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'Marian' production helps establish fund for LGBTQ students

Peyton Stratton, who plays Marian/Robinhood in the play, and Alex Galindez-Quinones, who plays Little John, block out a short wrestling scene between their two characters, while director Blane Pressler watches on during rehearsal on May 5, 2023.
Ella Abbott
/
WBOI News
Peyton Stratton, who plays Marian/Robinhood in the play, and Alex Galindez-Quinones, who plays Little John, block out a short wrestling scene between their two characters, while director Blane Pressler watches on during rehearsal on Friday, May 5, 2023.

Proceeds from the independent play of ‘Marian’ put on earlier this year in Fort Wayne have gone toward establishing a fund to help other LGBTQ+ students across the country host independent activities through the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne.

The fund, officially called the LGBTQ+ High Schools Freedom Fund, was established with an initial $13,000 in funding from the ticket sales from the one-night-only performance of ‘Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood’ back in May.

According to Alison Gerardot, the Chief Impact Officer at the Community Foundation, said the foundation is focused on equity, and often the LGBTQ community is left out of that conversation.

“So, it’s very exciting and very encouraging that this type of fund is established, that we are able to house this type of fund," she said. "And hopefully it creates more momentum both in and out of our community.”

‘Marian’ caused a stir at the beginning of this year when the play was initially approved by Carroll High School administration, before being unceremoniously canceled following parent complaints about LGBTQ aspects of the play.

Students worked with adults in the community and Fort Wayne Pride to raise funds to put the show on themselves.

The fund looks to offer opportunities for other students to produce their plays independently, like Carroll’s students were able to.

Fundraising for the established fund will continue in order to assist more students.

Ella Abbott is a multimedia reporter for 89.1 WBOI. She is a strong believer in the ways audio storytelling can engage an audience and create a sensory experience.
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