The Stuttering Association for the Young (SAY) will present its 17th Annual Benefit Gala May 13 at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (566 LaGuardia Place).
Hosted by Tony winner Kelli O’Hara, currently back on Broadway in the revival of Kiss Me, Kate, the evening will honor Tony-winning Hamilton director Thomas Kail with the Budd Mayer Advocacy Award, and SAY Musical Director Everett Bradley will be inducted into the SAY Hall of Fame.
The benefit performance will feature appearances by Wayne Brady, Victor Garber, James Monroe Iglehart, Christopher Jackson, Javier Muñoz, James Naughton, Krysta Rodriguez, Fisher Stevens, and more, who will share the stage with the children of SAY.
Kail served as a mentor for SAY’s Confident Voices One-Act program, working with youth participants to help bring their visions and voices to life. In addition to his work with the kids of SAY, he’s also spoken out publicly on behalf of young people who stutter, introduced SAY to new friends and supporters, and served on SAY’s benefit committees.
“The work that goes on at SAY demonstrates the true power of theatre. It creates the safest possible space for its members and allows them all they need to express themselves. I have learned incredible and essential lessons in my time with them. I am moved, and humbled, to be recognized in this way,” Kail said in a statement.
In 2001, when Taro Alexander first had the idea to start an organization for young people who stutter, the first person he shared the idea with was Bradley. He loved the idea and pledged to be the musical director for the organization, and 18 years later Bradley continues to make himself available to inspire, create, and fill SAY’s world with music, harmony, and love.
“When I found out that I was receiving the Hall of Fame award, I was completely caught off guard! After spending almost 18 years passionately doing the work that is necessary for SAY, it never occurred to me that my journey could ever be considered. Now as I revel in this recognition, I’m honored and grateful to proudly represent an organization that does the important work that these young people so desperately need. My world is brighter, and my heart is hopeful!” Bradley stated.
The evening will conclude with an exclusive Chef’s Tasting event at The Lighthouse (Pier 61 at Chelsea Piers) featuring more than a dozen celebrated chefs invited by board member Marc Vetri: Matt Buehler, Joey Campanaro, Marco Canora, Richard Capizzi, Gabriel Hamilton, Brooks Headley, Adam Leonti, Melissa Rodriguez, Mark Rosati, Michael Symon, Bill Telepan, and Jonathan Waxman.
For tickets and more information, visit SAY.org/Gala.