The Oklahoma Theatre Guild, in cooperation with The Cimarron Alliance, with license from the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and Broadway Impact, has announced 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.
The One-Night-Only reading will be held at the Civic Center's Freede Theatre located at 201 N. Walker in Oklahoma City on Sunday, September 30th, 2012 at 7:00 pm. Admission is free, but reservations are STRONGLY suggested. Reservations can be made by email to tickets@8inOK.org or by calling 405.397.7689.
The Oklahoma Theatre Guild is an organization of theatre artists and technicians from throughout central Oklahoma who work together to promote and support theatre arts in Oklahoma.
With this production, The Oklahoma Theatre Guild joins staged readings at leading regional theaters across the nation in encouraging dialogue and examining the question of equality. Under the direction of Lyric Theatre's Stephen Hilton, and produced by Hilton and City Rep's Donald Jordan, this project has brought together an unprecedented gathering of Oklahoma theatre talent representing theatres and universities from our area, including, but not limited to
City Rep, Ghostlight Theatre, Lyric Theatre, Oklahoma City Theatre Company, Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park, Pollard Theatre, Reduxion Theatre, The University of Central Oklahoma and The University of Oklahoma.
The cast includes Matthew Alvin Brown, Mitchell Brown, Brian Berry, Shawn Churchman, Lane Fields, Brian Hamilton, Jon Haque, Rachel Irick, Robert Matson, Elliot Mattox, Charlie Monnott, Tom Orr, Hui Cha Poos, Jonathan Beck Reed, Kris Schinske, Matthew Sipress, Jerome Stevenson, Brian Stockton, Jennifer Teel, Brenda Williams, Tyler Woods.
"8" had its much-heralded Broadway world premiere on September 19, 2011, at the sold-out Eugene O'Neill Theatre in New York City. .
"8" had its West Coast premiere reading at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre on Saturday, March 3, 2012, in Los Angeles, featuring an all-star cast led by Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Martin Sheen. 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.
"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 AFER Founding Board Member Dustin Lance 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."
Throughout 2012, AFER and Broadway Impact are licensing "8" for free to theatres and colleges nationwide in order to spur action, dialogue and understanding. The production will be followed by a talk-back session where Scott J. Hamilton of the Cimarron Alliance and Meredith Kemp-Pappan, pastor at Central Presbyterian Church in Oklahoma City will discuss issues presented in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial.