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St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley presents readings of Dustin Lance Black’s new play “8”

September 26, 2012

St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley, with license from the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and Broadway Impact, is proud to present a series of readings of “8,” 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.

“8” takes the stage at St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley’s Terry M. Fischer Theatre at 8 p.m. Oct. *5 & 6 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 7. The campus is located at 3400 Pershall Road in Ferguson. Admission is FREE; however, reservations are required and can be made at https://www.stlcc.edu/Forms/FVTheatre8.htm. For more information call 314-513-4488 or visit www.stlcc.edu/fv/theatre.

“8” is 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.

Black, who penned 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. 

There will be a question and answer session after each performance with a panel made up of prominent dignitaries:

Friday, Oct. 5
• Hon. Michael Colona, Missouri House of Representatives
• Audrey Pearson, Co-founder - Inthelyfe Stl.
• Hemla Singaravelu, Ph.D., Associate Professor - Saint Louis University Department of Counseling and Family Therapy

Saturday, Oct. 6
• Robyn Berkley, Ph D., Assistant Professor - Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville School of Business
• Beth Drouant, Consultant and Advocate - Life Skills
• Julikka LaChe, American Sign Language Interpreter - Saint Louis Community College-Florissant Valley
• Hon. Jeanette Mott Oxford, Missouri House of Representative
 
Sunday, Oct. 7
• A.J. Bockelman, Executive Director – PROMO
• Al Fischer, Artistic Director - Gateway Men's Chorus
• Pamela Merritt, Statewide E-Organizer - Planned Parenthood Affiliates in Missouri
• Charlie Robin, Executive Director - Edison Theatre at Washington University

“8” had its much-heralded Broadway world premiere on September 19, 2011, at the sold-out Eugene O’Neill Theatre in New York City. The production brought in over $1 million to support AFER’s efforts to achieve full federal marriage equality. 

“People need to witness what happened in the Proposition 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. AFER and Broadway Impact are doing all we can to help speed that process along.”

Throughout 2012, AFER and Broadway Impact are licensing “8” for free to colleges and community theatres nationwide in order to spur action, dialogue and understanding.  Most productions will be followed by a talkback where cast and audience members can discuss the issues presented in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial. 

For information on how your local theater can produce “8,” visit: www.8theplay.com. Follow “8”on Twitter: @8theplay or on Facebook.