Marriage Equality Takes Center Stage In “8”

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The next Brick Monkey Theater Ensemble production is centered around one of today's most hotly debated topics.

8, written by Academy Award-winner Dustin Lance Black, is a staged reenactment of the landmark court case that followed the passage of California’s Proposition 8, which amended the state’s constitution to forbid gay marriage.

The case, known as Hollingsworth v. Perry, is going before the Supreme Court next month, making this staged reading very timely.

Shelley Delaney, associate professor of Theater at Ohio University and the show’s director, believes that current issues like this should be represented on the stage.

"The arts have a responsibility to have a dialogue with the community that they’re in," she said. "When the opportunity is there, do it around issues that are important to talk about."

With the stage arranged like a courtroom, political commercials about Proposition 8 will play on a screen behind the actors during the reading. The production features 21 cast members from the Brick Monkey Theater Ensemble and the OU School of Theater.

After the show, there will be a panel discussion facilitated by Dr. Angela Ahlgren from the OU School of Theater. The panel includes Patty Stokes from Ohio University's Women’s and Gender Studies program, Lynn Miller of the Christ Lutheran Church and Joshua and Steve Snider-Hill, a married couple from Columbus.

Delaney hopes that 8 and the panel will be informative for the audience.

"I just want to make sure people aren’t making the decisions without information," she explained. "Between the play and the panel, we’re offering a lot of good information, true information, useful information."

8 is being presented by the Brick Monkey Theater Ensemble, the OU School of Theater and the LGBT Center at Ohio University. The show will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Elizabeth Evans Baker Theater, located in OU's Kantner Hall.

Admission is free with seating on a first come, first serve basis. Donations will be collected for Freedom to Marry Ohio.