September 9, 2011
By Adam Bink
AFER announced additional roles yesterday:
New York City, NY – Today the American Foundation for Equal Rights, in partnership with Broadway Impact, announce additional casting and roles for the highly anticipated one-night only staged reading of “8,” a new play chronicling the historic trial in the federal legal challenge to California’s Proposition 8. The play is written by AFER Founding Board Member and Academy Award-winning writer Dustin Lance Black and will be directed by two-time Tony Award-winning actor and director Joe Mantello.
Academy, Tony and four-time Emmy Award nominee Bob Balaban; acclaimed “White Collar” television star Matt Bomer; Emmy Award-winning journalist Campbell Brown; celebrated playwright and gay rights activist Larry Kramer; two-time Academy Award-nominated, multiple Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning, two-time Tony Award-winning actor John Lithgow; Tony Award nominee and Broadway Impact Co-Founder Rory O’Malley; and Emmy Award winner and three-time Golden Globe Award nominee Bradley Whitford will appear in the world premiere of “8” on Broadway, joining the previously announced Anthony Edwards, Morgan Freeman, Cheyenne Jackson, Christine Lahti, Rob Reiner, Yeardley Smith and Marisa Tomei. The production 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 eliminated the right to marry for gay and lesbian couples in California.
Black, who penned the Academy Award-winning feature film Milk, 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 new play will have its world premiere on Broadway at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre in New York City on Monday, September 19, 2011 for an exclusive, one-night only fundraiser to benefit AFER. Additional casting for the all-star benefit will be announced soon.
Bob Balaban will play US District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker, who ruled over a year ago in California that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional. Morgan Freeman and John Lithgow will play David Boies and Theodore B. Olson, the two attorneys appointed by AFER to lead the case filed to overturn Prop. 8. Bradley Whitford will play Charles Cooper, the lead attorney for the defense, the proponents of Prop. 8. Matt Bomer and Cheyenne Jackson will play Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami, a gay couple of ten years and two of the four plaintiffs in the Prop. 8 trial; Christine Lahti and Marisa Tomei will play the other plaintiffs, Sandy Stier and Kris Perry, a lesbian couple that have been together for eleven years and are the parents of four boys.
Anthony Edwards, Larry Kramer, Rory O’Malley, Rob Reiner and Yeardley Smith will play witnesses in the trial: Anthony Edwards will play Dr. Ilan Meyer, a Columbia social psychologist and expert in the relationship between discrimination and mental health outcomes; Larry Kramer will play Evan Wolfson, the Founder and President of Freedom to Marry, the national campaign to end marriage discrimination; Rory O’Malley will play Ryan Kendall, a young gay man who was forced by his parents to undergo gay conversion therapy; Rob Reiner will play David Blankenhorn, Founder and President of the Institute for American Values and the principal witness for the opponents of marriage equality; Yeardley Smith will play Dr. Nancy Cott, a Harvard Professor who specializes in the history of marriage.
Campbell Brown will play the role of the Broadcast Journalist. Additional casting for the all-star benefit will be announced soon.
You can also enter sweepstakes on Facebook to win two tickets.
Anyone planning on going?