The high profile, pro gay marriage play “8” is set make its way around the country in the upcoming months to promote gay rights and support the legalization of gay marriage.
The play is based on the transcript of the 2010 federal court case dealing with the legality of Proposition 8, which was the ballot initiative that outlawed same sex marriage in California. The play has been thrust into the spotlight after a one-night only Broadway benefit reading featured high-profile actors like Morgan Freeman, John Lithgow, Anthony Edwards and Rob Reiner. Reiner is also developing a film based on the trial. This spring, a Los Angeles version will feature George Clooney, though he won’t be part of the national performances.
The groups responsible for the tour, American Foundation for Equal Rights and Broadway Impact, hope the money raised at the star-studded events will support the tour to raise awareness of the issue around the country. The play will be performed in states including Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire and North Carolina, where same sex marriage battles are likely on the horizon.
Adam Umhoefer, who is project director at the American Foundation for Equal Rights, stated the importance of the tour to the Associated Press.
“In places where there is specific action being taken – where marriage equality is going to become a reality or going to be prohibited legally, or perhaps, in the case of New Hampshire, repealed – that is a focus and where we want to make sure this play is seen and heard,” he said.
The original Broadway show raised $1 million for the play, and the Los Angeles version starring Clooney is widely expected to succeed in raising money as well. Different productions of the play will feature different actors, usually from the community where the production is staged. The Associated Press reports that a May 8 performance in Chapel Hill, N.C. will feature professional actors, students and the mayor of the city.