West Potomac High School's Production of a Staged Reading for "8", The Play

Arts and Entertainment

December 17, 2014

Beyond The Page Theatre Company at West Potomac High School, with license from the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and Broadway Impact, is proud to announce a 4 performance 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 Hollingsworth v. Perry), the case filed by AFER that successfully overturned Proposition 8 and restoredthe freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples in California.

Black, who penned the Academy Award-winning feature films Milk and J. Edgar, based "8" on the actual words of official trial transcripts, first-hand observations of the courtroom drama and interviews with the plaintiffs and their families. 

Where: West Potomac High School, Kogelman Theatre

6500 Quander Road, Alexandria, VA 22307

When: Jan 8th & 9th at 7:00pm

Jan 10th at 2:00pm and 7:00pm

Jan 10th at 7:00pm (talkback with Spencer Perry and other guests following)

Tickets: visit www.westpotomactheatre.org to purchase tickets.

"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 overturn Prop. 8 in federal court.

"8" then had its West Coast premiere at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre on Saturday, March 3, 2012, in Los Angeles. The benefit reading 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 case that restored marriage equality in California..

"People need to witness what happened during 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."

AFER and Broadway Impact are licensing "8" for free to colleges and community theatres nationwide in order to spur action, dialogue and understanding. Most productions are followed by a talkback where cast and audience members can discuss the issues presented in the Perry trial.

"8, the play is important to us because we know how much this court case means to the LGBTQIA community and we want to show our support through our performance"

Jacob Warren (portraying Judge Walker)

The story for "8" is framed by the trial's historic closing arguments in June 2010, and features the best arguments and testimony from both sides. Scenes include flashbacks to some of the more jaw-dropping moments of trial, such as the admission by the Proposition 8 supporters' star witness, David Blankenhorn, that "we would be more American on the day we permitted same-sex marriage than we were on the day before."

On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision that restored marriage equality to California. Only two days later, the Ninth Circuit lifted its stay on the historic Federal District Court decision that ruled Prop. 8 unconstitutional and gay and lesbian couples could once again marry in California. AFER's four plaintiffs, Kris & Sandy and Paul & Jeff were the first couples to marry.

To purchase tickets, www.westpotomactheatre.org  For information on how your local theater can

produce "8," visit: www.8theplay.com 

Follow "8"on Twitter: @8theplay or on Facebook.

"8" Beyond the Page Theatre Company at West Potomac High School


Clerk - JP Havranek

Broadcast Journalist - Liz Brodie

Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker - Jacob Warren

Theodore B. Olson (Plaintiffs' attorney) - Emma Norville/Emily Carbone

David Boies (Plaintiffs' attorney) - David Jarzen/Andrew Schurr

Charles J. Cooper (Proponents' attorney) - Nikki Amico/Ethan Lyon

Jeff Zarrillo (Plaintiff) - Matt Fannon

Paul Katami (Plaintiff) - Sam Janseen

Sandy Stier (Plaintiff) - Charis Conwell

Kris Perry (Plaintiff) - Frankie Mananzan

Elliott (Kris & Sandy's son) - Jade Schaub

Spencer (Kris & Sandy's son) - Tony Lemus

Dr. Nancy Cott (Plaintiffs' witness) - Kevin Mann

Maggie Gallagher (Marriage equality opponent) - Emma Clark/Juliana Sprague

Dr. Ilan Meyer (Plaintiffs' witness) - Delaney Claussen

Ryan Kendall (Plaintiffs' witness) - Lizzy Rader

Dr. Gregory Herek (Plaintiffs' witness) - Alyssa Denton

Dr. Gary Segura (Plaintiffs' witness) - Suferah Khan

Dr. William Tam (Prop. 8 proponent) - Sam Rainey

David Blankenhorn (Proponents' witness) - Austin Harlow

Evan Wolfson (Marriage equality advocate) - Tyson Samuels


Since its founding in 2009, the American Foundation for Equal Rights has fought for full federal marriage equality for all Americans. As the sole sponsor of the federal constitutional challenge to California's Proposition 8, AFER brought together bipartisan attorneys Theodore B. Olson and David Boies to secure a victory at the United States Supreme Court that restored marriage equality to our nation's most populous state. AFER continues its legacy of fighting for marriage equality for all Americans through Bostic v. Rainey, the federal constitutional challenge to Virginia's discriminatory and harmful Marriage Amendment. To learn more, visit www.afer.org.


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 Proponents petition for rehearing en banc

March 3, 2012 - Los Angeles Premiere of "8"

June 5, 2012 - 9th Circuit Denies Rehearing

July 31, 2012 - Prop. 8 Proponents ask U.S. Supreme Court to hear case

December 7, 2012 - U.S. Supreme Court grants review

March 26, 2013 - U.S. Supreme Court Oral Arguments

June 26, 2013 - U. S. Supreme Court dismisses case because Prop. 8 Proponents lack standing

June 28, 2013 - 9th Circuit Lifts Stay, Allowing Marriages to Begin in California