Michael Graham and harrowerarts, with license from the American Foundation for Equal Rights and Broadway Impact, is proud to announce a one-night-only reading 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 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.
With proceeds benefiting the The American Federation for Human Rights, this production of 8 kicks off the Kootenay pride celebrations on Friday August 31 at 7:30 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre. With a cast of 21 local actors and professionals advance tickets are $11 and are available at the Capitol Box Office 250-352-6363 or online at capitoltheatre.bc.ca. Tickets are $13 at-the-door beginning at 6:30 p.m. or at the Capitol starting next week.
With an all-star cast including Phillip Seagram, Pat Hennman, Deb Kozak, Michelle Mungall, Bradley Roulston and Karen Agnew, 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.”
The west coast premiere reading of 8 featured an all-star cast led by Golden Globe Award-winner and Academy and Emmy Award-nominee Brad Pitt as United States District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker; and 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 benefit reading was directed by AFER Founding Board Member Rob Reiner, and raised more than $2 million for the fight to secure full federal marriage equality.
On February 7, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a landmark decision 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.”