Ellen Barkin has joined the cast of a
new play based on the trial over the constitutionality of
California's gay marriage ban, Proposition 8.
The 13-day trial, held last year in San
Francisco, resulted in federal 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 barred from marrying.
Milk scribe Dustin Lance Black
penned the play, which is simply titled 8 and is based on
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.
Barkin will play Sandy Stier, who along
with her partner of eleven years, Kris Perry (played by Christine
Lahti), make up one of the two gay couples suing the state for the
right to marry.
Matt Bomer and Cheyenne Jackson will
play Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami, the second couple.
Bob Balaban will play Judge Walker,
while Morgan Freeman and John Lithgow will play David Boies and
Theodore B. Olson, the two attorneys arguing for the plaintiffs.
Monday's one-time staged reading at
Broadway's Eugene O'Neil Theatre will benefit The American Foundation
for Equal Rights, the group formed specifically to challenge
Subsequent productions are planned at
Carnegie Mellon University, Northwest, and the University of
begin at $500.