of the plays for Standing on Ceremony, lives with her wife, fellow performer and domestic violence activist Dustina Haase-Lanier, and their two teenage boys in Portland, Ore. Lanier made her film debut in 1988’s Quiet Victory: The Charlie Wedemeyer Story, alongside Immortals star Stephen Dorff, and has been a mainstay on the theater circuit. The actress, who can also be seen in upcoming episodes of NBC’s Grimm and TNT’s Leverage, chatted with The Advocate about weddings, straight girls, and Sally Struthers.

The Advocate: What did it mean to you to participate in Standing on Ceremony?

Jennifer Lanier: I was honored to be part of this project. As an actor, I play lots of characters that are nothing like me, so it was a blast to have that much connection to the roles I read. And knowing that so many other actors were having the same experience all over the country ... all of us felt the connection. I feel very strongly about marriage equality and, frankly, how cool was this?

 How did you get involved?

Stephanie Mulligan, literary manager and artistic associate of Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland, Ore., asked me to come on board. I have worked for ART before. Stephanie gathered a stellar group of actors and technical folks to make the evening happen. And when she told me that wedding cake would be served after the show, I immediately signed on.

Tags: Theater