Call the Bozeman Public Library for free tickets: 406.582.2426
Call the Bozeman Public Library for free tickets: 406.582.2426
The Bozeman Library Foundation with license from the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and Broadway Impact, is proud to announce a one-night-only reading 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” 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.
The Bozeman production is brought to the community thanks to author, director, and curator Gregory Hinton and his OUTWest programming. The Bozeman Library Foundation hosts the evening performance, starting with a reception from 6:30pm, the reading at 7:30pm in the Library’s mezzanine, followed by an informal discussion. Tickets are free and open to the public, but must be reserved in advance, as space is limited. Please call 582-2425 to secure your seat.
Hinton also was responsible for the “Beyond Brokeback: A Staged Reading with Music,” which premiered in Montana at the Bozeman Library in October 2011.
“The Bozeman Library is proud to be a partner on these two significant pieces of work,” said Paula K. Beswick, foundation director for the Library Foundation. “A public library’s role is to provide equal and open access to information to help inform, educate, and enlighten. It does this not only through its materials, but also through meaningful programs, such as ‘8’.”
This is truly a community program with local celebrity readers from all walks of life (see below) and support from the Pride Foundation, AIDS Outreach, MT Human Rights Network, and Nova Café. The Bozeman Public Library is in good company with the previous premieres from coast to coast.
“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.
“8” had its West Coast premiere reading at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre on Saturday, March 3, 2012, in Los Angeles. The West Coast premiere reading of “8” featured an all-star cast led by Golden Globe Award-winner and Academy and Emmy Award-nominee Brad Pitt as United States District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker; and Academy and Golden Globe Award-winner and Emmy Award-nominee George Clooney and Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winner Martin Sheen as Plaintiffs’ lead co-counsel David Boies and Theodore B. Olson. The benefit reading was directed by AFER Founding Board Member Rob Reiner, and raised more than $2 million for the fight to secure 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. Hinton shares a common goal with his OUTWest programs, but his focus is on museums, universities, and public libraries.
For more information about the performance at the Bozeman Public Library, please call Paula Beswick at 582-2426 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about “8” visit: www.8theplay.com or find it on Facebook.
“8” Bozeman Public Library CAST LIST
Clerk Susan Gregory, director, Bozeman Public Library
Broadcast Journalist E.J. Porth, active community member
Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker Jack Kligerman, retired English Professor
Theodore B. Olson (Plaintiffs’ attorney) Sherman Hall, community actor
David Boies (Plaintiffs’ attorney) Alan Kesselheim, author
Charles J. Cooper (Proponents’ attorney) George Cole, retired Yellowstone Public Radio
Jeff Zarrillo (Plaintiff) Jamee Greer, community member & activist
Paul Katami (Plaintiff) Greg Smith, director, AIDS Outreach
Sandy Stier (Plaintiff) Laura Prindiville, active community member
Kris Perry (Plaintiff) Denise Malloy, author
Elliott (Kris & Sandy’s son) TBA
Spencer (Kris & Sandy’s son) TBA
Dr. Nancy Cott (Plaintiffs’ witness) Cindy Christin, children’s librarian
Maggie Gallagher (Marriage equality opponent) Beth Boyson, reference librarian
Dr. Ilan Meyer (Plaintiffs’ witness) Jim Madden, active community member
Ryan Kendall (Plaintiffs’ witness) Riley Pittenger, active community member
Dr. Gregory Herek (Plaintiffs’ witness) Andy Allen, active community member
Dr. Gary Segura (Plaintiffs’ witness) Jan Krieger, middle school teacher
Dr. William Tam (Prop. 8 proponent) Scott Blackwell, librarian
David Blankenhorn (Proponents’ witness) Geoff Stephens, active community member
Evan Wolfson (Marriage equality advocate) Tom Zuzulock, high school teacher
ABOUT THE AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR EQUAL RIGHTS
The American Foundation for Equal Rights is the sole sponsor of Perry v. Brown, the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8. After bringing together Theodore B. Olson and David Boies to lead its legal team, AFER successfully advanced the Perry case through Federal District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Foundation is committed to achieving full federal marriage equality for all Americans.
ABOUT BROADWAY IMPACT
Broadway Impact is the only grassroots organization of the theatre community and its fans mobilized in support of marriage equality. Tony Award-nominees Rory O’Malley (The Book of Mormon) and Gavin Creel (HAIR) and Production Coordinator Jenny Kanelos founded the organization in direct response to the passage of California’s Proposition 8 in November 2008. Currently, Broadway Impact, in partnership with AFER, licenses and coordinates readings of Dustin Lance Black’s “8” at regional, community and university theaters around the world. Broadway Impact was the recipient of the 2009 Human Rights Campaign Community Award and proudly operates under the fiscal sponsorship of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Proposition 8 Key Dates:
November 4, 2008 Prop. 8 Passes
May 26, 2009 AFER Attorneys Announced: Theodore B. Olson and David Boies
January 11-27, 2010 Perry v. Schwarzenegger District Court Trial
June 16, 2010 Closing Arguments
August 4, 2010 District Court Rules Prop. 8 Unconstitutional
December 6, 2010 9th Circuit Oral Arguments re: Appeal by Prop. 8 Proponents
June 14, 2011 Proponents’ Motion to Vacate Judgment Denied
September 6, 2011 California Supreme Court Oral Arguments on Proponents’ Standing
September 19, 2011 Broadway Premiere of “8”
September 19, 2011 District Court Orders Release of Trial Video
November 17, 2011 California Supreme Court Advisory Opinion re: Proponents’ Standing
December 8, 2011 9th Circuit Hearing re: Release of Trial Videotapes and Proponents’ Motion to Vacate Judgment
February 7, 2012 9th Circuit Affirms District Court Ruling That Prop. 8 is Unconstitutional
March 3, 2012 Los Angeles Premiere of “8”
I have to admit, I went in completely biased.
Like many of you, I watched the Academy Award acceptance speech with tears in my eyes.
“…if Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he would want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told that they are less than by their churches, or by the government, or by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value, and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon I promise you, you will have equal rights federally across this great nation of ours.”
Like I said, completely
But when he began talking about not settling for “close, but not there”, and not giving up on the vision of panoramic human rights, and overcoming the paralysis of fear- “put your pencil on the paper and start moving it- something has to happen”, I knew my predisposition toward this gentle, fiery soul was completely justified. He talked not so much about activism as the promotion of reality- the reality that LGBT people are everywhere, they just want to love and be loved, and they’re not going away. And he’s right. We aren’t.
Unless we give up.
I sat in a full Ballroom at Montana State university with students, teachers, parents, cowboys and a few kids. This was a crowd that could have been distributed down Main Street, Bozeman, and it wouldn’t have seemed different from the normal pedestrian traffic. People listened to this young man- whose story of a rural Mormon upbringing probably hit close to home to many in the audience, with rapt attention punctuated by laughter and enthusiastic applause. Here was a non-apologetic gay man standing in front of a group in a (generally) conservative state whose constitution explicitly prohibits him from full equality, and his story was received respectfully, even enthusiastically. His story and vision no different from my own.
I then had a realization.
It wasn’t new, it had been knocking on the back door of my brain for a while, but I was now able to hear it. It was this:
I had turned all these people into the bullies from my childhood and young adulthood. I had created an enemy/threat out of people who were probably neither. I was projecting. (The irony of my professional blind spot is not lost on me here) I had imposed my childhood fears on (almost) every Montanan- and I’m not a child. I had allowed this weird, unarticulated fear to hold me back.
I don’t want to do that anymore. So I’m going to pay attention to the injustice sensor whenever it goes off- not just when it’s safe. That was my gift from Dustin Lance Black.
Well, one of them.
He answered my question about religion’s scarring of some LGBT’s with “every religion has something important to say. Mine taught me love and respect of family. …but religion is not its leaders. I wouldn’t listen to the leaders all the time. And anger and hurt about religion didn’t keep me from being spiritual.” He talked with people afterward, meeting every one who waited to see him. Of course, I stood in line.
I got a hug, a brief chat about my crazy life story and was able to thank him for his availability and candor. He thanked me right back. Gracious. From the word grace, meaning “elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action”.
Elegant activism. I think I can do that.