Dustin Lance Black Drama 8 Gets Star-Filled Broadway Staging Sept. 19
By Adam Hetrick
8, the new drama by Academy Award-winning "Milk" screenwriter Dustin Lance Black that chronicles the reversal of California's anti-gay marriage legislation, Prop. 8, receives a starry one-night-only Broadway staging Sept. 19 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre.
Tony Award-winning director Joe Mantello (The Normal Heart) directs the play that utilizes the original transcripts from the 2010 Perry v. Schwarzenegger case, which sought to overturn the 2008 voter-approved Prop. 8 legislation. The trial ultimately led to a California federal judge's ruling that Prop. 8 was unconstitutional and unfairly discriminated against homosexuals.
The cast includes Bob Balaban, Ellen Barkin, Matt Bomer, Campbell Brown, Anthony Edwards, Morgan Freeman, K. Todd Freeman, Jayne Houdyshell, Cheyenne Jackson, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Larry Kramer, Christine Lahti, Ken Leung, John Lithgow, Rory O’Malley, Rob Reiner, Ben Rosenfield, Kate Shindle, Yeardley Smith, Stephen Spinella and Bradley Whitford.
8 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 offers audiences one of the first word-for-word accounts of moments from the historic trial.
The American Foundation for Equal Rights and Broadway Impact align to present the special presentation of Black's play, which is aiming to have a future life in schools and community groups across the country. AFER and Broadway Impact intend to help produce and license 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 support the campaign for full federal marriage equality and educational efforts on the subject of marriage equality.
For ticket information visit www.afer.org/broadway8.
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