Ellen Barkin, Stephen Spinella, Jayne Houdyshell, Kate Shindle Join Cast of Starry Broadway 8 Reading

News   Ellen Barkin, Stephen Spinella, Jayne Houdyshell, Kate Shindle Join Cast of Starry Broadway 8 Reading
Tony Award winners Ellen Barkin and Stephen Spinella, as well as Tony nominee Jayne Houdyshell and Kate Shindle have joined the cast of Dustin Lance Black's 8, which will get a one-night-only Broadway staging Sept. 19.

Kate Shindle
Kate Shindle Photo by Fadil Berisha

Barkin (The Normal Heart), Spinella (Angels in America), Houdyshell (Follies, Well) and Shindle (Wonderland), as well as Tony Award nominee K. Todd Freeman (Song of Jacob Zulu), Jay Armstrong Johnson (Hair), Ken Leung ("Lost") and Ben Rosenfield (Through a Glass Darkly) are the latest performers to join the special presentation that will give audiences a personal look at the historic trial that resulted in the reversal of California's anti-gay marriage legislation, Prop. 8. The starry cast will take on the identities of the actual participants in the trial.

Previously announced to appear are Bob Balaban, Matt Bomer, Campbell Brown, Anthony Edwards, Morgan Freeman, Cheyenne Jackson, Larry Kramer, Christine Lahti, John Lithgow, Rory O’Malley, Rob Reiner, Yeardley Smith and Bradley Whitford. Marisa Tomei has withdrawn from the event due to filming conflicts.

Tony Award-winning director Joe Mantello (The Normal Heart) will direct the staged reading at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre. Black has utilized 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 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 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. 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 educational efforts on the subject of marriage equality.

For ticket information visit www.afer.org/broadway8.

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