Actors Theatre to stage reading of ‘8’

A big white "8" is superimposed on a statue of justice holding her scales. In the upper right corner, it says: "A Staged Reading. Directed by Fred Sebulske" in yellow letters. In the middle, in white letters, it says: "An unconstitutional proposition. An unprecedented decision.  An unforgetable evening." At thelower right, in yellow letters, it says: "By Dustin Lance Black." In February of 2013, Actors’ is proud to present, in conjunction with Fubble Entertainment, the staged reading of Dustin Lance Black’s “8”.

“8” chronicles the 2008 Federal District Court trial (Perry vs. Brown) which attempts to strike down California’s Proposition 8. Proposition 8 rescinded the right of gay and lesbian Californians to marry. Black crafts his accounts using actual trial transcripts, personal and first-hand observations, and interviews with the plaintiffs and their families. As a screenwriter, producer, director, and social activist – Black’s “8” challenges and examines the true meaning of equality. Black takes on a prominent social issue and, in the process, brings light to the continuing fight for equal rights.

In an interview with Academy Award winning director Oliver Stone, Black had this to say about the politics surrounding the issues addressed in “8”:

“I think by having Ted Olson (attorney for the Plaintiffs and Solicitor General under President George W. Bush) pleading the case and making such strong, passionate, cogent arguments obviously sends a signal that this isn’t a partisan issue. I think that started a wave through the conservative side saying, ‘it’s okay for you to come out as pro-gay on civil rights, pro-equality.’”

Featuring the talent of some of West Michigan’s finest actors, the cast of “8” includes the talents of Alice Kennedy, Shelley Irwin (of The WGVU Morning Show), Jon March, Joe Miller, Jonathan Clausen, Billy Konsoer, Larry Young, Patrick Ziegler, Teresa Thome, Tracey Walker, Shelia Shotwell, Richard Carnegie, Jean Reed Bahle, Tommy Allen, Justin Kilduff, Ben Boerkel, Neil Trevisan, Greg L. Rogers, and many more! “8” will be directed by Actors’ Theatre Founder, GRCC Professor Emeritus and Recipient of the Norma Brink Lifetime Achievement Award for Grand Rapids Theatre, Fred Sebulske.

“8” will be presented for two consecutive nights at Wealthy Theatre, 1130 Wealthy Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI on February 23rd, 2013 at 7:00pm and Park Theatre, 248 South River Ave, Holland, MI on February 24th, 2013 at 4:00pm. This staged reading is produced in partnership by Actors’ Theatre and Fubble Entertainment, LLC as a fundraiser for the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER).

Ticket prices are $25 each and are general admission. Tickets for “8” may be purchased online at or by contacting the Actors’ Theatre box office at (616) 234-3946.

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