Before we get to the meat of this blog, let’s take a quick look back four years ago. Barack Obama became the country’s first African-American president, the Phillies took the World Series for the second time ever… and everyone was wondering whether gay people would/could marry in California.
Plan-B Theatre’s newest show, 8, is a docudrama by Academy Award-winning writer Dustin Lance Black (MILK) about the passage and eventual overturning of Proposition 8—legislation that brought lengthy court battles, huge protests from both those for and against gay marriage and the film 8:The Mormon Proposition with it.
The show depicts the courtroom drama that unfolded in the Perry trial two years ago. It also gets into the nitty-gritty details of how the case affected the plaintiffs and their families.
After the show, a discussion will be held with Dustin Lance Black and Congressman Barney Frank. A photo exhibit by Jim Ready will be held in the lobby. And 25 percent of ticket sales will benefit the American Foundation for Equal Rights.
8 will be held Aug. 4 and Aug. 5 at the Jeanne Wagner Theatre at the Rose Wagner, 138 W. 300 South, SLC. Tickets went for $25, but are currently sold out. Extra tickets may be available an hour before show time at the box office, so it’s worth dropping by to check.
Here's a video from the original Broadway production:
We passed some questions along to the show's Plan-B director Jerry Rapier to find out what the show means to him.
So, what made Plan-B Theatre want to do this show?
“It seemed important to bring a reading here because of our direct and indirect connection to the passage of Prop 8, and serendipity also stepped in along the way.”
"My husband and I were among the first gay couples to be married New York when it was legalized in 2011. When we were on our honeymoon, I first read the script and it seemed just meant to be. I also think this fits very strongly with our mission of producing socially-conscious theater and the last few years in August, we produced large scale readings—like Larry Kramer’s “The Normal Heart” and a translation of Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll House,” and now we’re doing “8.”
What did you find that was so special about the script?
“Here’s the interesting thing about the script: During this particular trial, the proponents of Prop 8 were successful in banning cameras. So coverage of the trail itself was very old school. If you look online, it’s all colored sketches and no video clips. And there’s a lot of speculation as to why that was the case, but honestly, the defense of Prop 8 was incredibly weak and the trail was incredibly one sided, and the proponents of Prop 8 didn’t want the feedback when they were successful in blocking access to it. But what’s beautiful is the script gives a sense of just how one sided the trail was and that’s really energizing for people who are hopeful that marriage equality will happen.”
What about the cast?
“We have 20 well-known local actors who want to be involved in the cause.”
How is Barney Frank involved?
“Barney Frank just concluded his 32nd term in the House and married his partner Jim Ready, and he’ll be part of the post-show discussion that should help us frame the federal case from his perspective and will be interviewed on stage by Brandie Balken, the director of Equality Utah. We’re not to the point of full marriage equality in Utah, but progress has been made in huge strides because of the work of Equality Utah, and the whole point is to give people some options on how to become engaged if they want to.”
Any updates on gay marriage?
“Actually just this summer, June 2012, a federal court upheld the decision that Prop 8 was unconstitutional.”