SPEECH & DEBATE
WILL OPEN AT AMC’s EMPIRE 25 IN NYC ON APRIL 7
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS
LIAM JAMES, SARAH STEELE, AUSTIN P. MCKENZIE, SKYLAR ASTIN, ROGER BART, JANEANE GAROFALO, WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY, KAL PENN, KIMBERLY WILLIAMS-PAISLEY
WITH SPECIAL APPEARANCES BY
LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA, KRISTIN CHENOWETH & DARREN CRISS
Written by STEPHEN KARAM
Directed by DAN HARRIS
Produced by TOM RICE
Available in Select Theaters, on iTunes and VOD APRIL 7, 2017
Sycamore Pictures (Begin Again, The Hollars, The Way Way Back) is thrilled to announce the theatrical release of SPEECH & DEBATE will open in New York City at AMC’s Empire 25 beginning Friday, April 7, 2017. Presented in partnership with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the producers will donate 25 percent of the funds from the theatrical showings in New York to the charitable organization, which helps ensure men, women and children across the country receive lifesaving medications, health care, nutritious meals, counseling and emergency financial assistance.
“This movie is a love letter to musical theater nerds of all ages,” says producer Tom Rice. “We are honored to share this exciting moment with such an important cause as Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.”
Based on the critically acclaimed comedy by Tony Award winner Stephen Karam (The Humans) and directed by Dan Harris the film stars Liam James, Sarah Steele, Austin P. McKenzie, Roger Bart, Janeane Garofalo, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Kal Penn, Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Skylar Astin. Featuring cameos by Broadway’s biggest stars, a stellar supporting cast, and an original song performed by Kristin Chenoweth, Speech & Debate is sure to thrill audiences young and old, alike!
The wickedly funny Speech & Debate follows three teenagers brought together by a series of mishaps. Frustrated by the hypocrisy they see in their parents, teachers, and the entire school board, the unlikely trio set out to find a common truth and make their voices heard as they revive a defunct school club and take on the world. Blogging, blackmail, and Broadway belting drive the trio’s bond in this outrageous comedy. Sarah Steele (“The Good Fight”), returns to the big screen as the beloved “Diwata;” a role she originated Off-Broadway. Liam James (The Way, Way Back) and Austin P. McKenzie (Spring Awakening) star as her unlikely friends, “Solomon” and “Howie.”
Fresh off his Broadway breakthrough and Tony Award for The Humans, playwright Stephen Karam adapts his first comedy Speech & Debate for the screen. Three of Karam’s acclaimed plays including Speech & Debate, Sons of the Prophet and The Humans premiered at New York City’s Roundabout Theatre Company and continued on to success around the country. Karam is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist & two-time NY Drama Critics Circle winner; as well as an Obie, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel and Hull-Warriner award winner. Having appeared in the New York productions of both Speech & Debate and The Humans, actress Sarah Steele returns to the big screen for Karam’s film debut.
Available in Select Theaters, on iTunes and VOD April 7, 2017.
Sycamore Pictures is partnering with Vertical Entertainment to distribute the film. Vertical Entertainment is a global independent distributor who recently received five Film Independent Spirit Award nominations – four for Chris Kelly’s “Other People” starring Jesse Plemons and Molly Shannon, and one for Babak Anvari’s “Under the Shadow”, which was also the official UK submission for the 2017 Oscars.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources, and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised more than $285 million for essential services for people with HIV/AIDS and other critical illnesses in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, DC.
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