American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

AFER Plaintiffs Attend Oregon Shakespeare Festival Reading of “8”

Post by Broadway Impact staff

A crowd had lined up outside the Tony Award-winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland to see the Oregon premiere reading of Dustin Lance Black’s “8.”

AFER plaintiffs Kris Perry & Sandy Stier had made the trek from the Bay Area to see the performance and talk about their fight for equal marriage rights in a post-show discussion.

“I always feel so happy when we round the corner and we don’t know if anyone will be there and there are all these people milling about,” said Kris, “It’s celebratory really.  Every time we see a line, we think ‘Oh, people are here to have a good time!”

By the end of next year, over 200 actresses including Tony and Emmy-nominees Christine Lahti, Ellen Barkin and Jamie Lee Curtis, high school seniors, theater professors, and fellow soccer moms will have portrayed the couple.

Kris & Sandy, who have been together for over a decade, saw the play 3 times prior to Oregon—the Broadway and West Coast premieres as well as a student version at Stanford University.  “The students who were involved were so engaged and so excited to do it.  And we actually were part of the conversation on the stage afterwards, and that was a great time.  I loved doing that,” said Sandy.

The couple also plan to attend the upcoming San Francisco reading of “8” at the acclaimed American Conservatory Theatre on Sunday, October 7.

According to Kris, actresses portraying her should focus on one thing:

“The reason Sandy and I were so interested in being plaintiffs in the case in the first place was to help kids when they started thinking about their lives and who they’re going to fall in love with, not to feel worried or scared or at all limited in their potential.  So, what I always think about is Lance saying ‘Saving lives, that’s what marriage equality is really all about.’”

Want to find a reading of “8″ near you?  Interested in staging a reading of “8″ at your theater?  Learn more about the project at