“8” Staged Reading Tomorrow Night

8_the_play-1

This weekend was packed with revelry and rehearsals for me and my daughter.  Both of us had rehearsals on Saturday, me for a staged reading of “8”, ” 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,” as described by director John Nnapp, and for my daughter, her role as the Ox in the Charlottesville Friends Meeting’s Holiday Play, “The Ox and the Donkey”.

My daughter’s show went off without a hitch on Sunday and she stunned the crowd with her acting ability and quirky sense of humor. (At one point the Ox is supposed to be standing guard over the baby Jesus and Sam assumed a Jackie Chan worthy martial arts pose eliciting rowdy laughter from the crowd.)

“8” will be performed tomorrow night at 7:30 on the MainStage Theater in the V. Earl Dickinson Building at PVCC (501 College Drive, Charlottesville, VA). Admission is free. There will be a “talkback” session following the show.

This performance is personally significant to me in many ways.  On a superficial level, it is the first time I am appearing in a play open to the public in practically 30 years so I want lots of people to come and celebrate that with me.I play a Broadcast Journalist (Look out Conde, I may have your job soon). On a deeper more patriotic level, “8” is about gaining a fundamental right for a significant, vital population of the United States.  Regardless of one’s feelings about homosexuality, our country is founded on the principle that all “people” are created equally and therefore should have equal rights.  Someone’s sexual orientation is as much a part of them as their skin color.  Therefore, people, regardless of their sexual orientation, have the right to be married just as people of all skin colors have that right.  It is common sense. The excuses that forces opposed to same-sex marriage use are remarkably similar to those used by racists of a previous era and are absurd. It is my hope that those in support of gay marriage will come to the show and those who are unsure of their feelings on the subject will also come to learn about this particular trial and hear the story that opponent to gay marriage attempted to squelch. As a journalist, squelching of people’s stories irritates me and I want this story to be heard.  I want the emotion and voice of this cause to be uncovered.

As a friend of and a sibling to committed same-sex couples, I want them to have the same right that I do to be married and enjoy all of the benefits and limitations that being “married” in our society offers. (After all, I like marriage so much I have done it twice and one day, given the right person, may do it again.)

My final reason for encouraging everyone on the planet to see “8” is the mix of actors.  Some are from Richmond and some are from the Charlottesville area.  That means regional talent collaborating on this worthy project.  Since I am a regional arts and culture blogger/journalist, I am thrilled to see this sort of mix happening and hope that Richmond and C-ville will continue to draw on each other pool of gifted actors.

Here is a full cast list:

Character Actor
Elliott Perry Taylor “Clams” Thomas
Spencer Perry Gavin Deane
Clerk Ryan Harris
Broadcast Journalist Mary Burruss
Ted Olson Glenn Harris
David Boies Jeff Dreyfus
Judge Vaughan Walker Allen Robinson
Charles Cooper Doug Schneider
Jeff Zarrillo Jim Morgan 
Paul Katami Dan Stackhouse 
Kris Perry Julie Fulcher-Davis
Sandy Stier Linda Zuby
Dr. Nancy Cott Leslie Baskfield
Dr. Ilan Meyer Tim Gillham
Maggie Gallagher Boomie Petersen
Evan Wolfson Trace Kingham
Ryan Kendall Brad Fraizer
Dr. Gregory Herek Edward Warwick
Dr. Gary Segura Gary White
Hak-Shing William Tam Dan Stern
David Blankenhorn Andrew Hamm

Tickets are available from the PVCC Box office up to two hours before curtain time on the day of the show or by calling 434.961.5376.

Click here fore a previous post featuring director, John Knapp’s press release.  Click here to read a recent article in the Daily Progress.

See you at the theatre!

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