Freedom Forum to Host 1A House First Amendment Experience at SXSW – March 8-10

Experiential Gathering Place Will Explore Americans’ Fundamental Freedoms and the Collective Responsibility to Defend Them

Headliners to Include the World Premiere of Yours to Lose by Third Rail Projects; a Conversation with Drag Queen Activist Brigitte Bandit; and Live Music from Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Lawrence Wright

Washington, D.C. (February 21, 2024)Freedom Forum, a national nonprofit dedicated to First Amendment education, today announced its participation in SXSW 2024. Embracing the convergence of tastemakers in tech, film, television and music, Freedom Forum’s 1A House experience will show how the free expression that powers these creative industries is made possible by the First Amendment.

From March 8-10, the 1A House will feature refreshments, activations, exhibits, performances and discussions that celebrate the uniquely American freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition, and the challenges they face in an increasingly polarized, digital world.

Located just steps from the Austin Convention Center at Café Blue, the 1A House will serve as a convenient SXSW hangout spot for relaxing with friends, charging phones, imbibing First Amendment-themed cocktails, savoring coffee and gelato, and capturing Instagram-worthy moments of creative expression. Scheduled programming will include:

Yours to Lose
Yours to Lose is a 45-minute immersive theatrical experience produced by Freedom Forum and Third Rail Projects, written and directed by Zach Morris and Tom Pearson, and co-created by Justin Lynch, Chie Morita, Morris, Marissa Nielsen-Pincus and Pearson. Premiering exclusively at the 1A House at SXSW, Yours to Lose will take audiences through a series of multisensory scenes that explore the personal and societal value of First Amendment freedoms, the cost of losing them and the challenge of protecting them. Following the experience, attendees are invited to grab a complimentary lunch to go or enjoy their meal while chatting with Freedom Forum First Amendment experts.

Yours To Lose is performed by Justin Lynch and Marissa Nielsen-Pincus along with Austin-based performers Brady Faucett/Cupcake, Michelle Keffer, Jenny Larson and Kelsey Oliver. Production stage management/project management is by Chie Morita, environment design by Dan Daly, with original music and sound design by Sean Hagerty and costume design by Alexandra & Juliana of Atelier Abene. Stage management by Austin-based Kai Frazier, Zalán Kálmán, and Kelsey Moringy. Austin event production is by Natalie George Productions.

“Music and Conversation with WhoDo: Freedom to Rock”
Texas-based band WhoDo, made up of lawyers, professors and writers, including Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright, will perform its brand of rockabilly and vintage rock. Before their set, they’ll engage in a conversation about the importance of the First Amendment and their work.

“Drag and the First Amendment: A Conversation with Brigitte Bandit”
In conversation with KXAN Austin’s Will DuPree, popular Austin-based drag queen Brigitte Bandit will discuss how she used her First Amendment freedoms to challenge restrictions on drag and how free expression is at the heart of her performances.

The 1A House is free and open to the public. Due to limited availability, registration is required. For more information and to register for one of these programs, visit

What: 1A House, Hosted by Freedom Forum
Who: Third Rail Projects
WhoDo, Blues and Rockabilly Band
Featuring Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Lawrence Wright
Brigitte Bandit, Drag Queen and Activist
Will DuPree, Reporter and Anchor for KXAN Austin
Cindy Martin, Chairwoman of Mama Bears (via video message)
Dr. Ossama Bahloul, Imam and Interfaith Leader (via video message)
Where: Café Blue
340 E. 2nd St.
Austin, Texas
When: Friday, March 8 – Sunday, March 10

Friday, March 8

Multiple showtimes | Yours to Lose, a 45-minute immersive theatrical experience that runs every 15 minutes; limited seating; register here
5 – 6:30 p.m. | Happy Hour
6:30 – 8 p.m. | Music and Conversation with WhoDo: Freedom to Rock; limited seating; register here

Saturday, March 9

Multiple showtimes | Yours to Lose, a 45-minute immersive theatrical experience that runs every 15 minutes; limited seating; register here
5 – 6:30 p.m. | Happy Hour
7 – 8 p.m. | Drag and the First Amendment: A Conversation with Brigitte Bandit; limited seating; register here

Sunday, March 10

Multiple showtimes | Yours to Lose, a 45-minute immersive theatrical experience that runs every 15 minutes; limited seating; register here
5 – 6:30 p.m. | Happy Hour

About Freedom Forum: Established on July 4, 1991, by USA TODAY founder Al Neuharth, Freedom Forum’s mission is to foster First Amendment freedoms for all. Freedom Forum works to raise awareness of First Amendment freedoms by educating, engaging and inspiring people, sharing the stories of Americans who have exercised their rights to ignite change. Freedom Forum is a nonpartisan 501 (c)(3) foundation that advances First Amendment freedoms through initiatives including the Power Shift Project , the annual Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference , the Chips Quinn Scholars , the Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media , the Free Expression Awards , the Journalists Memorial and Today’s Front Pages .

About Third Rail Projects: Led by Zach Morris, Tom Pearson and Jennine Willett, Third Rail Projects has been hailed as one of the foremost groups creating site-specific, immersive and experiential performance. They have worked in New York, nationally and abroad since 2000. Their award-winning immersive hit Then She Fell was named as one of the “Top Ten Shows of 2012” by Ben Brantley of The New York Times and acclaimed as one of the best theater experiences of 2013 by Vogue. The show ran for more than seven years for a total of 4,444 performances.

Third Rail Projects has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, including two New York Dance and Performance Awards (aka The Bessies), a Chita Rivera Award for Choreography, a Drama Desk Awards nomination for Unique Theatrical Experience and more than 20 short film awards in more than 40 festivals worldwide. Third Rail Projects has also been recognized as part of the creative team of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning virtual reality adaptation of Neil Gaiman's “Wolves in the Walls” and as contributors and featured artists in the Emmy Award-winning series "Immersive.World” by ALL ARTS. In 2016, Zach, Tom and Jennine were named among the 100 most influential people in Brooklyn culture by Brooklyn Magazine.