Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"8" Comes to Urbana's Station Theatre

In Short: July 2 and 3. 8 o'clock. "8." In Urbana. Be there.

In 2008, California voters were confronted with something called Proposition 8 on their ballots. Like Proposition 22 before it, Prop 8 sought to ban marriage between people of the same gender. Or, more specifically, to mandate that "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

Proposition 22, enacted back in 2000, was a mere statute, pretty speedily overturned by the California Supreme Court. Proposition 8, however, was a constitutional amendment. And it passed, with huge amounts of money and a whole lot of fear-mongering flooding the state in the weeks before the election.

After Prop 8 passed, with a margin of about 600,000 votes out of 13 million, the constitutionality  of the amendment was called into question almost immediately, and in August, 2010, in a case called Perry v. Schwarzenegger, United States District Court Judge Vaughn R. Walker overturned Proposition 8 on Equal Protection and Due Process grounds. That ruling was appealed, with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals eventually upholding Walker's decision in February, 2012, but further appeals -- including talk of the case going to the Supremes in Washington -- are pending, meaning any new marriages for same-sex couples are on hold.

It's Perry v. Schwarzenegger that Dustin Lance Black's play "8" centers on, using court transcripts, interviews and expert testimony to show just exactly what happened in California when push came to shove on the issue of what marriage means and who ought to be able to participate. The 90-minute play enjoyed star-studded staged readings in both New York and Los Angeles, with the likes of George Clooney, Martin Sheen, Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Jamie Lee Curtis, Rob Reiner, George Takei, Christine Lahti and Kevin Bacon participating.

Director and actor Mathew Green is now bringing "8" to Urbana's Station Theatre to give Central Illinois a star-studded "concert reading" of our own. Please note there are only two performances and those performances are happening Monday July 2 and Tuesday July 3. There is no fee for tickets, although a donation is suggested at the door, and reservations are absolutely, positively required because of the space limitations. You may reserve your spot by calling 217-384-4000 or by using the Station's online reservation system.

Here's the cast you can look forward to at the Station:

SPENCER – James Haas
ELLIOTT – Sidney Germaine Hastings
CLERK – Mikel L. Matthews Jr.
MR. OLSON – Steven M. Keen
MR. BOIES – Aaron Clark
JUDGE WALKER – Gary Ambler
MR. COOPER – Thom Miller
JEFFREY ZARRILLO – Christopher Terrell
PAUL KATAMI – Tanino Minecci
SANDY STIER – Joi Hoffsommer
KRIS PERRY – Chris Clevidence Taber
DR. NANCY COTT – Katie Baldwin
DR. MEYER – Martha A. Mills
MAGGIE GALLAGHER – Kay Bohannon Holley
EVAN WOLFSON – Thom Schnarre
RYAN KENDALL – Kendall Johnson
DR. HEREK – Mindy Manolakes
DR. SEGURA – Barbara Evans
DR. TAM – Nathon Jones
MR. BLANKENHORN – Mike Prosise

For more information about "8," the play, you can check out its official website.
For more information about the Station Theatre concert reading, click here.

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