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MAPA to stage reading of ‘8’

By Staff | Nov 15, 2012

WAILUKU – Maui Academy of Performing Arts (MAPA) announced a staged reading of an important new work that brings the struggle for equal marriage rights powerfully to the stage.

Written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (“Milk,” “J. Edgar”), “8” seeks to demystify the marriage equality debate.

“8” is based on the highly debated 2010 trial that ruled that Proposition 8, the 2008 amendment to California’s State Constitution making same-sex marriages illegal, was unconstitutional. Against the wishes of the plaintiffs and the judge, the state sealed all video of the trial from public view but could not censor the transcripts.

Using actual court transcripts, media coverage and interviews of the participants, “8” is a word-for-word account of the trial. Audiences will have the opportunity to watch both sides present the best evidence, arguments and witnesses for and against marriage for gay and lesbian Americans.

These performances are particularly timely, since the U.S. Supreme Court just announced that it will consider whether to grant reviews of several cases regarding Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on Nov. 20.

“As with many sensitive topics, live theatre offers audiences the opportunity to engage with these subjects in a safe, thoughtful environment,” explained David Johnston, MAPA’s executive and artistic director. “Our goal is to bring the Maui community together to shed light on the very personal stories attached to this important issue.”

Since its Broadway debut last year, “8” has been performed over 300 times by theatre companies nationwide.

MAPA’s staged reading will take place on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 16-17, at 7:30 p.m. at Steppingstone Playhouse in Queen Ka’ahumanu Center. All net proceeds will be donated to the American Foundation for Equal Rights.

Audience members are invited to stay for a post-show, mediated, town hall-style meeting with Director Ricky Pavao Jones and cast members.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students under 18. Call 244-8760 or visit www.mauiacademy.org.