Dustin Lance Black’s “8″ Comes to Sacramento

Kate Sullivan Gibbens, with license from the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and Broadway Impact, is proud to announce a one-night-only reading of “8,” Saturday, October 20, 2012 at the downtown Crest Theater.

“8” is 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.

Black, who pinned 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 of the unprecedented case of the Federal District Court trial in Perry v. Schwarzenegger (now Perry v. Brown).

The case was filed by AFER to overturn Proposition 8, which stripped gay and lesbian Californians of the “fundamental freedom to marry”.

Gibbens, Producer/Director of the Sacramento production of “8,” worked with Black on the original play and is a graduate of UCLA with a MFA in Playwriting. “I’m excited to be able to bring to my hometown a project I am so proud of having a part in creating,” said Gibbens.

Following the play’s reading there will be a panel discussion concerning the play, and the history and future of Prop. 8. Kate Sullivan Gibbens will discuss adapting the trial transcripts to the play and working with Dustin Lance Black. Other panel members include plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandra Stier. Sacramento’s Steve Hanson will be speaking and Dr. Larry Levine, Law Professor at the McGeorge School of Law will be on the panel.

“8” had its much-heralded Broadway world premiere on September 19, 2011 in New York City. Its West Coast premiere was at the Wilshire Ebell Theater on Saturday, March 3, 2012, in Los Angeles with an all-star cast.

“People need to witness what happened in the Prop 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.”

Currently, casting for the Sacramento production is almost complete. A majority of the participating actors and notable personalities will be local with one or two acceptations.
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“8” will play at the Crest Theater (1013 K Street Downtown Sacramento) at 8pm, Saturday, October, 20, 2012. Tickets are on sale and range from $18, $28 $48, to $80VIP. This is a fundraiser for the American Foundation for Equal Rights. For more information and tickets go to: www.8insacramento.com and LIKE their Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/8insacramento.com .

Casting Notes:

West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon will play Judge Walker.

Playing the three lawyers will be actor/activist Ben Patrick Johnson
(www.benpatrickjohnson.com) as Ted Olson, B Street Theater favorite, Kurt Johnson as David Boies, and Sacramento Theater Company powerhouse, Matt K. Miller as Charles Cooper.

Los Angeles Comedian Thai Rivera (www.thairivera.com) will play plaintiff Jeff Zarillo along with Evan Brienza as Paul Katami.

Local teen actor twins, Grant and Austin Laut will portray Spencer and Eliott Perry.

Los Angeles actor and playwright Patrick Burns is featured as witness Ryan Kendall, along with Steve Minnow, Robin Hushbeck, Eason Donner, Michel RJ Campbell, and Nanci Zoppi. Also playing witnesses are local politician Ben Phillips and gay rights pioneer George Raya.

Janis Stevens will take on gay rights foe, Maggie Gallagher and Jessica Goldman will play the clerk.

“8” SACRAMENTO CAST LIST

Broadcast Journalist                                        (TBA)
Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker                      Christopher Cabaldon (Mayor of West Sacramento)
Theodore B. Olson (Plaintiffs’ attorney)        Ben Patrick Johnson (Model, Actor, Gay Activist www.benpatrickjohnson.com )
David Boies (Plaintiffs’ attorney)                    Kurt Johnson (Sacramento Actor)
Charles J. Cooper (Proponents’ attorney)   Matt K Miller (Sacramento Actor, Director, Playwright, Teacher)
Jeff Zarrillo (Plaintiff)                                         Thai Rivera (LA – Comic – http://thairivera.com/)
Paul Katami (Plaintiff)                                       Evan Brienza (Sacramento Actor)
Sandy Stier (Plaintiff)                                        (TBA)
Kris Perry (Plaintiff)                                           (TBA)
Elliot (Kris and Sandy’s son)                          Grant Laut (Sacramento Actor)
Spencer (Kris and Sandy’s son)                    Austin Laut (Sacramento Actor)
Dr. Nancy Cott (Plaintiffs’ witness)                Robin Hushbeck (Sacramento Actress)
Maggie Gallaager (Marriage Equality opponent)      Janis Stevens (Sacramento Actress)
Dr. Ilan Meyer (Plaintiff’s witness)                  Eason Donner (Sacramento Actor)
Ryan Kendall (Plaintiff’s witness)                  Patrick Burns (LA – From Foster Care to Fabulous)
Dr. Gregory Herek (Plaintiff’s witness)         Michael RJ Campbell (Sacramento Actor)
Dr. Gary Segura (Plaintiff’s witness)             Nanci Zoppi (Sacramento Actress)
Dr. William Tam (Prop 8 proponent)             Ben Phillips (running for SMUD board)
David Blanenhorn (Proponent’s witness)    Steve Minnow (Sacramento Actor)
Evan Wolfson (Marriage Equality advocate) George Raya (Gay Rights Pioneer)
Court clerk                                                          Jessica Goldman
 

Disclosure: Ken Pierce is a local Freelance Journalist and activist. Pierce owns a Public Relations and Social Media Consulting business here in Sacramento. You can contact Pierce at kpierce8272@yahoo.com.

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October 13, 2012 | 6:50 PM

Had I not placed another fund raiser on my calendar for this same evening I wouldn’t miss it for the world!!! One of the key staff people to the organization just drowned with his two-year-old son so it’s not possible to switch plans. If anyone is questioning whether to attend this reading of “8″ or not and you have open space and a few bucks – GO! Keith Johnson, ACCT, UIMC

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