The Mountain Times

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“8” the play at Chandler to Mark World AIDS Day

A one-night-only benefit staged reading of Dustin Lance Black's "8" comes to Chandler Music Hall in Randolph on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. Proceeds from the production will benefit the American Foundation for Marriage Equality and Vermont Freedom to Marry.

Directed by well-known acting teacher Richard Waterhouse, the staged reading of "8" in Randolph will feature Equity and non-Equity actors from the region. Vermont Freedom to Marry representatives will set the context for the play during a 7 p.m. introduction in the Esther Mesh Room of Chandler's Upper Gallery. They will also participate with cast members and the American Civil Liberties of Vermont's Executive Director in a talkback after the 7:30 p.m. performance in the Music Hall. After the talkback, audience members will have a chance to mingle with the cast and Vermont Freedom to Marry representatives during a reception in the Esther Mesh Room.  

"8" is an account of the Federal District Court trial Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the case filed by AFER to overturn the Proposition 8 approved in November 2008 by California voters, which stripped gay and lesbian Californians of the fundamental freedom to marry. Playwright Dustin Lance Black based "8" on the actual words of the June 2010 trial transcript, first-hand observations of the courtroom drama, and interviews with the plaintiffs and their families.

At the conclusion of that trial, the Federal District Court in August 2010 declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional. In February 2012 the Ninth Circuit Court affirmed the District Court ruling, stating, "Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples. The Constitution simply does not allow for laws of this sort."  

"People need to witness what happened in the Proposition 8 trial in June 2010, if for no other reason than to see inequality and discrimination unequivocally rejected in a court of law where truth and facts matter," says Mr. 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."

The Chandler production is the only reading scheduled for Central Vermont and the Upper Valley region, and is produced under license from the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and Broadway Impact, with the cooperation of Vermont Freedom to Marry.

Tickets are available online at www.chandler-arts.org or by calling the Chandler Box Office at 802-728-6464 between 3 -6 p.m. weekdays.