Nationwide Productions of Dustin Lance Black’s “8”

I received the following announcement and thought you might be interested:

American Foundation for Equal Rights and Broadway Impact Announce:

Nationwide Productions of Dustin Lance Black’s “8”
Play Shows World Why Marriage Equality Must Prevail

Forty College and Community Theatres Across the Country to Stage Readings in 2012

Los Angeles, CA – The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and Broadway Impact are proud to announce a set of at least forty nationwide productions of “8,” a play chronicling the historic trial in the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter and AFER Founding Board Member Dustin Lance Black.

“8” is an unprecedented account of the Federal District Court trial in Perry v. Schwarzenegger (now Perry v. Brown), the case filed by AFER to overturn Proposition 8, which stripped gay and lesbian Californians of the fundamental freedom to marry.

Black, who penned the Academy Award-winning feature film Milk and the new critically-acclaimed film J. Edgar, based “8” on the actual words of the trial transcripts, first-hand observations of the courtroom drama and interviews with the plaintiffs and their families.

Throughout 2012, AFER and Broadway Impact are licensing “8” for free to colleges and community theatres nationwide in order to spur action, dialogue and understanding. Most productions will be followed by a talkback where cast and audience members can discuss the issues presented in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial.

“This play will continue to show Americans—one by one—that prejudice and fear cannot stand up to truth and justice,” said AFER Board President Chad Griffin. “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 freedom to marry, AFER will continue to fight in the courts of law and the court of public opinion—and we will win.”

The story for “8” is framed by the trial’s historic closing arguments in June 2010, and features the best arguments and testimony from both sides. Scenes include flashbacks to some of the more jaw-dropping moments of trial, such as the admission by the Proposition 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.”

“People need to witness what happened in the Proposition 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 are doing all we can to help speed that process along.”

“8” is set to have its West Coast premiere at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre on Saturday, March 3, 2012, in Los Angeles, for an exclusive, one-night-only fundraiser to benefit AFER. The West Coast premiere will star Academy Award-winning actor, producer, screenwriter and director George Clooney and be directed by AFER Founding Board Member and acclaimed actor and director Rob Reiner.

“8” had its much-heralded Broadway world premiere on September 19, 2011, at the sold-out Eugene O’Neill Theatre in New York City. The production brought in over one million dollars to support AFER’s efforts to achieve full federal marriage equality.

Proposition 8 was struck down by the Federal District Court in August 2010. That decision was appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by the anti-marriage proponents of Proposition 8. AFER’s legal team was at the Ninth Circuit in December 2011 for a hearing to urge that court to unseal the trial video. The American public was not given a chance to witness the historic trial because the Proponents launched a desperate attempt to forever hide the video recording of the trial.

A ruling on the constitutionality of Proposition 8 and the release of the trial video is expected soon. The Perry case is widely anticipated to end up in the United States Supreme Court.

“I was lucky enough to watch the initial closing arguments of Perry v. Schwarzenegger in San Francisco,” said Broadway Impact co-founder Rory O’Malley (Tony Award-nominee for The Book of Mormon). “We knew then and there that audiences needed to see and hear this story live, as we had done. ‘8’ builds on a successful tradition of documentary theatre—plays like The Laramie Project and The Vagina Monologues, which inspire us with their combination of art and activism. We are thrilled to partner with AFER to bring this story to a national audience.”

READ THE ASSOCIATED PRESS EXCLUSIVE HERE: www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2012/01/17/entertainment/e040748S31.DTL

VISIT THE OFFICIAL “8” WEBSITE HERE: www.8theplay.com/

About the American Foundation for Equal Rights
The American Foundation for Equal Rights is the sole sponsor of the Perry case. After bringing together Theodore B. Olson and David Boies to lead its legal team, AFER successfully advanced the Perry case through Federal District Court and is now leading it through the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals before the case is brought to the United States Supreme Court. The Foundation is committed to achieving full federal marriage equality.
www.AFER.org

About Broadway Impact
BROADWAY IMPACT is a non-profit organization of theatre artists and fans mobilized in support of marriage equality. Founded in 2008 by Tony Award-nominated performers Rory O’Malley (Book of Mormon), Gavin Creel (HAIR) and Production Coordinator Jenny Kanelos, BROADWAY IMPACT works to educate and inspire the theatre community into action. Recent initiatives include helping to staff the phone banking efforts in New York State, creating a 3,000 piece letter writing campaign, gaining the funding for 1,400 supporters to attend the National Equality March and producing a rally for over 5,000 attendees in Midtown Manhattan where speakers included, Cynthia Nixon, Audra McDonald, David Hyde Pierce, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Governor David Paterson. BROADWAY IMPACT was awarded the 2009 Human Rights Campaign Community Award.
www.BROADWAYIMPACT.com

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copyright 2012 Irene C. Olszewski

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