Reading of award-winning play aims to raise awareness

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Photo of flyer for the play "8."

Staged reading of "8" Nov. 2 and 3

KALAMAZOO—The award-winning play "8," written by Dustin Lance Black, will be the focus of a staged reading at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 2 and 3, in Western Michigan University's York Arena Theatre. The University joins hundreds of other schools and organizations nationwide that will be hosting performances of "8" that weekend in affiliation with the American Foundation for Equal Rights.

"8" is a play about an unprecedented account of Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the Federal District Court case filed by the AFER to overturn Proposition 8, which eliminated gay and lesbian couples' right to marry in California in 2008. Based on the actual words of the Federal District Court's trial transcripts, firsthand observations of the courtroom drama, and interviews with Perry plaintiffs and their families, "8" opened at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on Broadway Monday, Sept. 19, 2011 for an exclusive, sold-out and one-night-only staged reading to raise awareness about the infamous trial.

Only five states recognize same-sex marriages, and even for couples married in those states, the federal government denies over 1,100 rights and benefits of those accorded to couples in heterosexual marriages. LGBT couples cannot gain citizenship for a foreign-born spouse, receive social security survivor benefits or file a joint tax return.

Ticket reservations for the free performance can be made by calling the University Theatre box office at (269) 387-6222.

For more information about the performance, contact Emily Duguay at emily.duguay@wmich.edu or (269) 387-6222. For information on the collective staged reading events, visit 8theplay.com.