American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

One Year of “8″

Today marks one year since “8” had its premiere on Broadway. In that time, Dustin Lance Black’s 90-minute play using the court testimony of the Prop. 8 trial has accomplished so much:

  • 295 total readings confirmed in 45 states plus the District of Columbia, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Scotland, England and Zimbabwe.
  • 108 performances have been performed to date.
  • Staged readings have taken place on Broadway, at the nation’s most prestigious theaters and summer festivals, high schools, colleges, and local community theaters.
  • Before the November election, 37 readings will take place in states where marriage is on the ballot: Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington.
  • Cast members include Broadway legends, Hollywood gems and television stars like George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen, Morgan Freeman, John Lithgow, Jane Lynch, Ellen Barkin, Kevin Bacon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Yeardley Smith and so many more. But the roles of AFER’s plaintiffs, the attorneys and witnesses have also been portrayed by countless community actors, activists, teachers, moms, and students.
  • The Los Angeles premiere was the first play and the first nonprofit live streamed on YouTube. It has been seen over 850,000 times.
  • An audio recording of the Los Angeles premiere reached 2.8 million people on over 20 public radio stations.

“8” has evolved to be more than just a play. It serves a catalyst for discussion, reflection, and education. It has helped show people that we cannot and should not wait any longer to afford gay and lesbian citizens the right to marry. It has demonstrated clearly what happens when fear and prejudice is put on trial: the flimsy arguments made by opponents of marriage equality collapse in the courtroom, where facts and truth matter. And with more readings scheduled into 2013 and beyond, it will continue to do so.

Everyone at AFER and Broadway Impact cannot thank all those who participated in or attended a reading enough. You have helped spread the word of love and equality and made the past year one that will never be forgotten.