Mar. 14: Brooks Ashmanskas, Nikki M. James, Arian Moayed, Rosie Perez, Lois Smith, and Michael Urie Set for Reading of UNUSUAL ACTS OF DEVOTION by Terrence McNally to Benefit Rattlestick Playwrights Theater

Tom Kirdahy and Terrence McNally, winner of the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre at The Plaza Hotel on June 9, 2019 in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

On Monday, March 14, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater is presenting a star-studded reading of legendary playwright Terrence McNally’s Unusual Acts of Devotion, presented in partnership with Tom Kirdahy Productions. The Benefit will be held at the Daryl Roth Theatre (101 E 15th Street), followed by a cocktail party where guests can mingle with Rattlestick artists over drinks and dessert at The Players (16 Gramercy Park S). Proceeds from this event will go towards Rattlestick’s Artistic Home Campaign, to renovate its historic West Village home to be fully accessible, including an ADA-accessible elevator, ADA-accessible bathrooms, expanded dressing rooms, a renovated lobby, and more.

Brooks Ashmanskas, Nikki M. James, Arian Moayed, Rosie Perez, Lois Smith, and Michael Urie
Brooks Ashmanskas, Nikki M. James, Arian Moayed, Rosie Perez, Lois Smith, and Michael Urie

Rattlestick board member and acclaimed actor Zachary Quinto (American Horror Story: Asylum, The Boys in The Band) helms a cast that includes: Brooks Ashmanskas (The Prom, Bullets Over Broadway), Nikki M. James (LES MISERABLES, The Book of Mormon), Arian Moayed (Inventing Anna, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo), Rosie Perez (Fearless, The Flight Attendant), Lois Smith (The Inheritance, Ladybird), and Michael Urie (Ugly Betty, Chicken & Biscuits).

McNally’s Unusual Acts of Devotion was produced in La Jolla and Philadelphia in 2008, but has yet to be heard publicly in NYC. This event marks the first public presentation of McNally’s work since his death in March 2020. McNally has been a close friend, collaborator, and champion of Rattlestick’s work since its inception in 1994. Rattlestick produced Corpus Christi in 2008 and most recently, a 40-person reading of Some Men as part of the Pride Plays Festival in 2019.

Benefit reading of SOME MEN on June 24, 2019 – Back Row: David Turner, Dominic Colon, Ricardo Davila, James Cusati Moyer, David Ryan Smith, Adam Cantor, Michael Urie, Sam Gonzalez, Alton Alburo, Michael Mastro, Ryan Haddad, Jordan Cooper, Lance Roberts.
Middle Row: Thomas Jay Ryan, Everett Quinton, Andre De Shields, Murray Hill, Randy Harrison, Larry Powell, Vishal Vaidya, Bobby Steggart, Michael Cyril Creighton, Stephen Spinella, John Benjamin Hickey, Stephen DeRosa, Ned Riseley, Calvin Leon Smith, Kevin Chamberlin
Front Row: Tom Deckman, Will Blum, Arnie Burton, Jose Llana, Frank DiLela, Colin Hanlon, Satya Bhabha, Ken Barnett, Billy Carter, Marc Vietor, Mark Nelson, Daniel Butler, Dylan Guerra. Photo by Lia Chang

Unusual Acts of Devotion is a poignant love letter to New York City. It takes place on a hot summer evening in Greenwich Village, where an eclectic group of neighbors gather on a rooftop to cool down and celebrate a young couple’s anniversary. As the raucous music of the city mingles with the music from their portable CD player, they drink, dance, talk, worry, and dream. Through it all, there’s a palpable sense of danger underlying the festivities – bringing with it a heightened awareness of the fragility of human life.

More information on tickets at

Lia Chang

Lia Chang loves to tell stories that are diverse and inclusive – as an actor, a multi-media content producer, award-winning filmmaker, and a performing arts photographer and documentarian. Photo archives: Lia Chang Theater Portfolio collection,1989-2011, housed in the AAPI collection in the Library of Congress’ Asian Reading Room; Lia Chang Photography Collection in The Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library. Awards: 2000 OCA Chinese American Journalist Award, the 2001 AAJA National Award for New Media. Lia is an AAJA Executive Leadership Graduate (2000), a Western Knight Fellow at USC’s Annenberg College of Communications for Specialized Journalism on Entertainment Journalism in the Digital Age (2000), a National Press Photographers Association Visual Edge/Visual Journalism Fellow at the Poynter Institute for New Media (2001), a Scripps Howard New Media Fellow at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism (2002), and a National Tropical Garden Environmental Journalism Fellow (2003). A co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, Lia makes films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. She stars in and is the Executive Producer for the indie films Hide and Seek (AA Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Best Actress Nomination), Rom-Com Gone Wrong, and When the World Was Young (2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative). Lia has also appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, and The Last Dragon. Along with an extensive career in Off-Broadway productions, favorite stage credits include her debut as Liat in a national tour of South Pacific with Barbara Eden and Robert Goulet and playing Joy in Signature Theatre’s revival of Sam Shepard’s Chicago.,

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2022 Lia Chang Multimedia, unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at 

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