The premiere Broadway performance of
the new play based on the trial over the constitutionality of
California's gay marriage ban, Proposition 8, raised over $1 million
for the fight to win marriage equality.
The American Foundation for Equal
Rights (AFER), the group formed specifically to challenge the 2008
voter-approved amendment, announced in a newsletter to supporters
that the staging of Black's 8
wowed a sold-out audience.
The play is based on the 13-day trial
held last year in San Francisco which resulted in federal Judge
Vaughn Walker, now retired, declaring the ban unconstitutional.
Proponents of Prop 8 appealed the ruling, and gay and lesbian couples
in California remain barred from marrying.
The one-time reading at Broadway's
Eugene O'Neil Theatre was directed by Tony award-winner Joe Mantello
and featured an all-star cast, including Bob Balaban, Ellen Barkin,
Campbell Brown, Matt Bomer, Anthony Edwards, K. Todd Freeman, Morgan
Freeman, Jayne Houdyshell, Cheyenne Jackson, Jay Armstrong Johnson,
Larry Kramer, Christine Lahti, Ken Leung, John Lithgow, Rory
O’Malley, Rob Reiner, Ben Rosenfield, Kate Shindle, Stephen
Spinella, Yeardley Smith, and Bradley Whitford.
AFER also announced that the play would
be licensed for free to community theaters and college groups to
“spur understanding and action about marriage equality.”