Actors Morgan Freeman and Anthony
Edwards have joined the cast of a new play based on the trial over
the constitutionality of California's gay marriage ban, Proposition
The 13-day trial, held last year in San
Francisco, resulted in Judge Vaughn Walker, now retired, declaring
the 2008 voter-approved amendment unconstitutional. Proponents of
the ban appealed the ruling, and gay and lesbian couples in
California remain banned from marrying.
Milk scribe Dustin Lance Black
penned the play, which is simply titled 8 and is based the
trial transcripts and interviews. Black told The New York Times
that the play was six months in the making.
“I mined the best arguments on both
sides, trying to capture everything on their side that was a winning
point and anything on our side that was a winning point,” he said.
Freeman and Edwards have agreed to a
one-time staged reading on Broadway to benefit The American
Foundation for Equal Rights, the group formed specifically to
challenge Proposition 8. The Monday, September 19 performance at the
Eugene O'Neil Theatre will also co-star Cheyenne Jackson, Christine
Lahti, Rob Reiner, Yeardley Smith and Marisa Tomei. Tony
Award-winning actor and director Joe Mantello will direct the play's
Subsequent productions are planned at
Carnegie Mellon University, Northwest, and the University of
begin at $500.