8, which chronicles the reversal of California's anti-gay marriage legislation, Prop. 8, received a starry Broadway premiere in September. It was produced in association with AFER and Broadway Impact, the LGBT marriage equality non-profit co-founded by actor-musician Creel.
Creel (Hair, Thoroughly Modern Millie) joins a host of fellow University of Michigan alumni for the special 7:30 PM reading. It is the first time 8 has been seen since its Broadway debut. Additional productions are expected to roll out across the country in 2012.
The play is being presented as part of a 40th anniversary celebration of the University of Michigan's Spectrum Center, which was founded in 1971 to support lesbian and gay individuals on campus.
The case to overturn Prop 8, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, was not televised, and all video documentation has remained under a federal protective order. A judge ruled in September that all trial tapes must be made public. 8 incorporates transcripts from the trial and observations and interviews with the plaintiffs and their families.
The presentation features Broadway notables alongside students from the University's School of Music, Theatre and Dance. Creel and Foa (Godspell, Avenue Q) portray Theodore B. Olson and David Boies, the two attorneys appointed to overturn Proposition 8. Tony nominee Bolger (Peter and the Starcatcher, Spelling Bee) plays plaintiff Kris Perry and Reichard (Jersey Boys, Candide) plays litigator Chuck Cooper, who represented Prop 8 proponents in the trial. Zach Booth ("Damages") plays a trial witness. Also featured are Danny Gurwin (Little Women) as Chief Judge Vaughn Walker, Joe Gallagher (Tom Sawyer), Michael Zahler (Spelling Bee National Tour) and Maddy Wyatt.
The cast also includes Elly Jarvis, Ashley Park, Jon Manganello, Colin Hartman, Derek Tran, Carrie Fisk, Linda Goodrich, Dan Rubens, Arthur Ridley, Han Park, Joe Carroll and Neal Kelley.
"The reading of 8 will be an historic event at the University of Michigan," said Spectrum Center director Jackie Simpson in a statement. "One of the ways individuals in the state of Michigan have been trying to address legislation that could have a negative impact on LGBT youth and on LGBT domestic partner benefits, is through storytelling. We need to capture and show how anti-gay legislation impacts the lives of human beings. 8 does just that; it keeps the stories alive because there is still work to do."