Dustin Lance Black’s new play is not just for limousine liberals living in New York and Los Angeles—8 might be coming to a theater near you, especially if you live in a marriage-equality battleground state like Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire or North Carolina.
The play premiered on Broadway in September, with Morgan Freeman, Ellen Barkin, Matt Bomer, Cheyenne Jackson, John Lithgow and other boldfaced names taking roles. On March 3, it hits Los Angeles‘ Wilshire Ebell Theatre with a swoon-worthy principal: George Clooney.
Tickets start at $500 but all proceeds go to the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the nonprofit organization created to support the plaintiffs in Perry vs. Schwarzenegger (now Perry vs. Brown on appeal). The play tells the story of that trial, which was undertaken to strike down Prop 8 as unconstitutional.
Black says 8 is both educational and entertaining:
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.
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.
Throughout 2012, AFER and Broadway Impact are licensing 8 for free to colleges and community theaters to raise awareness and spur action. (Click here to look for readings) Most productions will be followed by a talkback where cast and audience members can discuss the issues presented in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial.
Sadly, Clooney—who will play portray David Boies, the attorney who fought to overturn Prop 8 alongside former Solicitor General Theodore Olson—won’t be in all those productions. (Sigh)
But who knows, he could pop up in the film version proposed by director Rob Reiner, an AFER board member.