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Stage Reading of "8"

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March 22, 2013
7:30 pm


Ford Center


To reserve your seat, please contact the UM Box Office, (662) 915-7411.
Ole Miss and the Oxford community will be joining nationwide productions of this landmark marriage equality play by Dustin Lance Black, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Milk and J. Edgar.  Participating in this reading with be Ole Miss Theatre faculty and students, Ole Miss law faculty, and members of the Oxford Community.  
8” is an unprecedented account of the Federal District Court trial in Perry v. Schwarzenegger (now Hollingsworth v. Perry), the case filed by AFER to overturn Proposition 8, which stripped gay and lesbian Californians of the fundamental freedom to marry.  This is the same court cast that will be argued later this month in the Supreme Court.
Cast of Ole Miss Theatre’s reading of “8” includes faculty Alan Arrivee, Joe Turner Cantu, Dex Edwards, Rene Pulliam, Jennifer Mizenko, Kate Hooper, Don Mason, and Ole Miss students Rachel Staton, Savannah Sirkel, Cameron Yates, Max Mattox, Adam Brooks, Atarius Armstrong, Jerry McAlpine, Christopher Miller, Bricen Andrews and Jonathan Howard, Christopher Schager from O’Connor Theatre Project, and Alice Walker from Theatre Oxford.
“8” demystifies the debate around marriage equality by chronicling the landmark trial of Perry v. Schwarzenegger (now Hollingsworth v. Perry). Learn about the historical context of marriage from expert testimony. See the human cost of discrimination. Uncover the arguments used to justify bans on marriage for gay and lesbian couples. Using the actual court transcripts from the landmark federal trial of California’s Prop. 8 and first-hand interviews, “8” shows both sides of the debate in a moving 90-minute play.
Theatre Arts faculty member Rory Ledbetter is directing Ole Miss Theatre’s rendition of “8” and had this to say about the staged reading:
I think it’s a great time to do this play, especially since the Supreme Court will be ruling on the constitutionality of Prop 8 at the end of March. This play chronicles the original trial against Prop 8 and lays the groundwork for the issues the Supreme Court will be mulling over. The UM Creed states, ‘I believe in respect for the dignity of each person, and I believe in fairness and civility.’ The play “8” gives us an opportunity to understand exactly what these ideas of dignity, fairness and civility mean, especially in regards to marriage and civil liberties.
Barack Obama, many democrats, and some republicans have recently come out in support of marriage for gay and lesbian couples. I think if anybody is questioning why they have, they should see the staged reading of “8” and then make up their own minds.
Since this is such a historical month regarding Prop 8, we’ve been in contact with some national celebrities that hail from Mississippiabout being a part of the reading. We can’t disclose who these celebrities are yet, but as soon as we are able to confirm their participation, we’ll let everyone know!
The play is based on the actual words of the trial transcripts, first-hand observations of the courtroom drama and interviews with the plaintiffs and their families.  Free Admission.  To reserve your seat, please contact the UM Box Office, (662) 915-7411.
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If you would like more information about this play, visit the official website.