The Shot an online Show & Fundraiser for Samuel’s House

Fringe Theater, in partnership with the Samuel’s House, presents an online one-woman play called The Shot, March 24-27. This national project is connecting the performing arts with local women’s shelters to draw attention to domestic violence and to raise funds for both nonprofits.

The play was inspired by the life of Katharine Graham.

Who is Katharine Graham? Before she was the acclaimed publisher of the Washington Post (1963-1991), before she presided over the reporting of the Watergate scandal, before she became the first CEO of a Fortune 500 company, she was a wife with a secret.

“Many people find it difficult to believe that a strong woman would stay in an abusive relationship,” says Rebecca Tomlinson, Fringe’s Managing Artistic Director. “Or that a well loved and educated man would be an abuser. This play powerfully presents that complex story.”

The Shot is performed by film and TV star Sharon Lawrence. Audiences may be most familiar with the EMMY nominated actor from NYPD Blue, Desperate Housewives, or Grey’s Anatomy. The play was poised to open as a sold-out reading at the  historic Ebell Club in Los Angeles when COVID-19 struck last March. So the producer, director, and playwright decided to re-envision the play into a one-woman video.

“It was very early in COVID, and we didn’t have a lot of information to go on but we were determined to create a video,” recalls the playwright, Robin Gerber. “The crew basically set the cameras up in the home we borrowed and left, so Sharon performed to an empty room.” Robin began offering the video to local theater companies – without charge. “We wanted to get the work out there, but we also wanted to do something for the performing arts industry which had largely gone dark. So we began offering the video to theaters to help raise funds for them and their local shelters.”

Fringe Theater learned about The Shot from patron Neal Ruchman, who suggested the partnership with the Samuel’s House and offered to sponsor the project. “He felt it was an important project and, as he put it, very Fringe-y, because of the online creative work Fringe has been doing since the beginning of COVID,” explained Fringe’s Board President Janet Bengel. Fringe began offering creatives the opportunity to submit selfie-monologues for an online audience soon after COVID shut down their production of  Bloomsday the day before it would have opened last March.

“We are delighted that the Fringe reached out to us on this project,” Tara Salinas, Samuel’s House Executive Director shared. “The play’s message is ultimately about overcoming. And that is paramount. The project also gives us an opportunity to remind our community that we are a safe and sober residential resource for women and families in Monroe County.”

In fact, Samuel’s House offers three different programs: an emergency shelter, a transitional facility that provides temporary and intermediary housing, and long term housing. All three programs offer services and support for women and families in addition to housing.

The Shot will be available online and on demand March 24 – 27 at www.fringetheater.org. The play is offered at no charge, but patrons are encouraged to purchase a “Pay What You Will” ticket or make a tax deductible donation. Ticket Sales and donations collected in conjunction with this project will be divided between the two nonprofits.

A private matching grant will provide the opportunity for donations to double their impact (up to $5k total). “Samuel’s House is such an important resource for our community,” concludes Janet Bengel. “We are thrilled that Fringe can once again give back by supporting it.”

To learn more about the Samuel’s House, go to www.samuelshouse.org. To learn more about this national project, go to www.theshotplay.com. To learn more about Fringe, call 305-731-0581 or go to www.fringetheater.org or send an email to info@fringetheater.org.