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January 1, 2013

CWC only state venue for 8

Central Wyoming College is the only venue in Wyoming to see the reading of 8, a play about California’s Proposition 8, which eliminated the rights of same-sex couples to marry.

Twenty-two student and community actors read the play by Dustin Lance Black, who won the Academy Award for Milk, in CWC’s Robert A. Peck Arts Center Theatre at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, March 3.

Local casts in every state in the country and several foreign countries are reading the play this spring, said CWC Theater Director Mike Myers. He was contacted by the playwright’s agent last August to see if CWC was interested in taking part in a global effort to bring the closing arguments of Perry v. Schwarzengger to the public.

“I instantly said yes,” Myers said, explaining that theater is a great vehicle for discussion of social and political issues

Black wrote the play after the court denied a motion to release a video recording of the trial, and to give the public a true account of what transpired in the courtroom, Myers explained. The American Foundation for Equal Rights and Broadway Impact licensed the play so that CWC and other college and community theater companies around the world could bring the play to the public at no charge.
In 2009, the court ruled in favor of the two same-sex couples who brought the suit. Multiple briefs were later filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Proposition 8. The court is scheduled to hear the arguments this spring.

“It’s very timely,” Myers said of the reading at Central. Several of those who auditioned to participate in the reading have not previously participated in theater. The cast will have only rehearsed three times, and the actors will read from the script on stage.

Major actors, including George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, have done readings of 8 in Los Angeles as well as on Broadway in New York City.

Ernie Over, managing editor of County 10, hosts a “talk-back” discussion following the reading at CWC.

8 is sponsored by the CWC Diversity Committee, which is also hosting a discussion on marriage equality Wednesday, Feb. 27. Two religious leaders with opposing views on gay marriage have been invited for a discussion in the CWC Student Center’s Little Theatre at 11:30 a.m. The event is preceded by a free soup/salad luncheon in room 103 of the Student Center.