Black has utilized the original transcripts from the 2010 Perry v. Schwarzenegger case, which sought to overturn the 2008 voter-approved Prop. 8 legislation denying same-sex couples the right to marry. The trial ultimately led to a California federal judge's ruling that Prop. 8 was unconstitutional and unfairly discriminated against homosexuals.
The play will also incorporate observations and interviews with the plaintiffs and their families. Perry v. Schwarzenegger was not televised and all video documentation remains under a federal protective order. 8 will offer audiences one of the first word-for-word accounts of moments from the historic trial.
The American Foundation for Equal Rights and Broadway Impact are aligning to present the special presentation of Black's play, which will be staged by Mantello (The Normal Heart). Black is among the founders of AFER.
Casting has not been announced, but major names are being sought, according to organizers.
Following the New York premiere, the creators are aiming to license the production to schools and community groups across the country. AFER and Broadway Impact intend to help produce the staged readings. "People need to witness what happened in the Prop. 8 trial, if for no other reason than to see inequality and discrimination unequivocally rejected in a court of law where truth and facts matter," said Black. "I've built my career around exposing and uncovering 'the real story.' The goal of 8 is to show the world that marriage equality is a basic constitutional right and that those who would deny this basic freedom from loving, committed couples have only vitriol and baseless hyperbole to fall back on. The facts are on our side and truth always finds the light. We at AFER are doing all we can to help speed that process along."
According to presenters, "The story for 8 is framed by the trial's historic closing arguments in June 2010, but features the best arguments and testimony from both sides of the issue. Scenes include flashbacks to some of the more jaw-dropping moments of trial, such as the admission by Prop. 8 supporters' star witness David Blankenhorn that 'we would be more American on the day we permitted same-sex marriage than we were on the day before.'"
Proceeds from the Broadway staging of 8 will support the campaign for full federal marriage equality and to support educational efforts on the subject of marriage equality.
For ticket information visit www.afer.org/broadway8.