Last night the American Foundation for Equal Rights hosted a historic night of theater when they live-streamed the West Coast premiere of the Dustin Lance Black play “8,” based on the Proposition 8 trials in Los Angeles, which sought to reverse a 2008 state-wide vote the declared same-sex marriage illegal in the state.
The premiere last night at the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles was directed by Rob Reiner and the cast featured the likes of George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen, Kevin Bacon, John C. Reilly, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Colfer, Matthew Morrison, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Matt Bomer and George Takei.
Here’s a brief description from 8theplay.com:
Uncover the truth about marriage for gay and lesbian Americans. “8”—a new play by Academy-award winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk, J. Edgar)—demystifies the debate around marriage equality by chronicling the landmark trial of Perry v. Schwarzenegger. Learn about the historical context of marriage from expert testimony. See the human cost of discrimination. Uncover the arguments used to justify bans on marriage for gay and lesbian couples. Using the actual court transcripts from the landmark federal trial of California’s Prop. 8 and first-hand interviews, “8” shows both sides of the debate in a moving 90-minute play.
And here’s the “8” trailer:
The play saw a star-studded staged reading (Morgan Freeman, Cheyenne Jackson, John Lithgow, Rob Reiner, Ellen Barkin) on Broadway back in September to rave reviews, which has subsequently spawned a national phenomenon of sorts. Over the past few months AFER (the organization behind the plantiff’s lawyers during the Prop 8 trials) has been at the forefront of a nationwide marketing effort to promote the West Coast premiere that live-streamed on their website and YouTube.
Here’s a video of Reiner previewing the big night:
The big event last night was the kick-off to the “8” national tour. AFER is also sponsoring staged readings at colleges and universities across the country. If you want your city to host a reading visit 8theplay.com for more information.
Now do yourself a favor and take the time to watch the full all-star West Coast premiere below: