Additional roles will be played by Emmy Award-winning journalist Campbell Brown; Golden Globe Award-winner, SAG and Emmy Award-nominee Chris Colfer, as reported on BrowadwayWorld; Emmy Award-nominee Jesse Tyler Ferguson; prominent gay rights activist Cleve Jones; Tony Award-nominee Rory O'Malley; acclaimed Star Trek television and film star George Takei; Emmy Award-winner Yeardley Smith; and Vanessa Garcia, Jansen Panatierre, James Pickens, Jr. and Bridger Zadina.
The Los Angeles reading of "8" comes just weeks after a landmark decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upholding the historic August 2010 ruling of the Federal District Court that found Proposition 8 unconstitutional. The Ninth Circuit concluded:
"Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples. The Constitution simply does not allow for laws of this sort."
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 from 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."
"Because this case involves the constitutional rights of millions of people, it is especially important for the public to see what happened during the trial," said AFER Executive Director Adam Umhoefer. "Both sides had an equal opportunity and ample resources to assemble their strongest teams and put forth their absolute best arguments in an impartial setting. Viewed side-by-side there is simply no question that there was only one decision the court could have reached. The moment we knew the trial would not be publicly broadcast we immediately began planning to find a way to show the world what happened in this historic case. This play and our partnership with YouTube and Broadway Impact allow us to do exactly that."
"8" had its much-heralded Broadway world premiere reading on September 19, 2011, at the sold-out Eugene O'Neill Theatre in New York City. The benefit brought in over $1 million to support AFER's efforts to achieve full federal marriage equality.
Throughout 2012, AFER and Broadway Impact are licensing"8" for free to colleges and community theatres nationwide in order to spur dialogue, understanding and action. Most performances will be followed by a talkback where cast and audience members can discuss the issues presented in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial.
"I was lucky enough to watch the 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."
VISIT THE OFFICIAL "8" WEBSITE HERE: http://www.8theplay.com/