Oscar-winning Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black wrote a play about the situation of LGBT people in Russia -- being performed tonight in New York City -- so Americans won't "forget about our brothers and sisters abroad," he tells The Hollywood Reporter.
Black's script for Uprising of Love: A Benefit Concert for Global Equality, deals with "a young person in Russia named Vlad who was in a very dangerous [situation] just because of who he is," Black tells the publication. "You wouldn't recognize the name. The heartbreaking, tragic revelation that this young person's story is that it's not unique at all; it's happening every day in Russia, and this piece expands beyond Russia to people in Africa, India, and South America."
Sting, Patti LuPone, Billy Porter, Chely Wright, Greg Louganis, and other stars will perform in the piece at the Gershwin Theatre. The event supports the LGBT-oriented work of United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and the U.N.'s Free & Equal campaign. Jane Lynch will host the event.
The idea for the show originated "in the lead-up to the Sochi Olympics, when myself, Bruce Cohen, and Melissa Etheridge helped form Uprising of Love to shine a light on the discriminatory laws that [Russian president] Vladimir Putin put into effect," Black tells the Reporter. "It was easier to keep the world's attention while the Olympics were going on, but the world's attention has turned elsewhere. In the U.S. over the past two years, it seems like we're making great gain, and at worst case, we forget about our brothers and sisters abroad. We think it's important that we help them, not just in Russia, but in other countries around the world that are discriminated against for who they are. In order to do that, you have to create spectacle and tell stories."
Last November, Black, along with Milk director Gus Van Sant and producer Bruce Cohen, attended an LGBT film festival held in St. Petersburg, Russia, despite bomb threats that delayed the first screening.
To get last-minute tickets for the show, which starts at 8 p.m., click here.