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Project 515 Education Campaign’s production of “515 – The Tour!” is coming to Bemidji for two performances on Wednesday. Pictured from left are John Potter, Jessica Dougherty, Lacey Anne Zeiler, Richard Weber, Anna Wakefield and John Zeiler. Submitted Photo

‘515 – The Tour’ comes to Bemidji

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BEMIDJI – Project 515’s mission aims to ensure same-sex couples and their families have equal rights and considerations under Minnesota law.

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"515 – The Tour" is a 45-minute theatrical representation of challenges faced by same-sex couples in Minnesota based on their inability to marry.

It will be performed twice Wednesday in Bemidji, first at noon in the Beaux Arts Ballroom on the Bemidji State University campus, and then at 7:30 p.m. at the Historic Chief Theater.

Both performances are free.

“We’re really excited to perform at the Historic Chief Theater and build our audience and relationship with the Bemidji community” said Bryan Gerber, the show’s director.

The number 515 comes from volunteer research that found 515 statutes within Minnesota law that discriminate against same-sex couples.

Last year the organization visited BSU and performed 515 with sponsorship from The Phoenix (gay/straight alliance), Respect Awareness Project- Servant Hearts, and American Civil Liberties Union Greater Minnesota Racial Justice Project North.

The show highlights the ways that the laws affect families in time of illness and tragedy, in planning for the future, and in a couple’s professional and political lives.

Actors will be available for questions after the performance. There also will be free materials, brochures on reports and findings of discriminating laws and buttons available to audience members.

“Our most popular material is definitely our buttons which are red squares with ‘515’ on them; they’re great conversation starters,” Gerber said.

Gerber also stated that he hopes the program can serve as a resource for community members to get answers and support.

For more information, visit www.p515ec.org.

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