March 20, 2013. The LGBT Center at Appalachian State University will present a reading of Dustin Lance Black’s new play “8” on Tuesday, March 26. The presentation begins at 7 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union’s Parkway Ballroom. Admission is free.
The production is licensed by the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and Broadway Impact.
Black’s play chronicles the historic trial in the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, which stripped gay and lesbian Californians of the fundamental freedom to marry.
The Academy Award-winning screenwriter of “Milk” and “J. Edgar” based the play on trial transcripts, first-hand observations of the courtroom drama and interviews with the plaintiffs and their families from the Federal District Court trial in Perry v. Schwarzenegger (now Hollingsworth v. Perry).
Co-directors Daniel Szyczmyk and Luke White, both undergraduates at Appalachian, lead a cast of students with special guest Provost Lori Gonzalez reading the role of Judge Walker.
“8” premiered on Broadway on Sept. 19, 2011, at the sold-out Eugene O’Neill Theatre in New York City. The production brought in more than $1 million to support AFER’s efforts to achieve full federal marriage equality.
On Feb. 7, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a landmark decision upholding the August 2010 ruling of the Federal District Court that found Proposition 8 unconstitutional. The case is now before the U.S. Supreme Court.
“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. “The goal of ‘8’ is to show the world that marriage equality is a basic constitutional right. The facts are on our side and truth always finds the light. AFER and Broadway Impact are doing all we can to help speed that process along.” Mark Rasdorf, graduate assistant at the LGBT Center, said, “In the struggle for marriage equality for all Americans, Dustin Lance Black has created a remarkable documentary play. 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.”