American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

400th performance confirmed of marriage play “8”

“8,” the hit play by Dustin Lance Black about marriage for gay and lesbian couples, continues to sweep the country and the world.

Fremont, OH is the 400th confirmed reading, which are taking place at a variety of professional, community, college and high school theaters. The 50 year-old Fremont Community Theatre will stage readings on September 13 and 14 in their 500+ seat performance space located an hour and a half outside Cleveland.

Over 55,000 estimated people have already experienced a staged reading of “8” live at more than 350 readings performed to date. This is in addition to over 900,000 views online of the play’s Los Angeles premiere staring George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Martin Sheen.

Based on the actual court transcripts of the 2010 Prop. 8 trial, the play has a profound effect on everyone who sees it, and has proved to be a useful tool to spark dialogue and understanding about marriage equality:

“It’s a transformative event.  I will never forget it.  To borrow (and adapt) a quote, our school was a better place the day after we saw ‘8’ than the day before.” – Julie Kornack, El Camino Real High School


[8] shows the humanity that people simply want to raise families and protect their children and feel free to love…[My favorite part was] hearing all the “evidence” presented by the defendants all at once. It helps to open your eyes as to how ignorant it sounds.” – Audience member, Missouri State University


“Our recent theatrical production of “8” was an exciting reminder of how art can be used for social change…Witnessing the trial—which took place in 2010—re-enacted on stage, I realized how our nation’s views of same-sex marriage are shifting. We are benefiting from generations of work toward equal rights for LGBT people.” – Chad Tanaka Pack, Middle Collegiate Church

If you haven’t seen “8” yet, click here to find a reading near you. Or watch the Los Angeles premiere online.

AFER and Broadway Impact are licensing “8” for free to college and community theater groups across the country in order to spur dialogue, understanding and action about marriage equality. Visit to learn how you can stage a reading in your community.