All right, all right, all right. The cast of the epic Texas coming-of-age film Dazed and Confused is reuniting on Sunday, October 11 for a live table reading to fundraise for Dallas-based nonprofit March For Science and the Texas efforts of Voto Latino Foundation. Those who contribute any amount to the civic engagement organizations (through this link) are invited to tune into the livestream event.
Director Richard Linklater helped wrangle together the original cast for the fundraiser, including Ben Affleck, Parker Posey, Jason London, Joey Lauren Adams, and, of course, Texas legend Matthew McConaughey. The table reading will be immediately followed by a live Q&A moderated by Patton Oswalt.
The concept came from a similar initiative that brought together the original cast of The Princess Bride to benefit the Wisconsin Democratic Party.
“Heading into this election, a lot of creative advocates for social change saw the power of reuniting casts, not just to bring back communities and fans to experience a really cool nostalgic production, but do it in a way that generated meaningful support and resources for organizations that were on the ground advocating for the kind of transformative change that a lot of people are looking for these days,” says Matthew Tranchin, president of March For Science.
Progressive advocates in Hollywood were looking for other places and organizations that could benefit from a star-studded fundraiser. Considering that Texas is one of few states where voters cannot vote by mail (unless they are over 65, have an illness, or are out of state), there was a need to help people understand how to stay safe while staying engaged during the election. March For Science and Voto Latino were the perfect match, as they’re both focused on civil engagement efforts. They’re both non-partisan but inherently political.
While Dazed and Confused has a reputation as a stoner cult classic, the tender human story beneath its hazy facade is especially relevant for times of upheaval.
“It’s a coming of age story at a time of uncertainty, where people are figuring out who they are, what they care about, what they’re going to fight for, who they’re going to defend. You see these emotional journeys of young people, set at a time in their lives where they’re trying to find themselves and find success,” says Tranchin. (Who, full disclosure, is president of the Coalition for a New Dallas, a nonprofit started by the late D founder Wick Allison.) “From a political standpoint, every election there’s a great deal of uncertainty. But in the midst of a pandemic–it’s a time when our commander-in-chief has contracted a deadly virus. It’s scary out there, the level of misinformation and the heightened political rhetoric. I think a lot of people are trying to figure out what they care about, what really matters.”
March For Science will be presenting more programming, including forums with public health officials and epidemiologists, on its Facebook page through Election Day. The experts will be discussing how to plan for a safe trip to the polls, among other things.
“[They] are really going to be highlighting things that you should do to make sure that you’re not only protecting your health, but you’re doing your part to defend democracy,” says Tranchin.
Make a donation and save your spot for the table reading here. You don’t have to, but you’d be a lot cooler if you did.