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Buntport Theater's Moby Dick Unread benefit goes to a water-bound cause

Buntport -- Denver's funniest, cleverest, most low-key and least pretentious theater company -- sets aside a benefit night for every production, usually to help a deserving local organization. Fittingly, with Moby Dick Unread, the company is wading into deeper waters. At Thursday's 8 p.m. show, some ticket proceeds will go to the Teller Elementary school arts program and Starfish One by One, a group that works to educate young girls in Guatemala. But a third beneficiary is more controversial.

A ship called The Audacity of Hope will be joining a flotilla of vessels from Europe, Canada, India, South Africa and parts of the Middle East to bring supplies to Gaza and help publicize and break the brutal Israeli blockade. This voyage, which will take place next month -- as soon as U.S. Boat to Gaza organizers have raised the $370,000 required for the voyage -- was spurred in part by the attack on the last flotilla attempting the same mission, in which nine activists were killed by Israeli commandos.

Evan Weissman, a core member of the troupe, is a longtime proponent of a just peace in the Middle East: "For me, it's a no-brainer to break the blockade and -- as just people of conscience -- to be bringing in medical supplies, food, and toys for children. As American Jews, we're saying the loudest voices are not speaking for everyone. We don't support what is being said in our names or having our tax dollars help this blockade."

Tickets can be purchased through robertjprince@comcast.net. The nominal ticket price is $16, but supporters can donate more if they'd like. Buntport is at 717 Lipan Street. For more info, call 720-946-1388 or visit the Buntport website.

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