Hello Culture Nuts,
I am thrilled to announce that John Knapp is organizing a staged reading of “8” at PVCC on December 18th at 7:30pm. My palms are sweating as I type as I have agreed to play the part of a Broadcast Journalist. It will be my first performance in a play since playing Mariane in Tartuffe in DC in 1993. (Holy Cow! That was a long time ago!). It is completely flattering to be included in this project and I as many of you as can make it will come to support this project.
Below is a copy of the press release sent my Knapp today.
RICHMOND TRIANGLE PLAYERS, PIEDMONT VIRGINIA COMMMUNITY COLLEGE TO PRODUCE DUSTIN LANCE BLACK’S “8”
Staged Reading Joins Nationwide Productions of Landmark Marriage Equality Play by Academy Award-Winning Screenwriter of “Milk” & “J. Edgar”
Richmond, VA – Richmond Triangle Players, in collaboration with Piedmont Virginia Community College in Charlottesville, and with license from the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) 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.
The reading, directed by Richmond Triangle Players’ artistic director, John Knapp and featuring many notable Virginia actors, will take place at the V. Earl Dickinson building on the campus of Piedmont Virginia Community College, 501 College Drive, Charlottesville, VA on Tuesday December 18, 2012 at 7:30. A talkback will follow. Admission is free. Tickets are available at no charge from the PVCC Box office up to two hours before curtain time on the day of the show or by calling 434.961.5376.
“8” had its much-heralded Broadway world premiere on September 19, 2011, at the sold-out Eugene O’Neill Theatre in New York City. The production brought in over $1 million to support AFER’s efforts to achieve full federal marriage equality.
“8” had its West Coast premiere reading at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre on Saturday, March 3, 2012, in Los Angeles. 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.
“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 colleges and community theatres nationwide in order to spur action, dialogue and understanding. Most productions will be followed by a talkback where cast and audience members can discuss the issues presented in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial.
“This collaboration is a perfect fit for Richmond Triangle Players,” said RTP’s Knapp. “As the only full-time professional theater in the Mid-Atlantic region whose mission is to produce works of relevance to the LGBT community, ‘8’ couldn’t be more timely or topical. We have also been talking about bringing some of RTP’s productions to Charlottesville for some time now, and this collaboration – we hope – could be the first of many like it to come.”
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.”
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.”
To reserve tickets, call 434-961-5376.
Follow “8”on Twitter: @8theplay or on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/8theplay?sk=wall
ABOUT THE AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR EQUAL RIGHTS
The American Foundation for Equal Rights is the sole sponsor of Perry v. Brown, the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8. After bringing together Theodore B. Olson and David Boies to lead its legal team, AFER successfully advanced the Perry case through Federal District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Foundation is committed to achieving full federal marriage equality for all Americans.
ABOUT BROADWAY IMPACT
Broadway Impact is the only grassroots organization of the theatre community and its fans mobilized in support of marriage equality. Tony Award-nominees Rory O’Malley (The Book of Mormon) and Gavin Creel (HAIR) and Production Coordinator Jenny Kanelos founded the organization in direct response to the passage of California’s Proposition 8 in November 2008. Currently, Broadway Impact, in partnership with AFER, licenses and coordinates readings of Dustin Lance Black’s “8” at regional, community and university theaters around the world. Broadway Impact was the recipient of the 2009 Human Rights Campaign Community Award and proudly operates under the fiscal sponsorship of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
ABOUT RICHMOND TRIANGLE PLAYERS
Richmond Triangle Players is the only professional theatre company in the entire Mid-Atlantic region whose mission is to present works of relevance to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Its vision is to be the area’s premiere theater organization celebrating and advocating diversity and inclusion, through productions of the highest possible quality.
RTP opened its theater at 1300 Altamont Avenue in historic Scott’s addition in early 2010. The theater is a 4000-square foot performing arts facility accommodating flexible seating arrangements for up to 90 patrons. A graceful lobby, which includes a generous bar, catering capability and box office, adjoins the theater, which features both traditional and cabaret-style seating. The building has fully ADA-compliant access, parking and comfortable restrooms.
Proposition 8 Key Dates:
November 4, 2008 Prop. 8 Passes
May 26, 2009 AFER Attorneys Announced: Theodore B. Olson and David Boies
January 11-27, 2010 Perry v. Schwarzenegger District Court Trial
June 16, 2010 Closing Arguments
August 4, 2010 District Court Rules Prop. 8 Unconstitutional
December 6, 2010 9th Circuit Oral Arguments re: Appeal by Prop. 8 Proponents
June 14, 2011 Proponents’ Motion to Vacate Judgment Denied
September 6, 2011 California Supreme Court Oral Arguments on Proponents’ Standing
September 19, 2011 Broadway Premiere of “8”
September 19, 2011 District Court Orders Release of Trial Video
November 17, 2011 California Supreme Court Advisory Opinion re: Proponents’ Standing
December 8, 2011 9th Circuit Hearing re: Release of Trial Videotapes and Proponents’ Motion to Vacate Judgment
February 7, 2012 9th Circuit Affirms District Court Ruling That Prop. 8 is Unconstitutional
March 3, 2012 Los Angeles Premiere of “8”