The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and Broadway Impact have announced the addition of Golden Globe-winner and Academy and Emmy Award-nominee Brad Pitt to the cast of the West Coast premiere reading of the play "8." The reading 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.
The performance will be streamed live on YouTube, beginning at 7:45 p.m. PST. A pre-show will begin on YouTube at 7:30 p.m. PST. Rob Reiner, director of Saturday's performance, recorded a video explaining the reading of the play and inviting people to watch the live stream. The live stream of the West Coast premiere reading of "8" and Rob Reiner's video can both be viewed at www.youtube.com/AmericanEqualRights.
Brad Pitt will star as United States District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who found Proposition 8 unconstitutional after presiding over the historic twelve-day public trial.
"At long last each and every American will be able to see for themselves what happens when prejudice and fear are put on trial in a court of law," said AFER Board President Chad Griffin. "For over two years, the anti-marriage proponents of Proposition 8 have fought tooth and nail to hide their discriminatory arguments from the American people. But on Saturday night, thanks to YouTube and our incredible cast, people across the nation, from Los Angeles to Little Rock to Baltimore, will get to watch as our Constitution's promise of liberty and equality for all is protected."
Written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter and AFER Founding Board Member Dustin Lance Black and directed by acclaimed actor and director and AFER Founding Board Member Rob Reiner, "8" will have its West Coast premiere reading on Saturday, March 3, 2012, at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles. Bryan Singer, acclaimed director of The Usual Suspects and X-Men, is Saturday night's presenting sponsor. The benefit event will support the fight to secure full federal marriage equality.
Black, who penned the Academy Award-winning feature film Milk and the 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.
Pitt joins an all-star cast led by Academy and Golden Globe Award-winner and Emmy Award-nominee George Clooney and Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winner Martin Sheen as Plaintiffs' lead co-counsel David Boies and Theodore B. Olson, the renowned attorneys who notably faced-off in Bush v. Gore.
Academy, Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winner Christine Lahti and Golden Globe Award-winner Jamie Lee Curtis will star as plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, a lesbian couple together for eleven years and the parents of four boys. Emmy, Golden Globe and Tony Award-nominee Matthew Morrison and acclaimEd White Collar television star Matt Bomer will play plaintiffs Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, a gay couple together over ten years.
Golden Globe Award-winner and Emmy Award-nominee Kevin Bacon will play Charles J. Cooper, the lead attorney for the anti-marriage proponents of Proposition 8. Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winner Jane Lynch will star as prominent opponent of marriage equality Maggie Gallagher, co-founder and former chairman of the National Organization for Marriage. Academy, Golden Globe and Grammy Award-nominee John C. Reilly will play David Blankenhorn, founder and president of the Institute for American Values.