What do Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, Sam Waterston, John Hockenberry, and poet laureate Billy Collins have in common? They all support PROJECT 451, Literature to Life’s newest campaign. The organization will be kicking off the campaign with a two-night celebrity awards gala in New York City’s Theatre at St. Clement’s Church on May 17th and 18th.

This year the gala will honor Ray Bradbury, author of “Fahrenheit 451,” with the premier performance of his novel, directed by Wynn Handman and performed by Rich Orlow. The program will conclude with readings of very short passages from other works of great literature by distinguished guests. Register for the event and see Meryl Streep reading a passage from “Fahrenheit 451” at https://2009literaturetolifeawards.eventbrite.com/.

Literature to Life is a performance-based literacy program run by the American Place Theatre that presents professionally staged verbatim adaptations of significant American literary works. The program gives students a new form of access to literature by bringing to life the world of the book with performances that create an atmosphere of discovery and spark the imagination. This program is delivered to over 30,000 underserved students annually in New York City and in 72 cities across the country.