Theatre UAB presents staged reading of “8 The Play” Jan. 26

The play, by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, is based on the case that overturned California's Proposition 8.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Theatre, in collaboration with the Alliance for LGBT Equality at UAB, will present a staged reading of “8 The Play” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, in UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, Sirote Theatre, 1200 10th Ave. South.

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“8 The Play,” by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, is based on the landmark federal trial court transcripts of the Perry vs. Schwarzenegger case that overturned Proposition 8 in California. In “8,” both sides of the debate around marriage equality are shown in a moving, 90-minute play.

The reading will be directed by UAB Theatre Assistant Professor Cheryl Hall, M.F.A. The cast includes actor Bob Penny (“Forrest Gump,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” “The Legend of Bagger Vance”), who is also a retired UAB professor of English literature; Ward Haarbauer, retired UAB Theatre professor; and UAB Theatre alumni, students and faculty members, including Jack Cannon, Marlene Johnson, Karla Koskinen and Dennis McLernon. The cast also includes Howard J. Bayless III, a local gay rights activist and the first openly gay man elected to public office in Alabama; Birmingham actor, producer and playwright Tom Wofford; Connie Kohler, Ph.D., UAB professor of public health; and others. An audience talkback will follow the reading, with representatives from the Alliance for LGBT Equality and the Gay/Straight Student Alliance.

Admission is free but donations to the Alliance for LGBT Equality at UAB will be accepted at the door. The event is general seating, and reservations are not required. Call 205-934-3236 for more information. Visit the UAB Department of Theatre online at www.uab.edu/theatre.

The staged reading of “8 The Play” is presented as part of the UAB College of Arts and Sciences’ Civil Rights Commemorative Series. For a complete listing of the college’s commemorative events, visit www.uab.edu/civilrights.

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