Rob Reiner, who will also appear in 8, will direct the staged reading at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre that will star Oscar winner George Clooney. "The Descendants" star will play David Boies, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case, which sought to overturn the voter-approved Prop 8 measure, denying same-sex couples the right to marry.
All proceeds from the reading benefit efforts for marriage equality across the U.S.
Complete casting for the evening follows: Golden Globe Award winner Kevin Bacon, Golden Globe Award winner Colfer, Academy Award nominee Reilly, Matt Bomer, Campbell Brown, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Vanessa Garcia, Christine Lahti, Jane Lynch, Matthew Morrison, Rory O'Malley, Jansen Panettiere, James Pickens, Jr., Martin Sheen, Yeardley Smith, George Takei and Bridger Zadina.
Reilly will play United States District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who found Prop. 8 unconstitutional; with Kevin Bacon as Charles J. Cooper, the lead attorney for the anti-marriage proponents of Prop. 8; Colfer as Ryan Kendall, a young man who testified about his experience in "reparative therapy" as a teenager; Sheen as plaintiffs' lead co-counsel Theodore B. Olson; Lahti and Curtis as plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, a lesbian couple together for 11 years and the parents of four boys; Morrison and Bomer as plaintiffs Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, a gay couple together over ten years.
Lynch is cast as National Organization for Marriage co-founder Maggie Gallagher; and Reiner as David Blankenhorn, founder and president of the Institute for American Values. Academy Award-winning "Milk" screenwriter Black wrote the play that chronicles the reversal of California's anti-gay marriage legislation, Prop. 8. 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.
"This play will continue to show Americans — one by one — that truth and justice will prevail over prejudice and fear," AFER board president Chad Griffin said in a statement. "Try as they might, the anti-marriage proponents of Proposition 8 cannot hide their discriminatory arguments from the American people. Until every citizen can equally enjoy the fundamental freedom to marry, AFER will continue to fight in the courts of law and the court of public opinion — and we will win."