L.A. Theatre Works (LATW) has recorded "8," a dramatization of the legal fight against California's Proposition 8 written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter and American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) founding board member Dustin Lance Black, for release on audiobook and for broadcast on LATW's nationally syndicated radio theater series. Directed by Rob Reiner and featuring an all-star cast that includes Kevin Bacon, George Clooney, Jamie Lee Curtis, Christine Lahti, Jane Lynch, Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen and John C. Reilly, "8" will air on public radio stations across the U.S. during the week of June 9. The broadcast, which also includes conversations with Black, Reiner, George Clooney and other members of the cast, as well as interviews with lawyers David Boies and Ted Olson who led the charge against Prop 8, will be heard in Chicago on Saturday, June 9 from 10 pm - midnight on 91.5 FM WBEZ and will also be available for streaming on demand at www.latw.org . The audiobook will be available on CD and for digital download on June 1 through all major retailers, including iTunes and Amazon. Review copies are available on request.
"8" is the 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. The script is based on the actual words of the trial transcripts, first-hand observations of the courtroom drama and interviews with the plaintiffs and their families.
L.A. Theatre Works recorded the West Coast premiere reading of "8" on March 3 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles, where the benefit event, presented by AFER and Broadway Impact, unfolded in front of a sold-out crowd and a worldwide audience watching on YouTube and raised more than $2 million for the fight to secure full federal marriage equality.
"It was an honor to record this significant work which has the power to change hearts and minds," said L.A. Theatre Works producing director Susan Loewenberg. "This project is a great example of what the creative community does bestusing its celebrity and talent to serve a just cause."
"This play will continue to show Americansone by onethat truth and justice can prevail over prejudice and fear," said AFER board president Chad Griffin. "Try as they might, the anti-marriage proponents of Proposition 8 cannot hide their discriminatory arguments from the American people. The fight to secure marriage equality is at the heart of our generation's search for greater freedomthis play shows why."
The L.A. Theatre Works recording of "8" features 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, who found Proposition 8 unconstitutional after presiding over the historic twelve-day public trial; and Academy and Golden Globe Award-winner and Emmy, and 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 renowned attorneys who notably faced-off in Bush v. Gore.
Academy, Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winner Christine Lahti and Golden Globe Award-winner Jamie Lee Curtis star as plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, a lesbian couple together for eleven years and the parents of four boys. Emmy, Golden Globe and Tony Award-nominee Matthew Morrison and acclaimed White Collar television star Matt Bomer play plaintiffs Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, a gay couple together over ten years.
Golden Globe Award-winner and Emmy Award-nominee Kevin Bacon plays Charles J. Cooper, the lead attorney for the anti-marriage proponents of Proposition 8. Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winner Jane Lynch stars as prominent opponent of marriage equality Maggie Gallagher, co-founder and former chairman of the National Organization for Marriage. Academy, Golden Globe and Grammy Award-nominee John C. Reilly plays David Blankenhorn, founder and president of the Institute for American Values.
Additional roles are played by Emmy Award-winning journalist Campbell Brown; Golden Globe Award-winner, SAG and Emmy Award-nominee Chris Colfer; Emmy Award-nominee Jesse Tyler Ferguson; prominent gay rights activist Cleve Jones; Tony Award-nominee Rory O'Malley; acclaimed Star Trek television and film star George Takei; Emmy Award-winner Yeardley Smith; and Vanessa Garcia, Jansen Panettiere, James Pickens, Jr. and Bridger Zadina.
L.A. Theatre Works can be heard on the following stations (check local listings for broadcast times): 90.7 FM KPFK (Southern CA); 89.7 WGBH, Boston; 91.5 FM WBEZ, Chicago; 94.9 KUOW, Seattle; 91.1 KRCB, North Bay (San Francisco); and in over 100 markets nationwide. "8" will be available for streaming on demand at www.latw.org beginning June 9. LATW's entire catalog of plays is available on CD and via digital download on iTunes and Amazon.