Today I finally saw the fantastic “8,” a play based on testimony and legal arguments presented in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the case which centers on California’s controversial ballot initiative Proposition 8, now destined for constitutional review by the United States Supreme Court. Sponsored by the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and Broadway Impact, the play was written by Dustin Lance Black (screenwriter of Milk). It was performed on Broadway in 2011 and in Los Angeles in 2012. Different cast members were used in the bicoastal productions; in general, the actors who participated are incomparable (George Clooney, Bob Balaban, Martin Sheen and Morgan Freeman, to name a few).
The play, broadcast on YouTube and still available on the site, is moving, eye-opening and inspiring. I watched the broadcast of the L.A. production. At the very end, the real-life plaintiffs in the case, their powerhouse lawyers Ted Olson and David Boies, and Dustin Lance Black were all brought to the stage. If ever one needed proof of the stakes of this crucial fight for equal rights, seeing their proud faces will provide it in leaps and bounds.
A terrifically poignant play, “8” can be seen on YouTube here.